Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Previews:

American Cartoons
Why is it so hard to find a list of American cartoons that's premiering this summer? Is there just not anything new this season? Here's what I can find: I may update this once I find out more.

Rated A for Awesome (June 20th 2011)
Plot (Synopsis from Kidscreen): Each 11-minute episode of Rated A For Awesome follows Les Awesome and his stepsister Thera, their friends Noam and Lars and cameraman monkey, Mr Twitchy.  The team works together to liven up all things boring and mundane

Thoughts: With a plotline pulled directly from Phineas and Ferb and awful CGI, this one is looking to be a stinker. Here's hoping for a pleasant surprise.

Thundercats (July 29th, 2011)
Plot (Synopsis from Cartoon Network):
After Thundera is attacked by the lizard people, Lion-O leads the ThunderCats on a quest for the Book of Omens, the one artifact that could guide them to victory. But he'll have to face villains like the ancient evil sorceror Mumm-Ra and the dangerous lizard general Slithe. Luckily, he has the Sword of Omens and its amazing powers at his disposal.

Thoughts:  I only vaguely remember the original Thundercats series, so I don't have too much to compare this new series to. But I am pretty pumped about this series! The animation looks great, and I haven't seen any medieval fantasy series in a long time, so it'll be a welcome change from the typical comedy series that dominate cartoons these days.

American Feature Films

Cars 2 (June 24th, 2011)
Plot (Synopsis from IMDb) Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.

Thoughts: Ehhh... I never felt like Cars needed a sequel. It was a decent movie on its own, so a sequel coming just feels like a cash in project, especially when they could be working on original movies rather than sequels. But, if I had been older when Toy Story 2 came out, I might have said the same thing. So we'll see how it turns out. But, really Pixar? Spies in a movie about race cars? What's next, Finding Nemo 2, where Nemo gets superpowers? 

Winnie the Pooh (July 15th, 2011)
Plot Synopsis(from Wikipedia): The film is based on the stories "In Which Eeyore Loses His Tail and Pooh Finds One" from Winnie-the-Pooh and "In Which Rabbit Has a Busy Day and We Learn What Christopher Robin Does in the Mornings" and "In Which Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole" (which had also been done in Piglet's Big Movie) from The House at Pooh Corner.

Thoughts: It looks like it'll be very classic Pooh, with traditional animation, musical numbers, interactions with the narrator and literal words of the book, and whimsical adventures. The fact that it's traditional animation and coming out the same day as the last Harry Potter movie probably spells trouble for how many people will see it, but perhaps its familiar faces will help negate those two factors.

The Smurfs (July 29th, 2011)
Plot Synopsis from IMDb:
When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours -- in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.

Thoughts:  Ugh, make it go away please! I am so sick of these live action remakes of cartoons! Haven't they figured out yet that it does not work? Superheroes is one thing, but cartoon characters like the Smurfs? It looks awful, and I'm not even a fan of the original Smurfs.

