Wicked Anime’s Must-Watch Summer 2016 Anime
This current summer season has been HOT! We’re not just talking about the weather here, we’re obviously talking about the summer season of anime! While some excellent shows have gotten a second season (like Food Wars! The Second Plate) and shows continuing from last season (like Re:Zero), there are a plethora of premieres to original shows and manga adaptions that just cannot be missed. The Wicked Anime crew, along with Nerdy Show members and affiliates, weigh in on must-see summer 2016 anime. Whether you just try it for a couple episodes, or marathon your way through a show in one sitting, you will not be sorry you tried any of the anime recommended here!
Jonathan’s Pick: ReLIFE
At the age of 27, Arata Kaizaki quit his job after only being there for three months. Now his parents are threatening to stop sending money, and want him to come back to the country. He has no friend or girlfriend to share his troubles with and only a part-time job to support himself. As life seems to have hit rock bottom for Kaizaki, a man named Ryo Yoake appears and invites him to join a societal rehabilitation program for NEETs called ReLIFE. This program uses a mysterious drug to make him look younger, and sends him back to high school for one year.
Why You’ll Love It:
Every one of us adult-types have wished we could go back in time and redo high school with the knowledge we now possess. While time travel is not a part of this show, it gives us the closest glimpse we may ever get to what that experience could realistically be like. The high school life and people that Kaizaki interacts with feel authentic and are so well written. It feels as if the manga creator, Sou Yayoi, really went through the ReLIFE program themselves to capture the realistic, memorable, and hilarious scenarios that we may or may not remember from our glory days of high school.
This show is enjoyable for everyone, it has amazing characters and brilliant writing. While the story may be simplistic in some cases, the pacing of the story flows so well that we get so much content in one single season. Speaking of which, if you are a premium member of Crunchyroll, the entire season has been available from day one. So if you do plan on watching it, plan on marathoning the whole thing, — it’s just that spectacular!
Andrew’s Pick: NEW GAME!
After graduating high school, eighteen year old Suzukaze Aoba joins the game design company Eagle Jump, the studio that developed her favorite game of all time, Fairies Story. She dreams of becoming a great character designer just like the one who inspired her from Fairies Story, only to find out on her first day that she is working right under that very woman. Aoba now has a new day-to-day life at this studio and must become a hard working member of the team as the only new employee that year.
Why You’ll Love It:
It’s not manly, it’s not violent, and it doesn’t have a deep story… so what is it? Well, this slice of life comedy is a WMD grade force destructive of cuteness. Every character has a personality that is charming to watch while also feeding into all the “moe” you’ll need this season. The art is high grade, especially on the character designs, while also adding in some 3D elements with the inclusion of the game assets they are building for the company. While the story doesn’t focus in-depth on the industry aspects in the way an anime like Shirobako did, it does focus on office based humor, like if Dilbert was about a game studio. The show does feed you bits and pieces of information about the game industry and making a game, but not enough to make it the full draw of the show. It’s wholly about the characters and how they interact with one another in their day-to-day lives while building the game.
Slice of life comedy is a very particular genre to Japan, where they make funny shows that have no particular end goal in mind other than to make the viewer laugh and put them in a good mood. In an age where there are plenty of options for violent stories or characters feeling depressed, it’s a great option to reset a high octane mood from a more action heavy show. Oh and it’s cute. Did I mention it was cute? I know you like cute.
Evan’s Pick: momokuri
Second-year student Yuki Kurihara confesses her love to first-year Shinya Momotsuki, soon after learning just about everything about him and doing some things that could be considered “stalker-y.” Although filled with confidence to do all she can to know everything about Momotsuki, Kurihara quickly turns into a shy, wet noodle around him. As their relationship unfolds, their fellow pals roll their eyes as they wish the lovebirds would die in a dumpster fire.
Why You’ll Love It:
momokuri is a special breed of dumb-down comedy, where the two main leads are adorably stupid when they’re around one another. However, while the main focus of the series is fun to watch, the real stars of the show are the friends who are forced to see this gooey train wreck of a relationship. Director Yoshimasa Hiraike (who also helmed the brilliant Gugure! Kokkuri-san) has a knack for pulling out some unexpected hilarity, and momokuri delivers a level of sarcastic wit and dry angst that you won’t find anywhere else in anime this summer.
Jessica’s Pick: Orange
One spring, 16-year-old Naho Takamiya receives a mysterious letter from someone claiming to be a 27-year-old Naho Takamiya. In it, she’s begged to fix the regrets of her future self, particularly in regard to a recent transfer student, Kakeru Naruse. As she begins to believe the words are truly from a future Naho, she embarks on a high-stakes pursuit to not only erase her own future regrets, but also those of the present Kakeru.
Why You’ll Love It:
You might be burnt out on time travel anime, but give this a chance. There hasn’t been an anime in recent memory doling as many doki doki moment as Orange. After all, writing a letter to your past self is simple. We all have regrets we’d love to erase. But how difficult would it be for your past self to follow your instructions? How easy would it be to overcome those present-day insecurities?
That’s what’s truly compelling in this story. Naho struggles, but she remains earnest and devoted to changing the future. Those doki doki moments occur every time she steps outside her comfort zone, desperately trying to change her present self, and erase regrets for her future self. To add to the angst, you’ll also follow the story of future Naho as you discover the events that lead her to send the letter. All of this will be portrayed with stunningly gorgeous animation, with every character’s expressions articulating as much emotion as their words. Prepare for a thrilling emotional roller coaster as you find yourself cheering on Naho, heart pounding, perched at the edge of your seat.
Everyone’s Pick: sweetness & lightning
Kohei is a single father and high school teacher living with his only daughter. Fed up with only being able provide his daughter with store-bought meals, he’s led to a chance encounter with Kotori, one of his students whose mother runs a restaurant. While none of them actually know how to cook, they all embark on a culinary journey together in order to pursue their love of delicious food!
Why You’ll Love It:
Grab a box of tissues and prepare for your eyes to well up with tears of joy, happiness, and sadness. Your soul will warm as you grow to love the characters and the kitchen of a family restaurant that they cook in. It takes ONE episode to understand the utter brilliance and beauty this show beholds to you. Don’t believe us? How’s this: if this first episode ended up being the only one in the series, we still would have picked it for the best of this season. The art and animation is stunning, the writing is heartwarming in the way a warm hug feels, and the food looks so good that it makes you paw at the screen like a dog begging for table scraps.
The characters share an authentic family aspect, as if you are watching a real struggling father do the best he can to raise his rambunctious little daughter in the best household possible. The sometimes bittersweet atmosphere of the show feels as if you were huddling around a fire with your loved ones, but only because that’s all you have to do while there is a hurricane blowing around outside. There is nothing but comfort, beauty, and love offered in every frame of this masterful anime. If you are going to add any anime to your summer queue this season, make it sweetness & lightning.
Hear more about the best summer 2016 anime on the latest episode of Wicked Anime!