Summer 2015 was an anticipated season for anime, with the release of popular series like Dragon Ball Super, Himouto! Umaru-chan and the readaptation of Ushio to Tora. It also marked the end of the current season for Shokugeki no Soma and Ore Monogatari!!. With the anime season coming to an end and the Fall 2015 season under way, here are my quick (spoiler-free) recommendations from the Summer season.
Top 3 Picks from Last Season
Shokugeki no Soma / Food Wars
Studio: J.C. Staff
Genres: Ecchi, School, Shounen
Yes, this is technically is from Spring 2015, but it’s too good to not include in this list!
Shokugeki no Soma is one of the most popular anime series so far in 2015. Initially airing in Spring 2015, its first season concluded in Summer 2015 with a total of 24 episodes. As the name suggests, Shokugeki no Soma is all about food. The story follows Soma Yukihira, a fifteen-year old boy working as the sous chef with his father in their family diner. When his father decides to close the restaurant to work overseas, he sends Soma to Totsuki Culinary Academy, an elite culinary school famous for producing world-class chefs. Cooking skill is everything at Totsuki, where every dispute is settled through cooking showdowns known as Shokugeki.
Shokugeki no Soma is my one of my favourite anime series from Spring-Summer 2015. Right away, it reminded me of Yakitate!! Japan, another cooking focused anime from 2004. Shokugeki has a diverse cast, each with their own unique personality and charm. The story is simple but compelling, and is paced very well from start to finish.
With culinary arts being at the core of Shokugeki no Soma, you’d expect the food from the anime to be like eye candy. Shokugeki went well beyond my expectations, creating absolutely stunning displays of culinary dishes. For all you food lovers, the anime also goes into details about the origins of certain dishes, the process a dish was prepared and some neat details about food science too!
When it comes to a person’s reaction to tasting a dish, Shokugeki no Soma likes to blow their socks off – literally. While there are a number of erotic reactions through the series, they are mostly used as an over exaggeration to the food and is intended to be satirical. If you’re not a fan of eechi, then this show may not be for you, however I would recommend getting through the first few episodes as it calms down as the anime progresses.
Food Wars is now streaming on AnimeLab!
Studio: Doga Kobo
Genre: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
Himouto! Umaru-chan is the most iconic anime series from Summer 2015. The series follows Umaru, a 16-year old girl, living with her older brother Taihei. When at school or in public, Umaru is the perfect model student, who is admired by everyone. When she is home, Umaru turns into a sleeping, gaming, junk food and cola consuming sloth, characterised by her hamster cloak.
Himouto! Umaru-chan is a light hearted series with an unexpected, yet enjoyable mix of characters. It plays on the many clichés about gamers and otakus and turns them humorous scenes that we can all relate to. There’s an Umaru in all of us!
Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri / GATE
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Military
Source: Light Novel
GATE is set in modern Japan, where a portal to a parallel world known as the “Gate” suddenly appears, unleashing monsters, medieval knights and other fantasy beings to wreak havoc on Tokyo. The Japanese Self Defense Force take action against these monsters and push them back into the “Gate”. A team is dispatched to the “Special Region” lead by Youji Itami, a self-professed otaku.
GATE is more than just explosions and gunning down dragons. Beyond the modern vs medieval fantasy warfare, the series touches on politics, social pressure and its interpretation of the true nature of humanity.
With a main cast consisting of a lolita demigoddess, an elf, a sorceress among other female fantasy clichés, you’ve got all your otaku boxes ticked. Despite what looks like a harem series, GATE remains mostly sensible, with only a sprinkling of fan service here and there. More importantly, each character helps the series achieve a good balance between humorous and solemn moments.
If you’re interested in the military combat, the diplomatic relationships or just want to get your otaku dose, GATE is worth checking out.
Dragon Ball Super
Studio: Toei Animation
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Shounen, Super Power
Dragon Ball Super’s story starts following Goku’s fight with Majin Buu back in Dragon Ball Z. The series will start with a readaptation of the Dragon Ball Z films, Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’ before continuing with an original story line.
But does any of that matter? IT’S DRAGON BALL!
Ore Monogatari!! // My Love Story!!
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Shoujo
This one is for the lovers of Shoujo series! Ore Monogatari!! follows Gouda Takeo, a freshman in highschool who saves a girl, Yamata Rinko from being harassed by a pervert, which is their chance meeting that blossoms into romance.