Summer 2011 Anime
Since plot synopsis is up at the link, I'll just talk about my thoughts on each series and film.
  • Inumarudashi (June 10th)-Another series that has gone completely unnoticed by fansubbers, but this one makes sense. Shows that primarily revolve around making a five year old boy learn to wear pants in public tend to go unnoticed, especially if they are drawn in an unusual style or made in Flash.
  • Appleseed XIII (June 13th)-A retelling of a Shirow Masamune series? Surprisingly, this series seems to have gone completely unnoticed by fansubbers, which is weird for a series by the creator of Ghost in the Shell. You would think they would be all over it. I expect it to be obtuse and pretentious, but I haven't seen the other Appleseed movies or the manga, so I don't have much to compare it to. The animation looks very pretty though.
  • Double J (June 28th)- The fact that it's based on a Nonoka Eiji manga is promising, but the plot summary and art are too generic to hold much interest. Hopefully the writing will make up for it.
  • BLADE(July 1st)-The final series in a line of Marvel anime, this one looks rather promising. I don't know anything about the Blade comics though, so I can't compare it to anything, but Blade looks pretty frickin rad here.
  • Ro-Kyo-Bu!(July 1st)-Extremely generic looking. I've got nothing else to say about it.
  • Uta no Prince-sama-Maji Love 1000%(July 2nd)- Extremely dumb title. I find that adaptations of dating games don't tend to go so well, so not looking for much here. Looks pretty generic.
  • Kami-sama no Memo-chou (July 2nd)- I'm a sucker for mystery series, so I'm interested, but how exactly does a NEET solve mysteries? Doesn't that go against the definition of a NEET?
  • Sacred Seven (July 3rd)- What is this series about? We are given literally nothing about this series! But it's original! Huzzah!
  • Nuraihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou(July 3rd)-Second season to a series I know nothing about.
  • Natsume Yuujin-Chou San(July 4th)-I need to see the first and second seasons. Apparently this series is amazing.
    • Yuru Yuri (July 4th)- Sounds like a K-ON! clone. Hopefully it'll try to be a little original, but I'm not holding my breath. Apparently it was published in a yuri magazine, so there may be some romance here.
    • Ikoku Meiro no Croisee (July 4th) -A series taking place in 19th century Paris? Sounds interesting! Expecting lovely scenery and costumes in this one, plus some great culture clash moments.
    • Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel (July 5th)-Why is angel in the title twice? What's the point? New original magical girl series, with cute costumes that aren't slutty! Could this magical girl series actually be aimed at little girls? 
    • Kamisama Dolls(July 5th)- The artwork doesn't go with the plot summary very well, but I'm still hoping for a supernatural thriller from this one. Might be interesting.
    • Morita-san wa Mukuchi(July 5th)-Can't say much about it from the plot summary. High school 4-koma manga is pretty popular at the moment, but I feel that 4-koma is hard to adapt into a television series well. We'll see how it goes.
    • Nyanpire the animation (July 6th)-What an...odd way to reintroduce a company that hasn't been around in two years. Gonzo is a pretty good company, but Nyanpire isn't the kind of fare they usually release. Seems cute enough, but likely won't get licensed or fansubbed.
    • Usagi Drop (July 7th)- Based on a josei? Check. Older than usual cast of characters? Check. A noitanimA series? Hell yes. Definitely looking forward to this one.
    • No. 6 (July 7th)-It's pretty unusual to base an anime on a novel, so that itself peaks my interest. And its another noitanimA series, so definitely interested. Come to think of it, haven't seen much sci fi this season either.
    • THE IDOLM@STER(July 7th)- What a unusual premise for a video game. Maybe it'll translate over to anime well, maybe not. Looks like a setup for a harem series.
    • BLOOD-C(July 7th)- Haven't seen CLAMP around lately, so it's welcome to see their lovely character designs again. Looks like vampires are popular this season.
    • Mayo Chiki!(July 7th)- I have a weird obsession with gender bender anime, so I'll be interested in this, no matter how generic it turns out.
    • Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! (July 8th)- I freaking love this series! Excited about the next season!
    • Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi(July 9th)- Sounds like a generic fantasy series. Not much of an opinion on this one.
    • Nekogami Yaoyorozu(July 9th)-More catgirls and Japanese mythology. Maybe I'll learn some new things about mythology anyways.
    • R-15(July 9th)-Porn skills? Did I seriously just read that phrase? Obviously a sex comedy, although the promo art is confusing. Looks more like an R-rated magical girls show. Might be hilarious if done right.
    • Manyuu Hikenchou(July 11th)- the URL for this series is Japanese for Isn't that charming? Don't think this series is aspiring to be much.
    • Dantalian no Shoka(July 15th) Aww GAINAX. Even you guys can't come out with an original series? Still, it looks pretty interesting, if only because it centers around a library. Yes, that is all it takes to spark my interest.
    • Mawaru Penguindrum (July 15th)- What the hell is this about? We are literally given nothing about this series, except that it's from the director of Utena, which everyone is excited about. At least it's an original series.
     Anime Feature Films
    •  Sengoku Basara film (June 6th)
    • Towa no Quon (June 18th-November 2011)-The story of a boy named Quon who wakes up with superpowers. Apparently they're releasing a new film every month, which is a rather interesting way to release a series. Even though the first one's come out already, there doesn't seem to be much information about it.
    • Sora no Otoshimono film(June 25th)
    • New Fullmetal Alchemist film(July 2nd)
    • Kokuriko-Zaka Kara(July 16th) Studio Ghibli hasn't released a slice of life movie in a really long time. Definitely interested.
    • 2 new Pokemon films(July 17th)
    • New Naruto Shippuuden film(July 30th)
    • Alice in the Country of Hearts film(July 30th)
    • Mahou Sensei Negima film (August 27th) (So that's what happened to Shaft!)
    • Hayate no Gotoku film (August 27th)

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