Summer 2015 Anime Roundup Part 2: Dark and Adult Series

Welcome back to the Summer 2015 Anime Roundup! This installment will give you a quick run-down of some of the darker, more adult shows of the season. This is an arbitrary label decided upon by me, so feel free to disagree on which shows are “dark” and “adult”. I’m going by general feel of the series as well as overall content.

I’m going to go ahead and just point you to Logan Peterson’s episode reviews for Monster Musume, because I am not going to watch that show. You can’t make me.

Due to feedback received for the first installment, I will be adding information on where to legally watch each show as well as a bit of background on director and animation studio. Please let me know what else might be helpful in the roundups!

School-Live!

School-Live!

This series airs on Crunchyroll and updates on Thursdays at 10:00am.

Director: Masaomi Ando (Hasn’t fully directed anything hugely popular. Has done episode directing for Fairy Tail and Gintama.)
Animation Production: (Assassination Classroom, Persona 4: The Animation, Fate/Prototype)
AKA: Gakkou Gurashi!

School-Live! is about a group of girls who live at their school 24/7. Their club is called the “School Living” club, and their purpose is to learn about and become closer to all of the other clubs. If you have read any other descriptions of the show, you will have seen something about zombies.

Let me tell you that you will want to gouge out your eyes for the first 19 minutes of episode one. “Nothing could possibly make me watch more of this utter bullcrap,” you will think. “Not even if there ARE zombies, because if there are they can’t possibly matter….oh. OH. Okay. I think I will be watching more of this now.” Just hang in there. Something is wrong. Make it through episode one and you will be hooked. There are some darker themes in this show to be explored, and more twists to be revealed.

I really thought I was going to hate School Live! because I am automatically suspicious of shows that follow a cast containing mostly girls that just do club things. Such shows either end up boring or turn out to be a harem. In this case, it is something completely different. Give it a shot.

God Eater

God Eater

This series airs on Daisuki and updates on Sundays.

Director: Takayuki Hirao (Hasn’t fully directed much of anything yet, but GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack sounds amazing, am I right?)
Animation Production: ufotable (Fate/Zero, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works)

This series is set in post-apocalyptic earth. Humanity has been largely wiped out by monsters called the Aragami. An organization has risen up to fight the monsters with weapons known as God Arcs, which are made with Aragami cells and fused with humans. The protagonist of the show is Renka Utsugi, who of course signs up to fight the Aragami. He has managed to survive “outside” up until now and is able to control a new type of God Arc that can switch between the gun and sword forms rather than remaining stagnant in one form.

The animation style of this show is pretty neat. It falls somewhere between a painted graphic novel and video game animation. Many have compared the plot to Attack on Titan. I think that’s probably true, but Attack on Titan was hardly the first story about earth being attacked by monsters and fighting the monsters with things or people made out of monsters *cough*Blue Gender*cough*. Just saying. These stories have popped up over and over again because they work and are entertaining. There’s nothing hugely special here so far other than the animation, but sometimes you just need to watch a show where people kill monsters to survive.

Logan Peterson has been giving episode reviews of God Eater, so you can read those for a more in-depth look at the show.

Gangsta.

Gangsta

This series airs on Funimation and updates on Sundays at 10:30pm.

Director: Koichi Hatsumi (Looks to be a key animator who moved into directing more recently.)
Animation Production: Manglobe (Samurai Champloo, Samurai Flamenco, The World God Only Knows)

Worick and Nicolas are two “handymen” that take jobs for both the cops and the mob. Worick seems to have perfect recall, and the cops value his memory and information. Nicolas is a “Twilight” and can gain superhuman abilities from certain drugs. The pair decide to spare a prostitute named Alex after wiping out her boss on a job and take her on as a sort of secretary. She is often told to not stay long in the city of Ergastulum or she will never escape. It might be too late for that, though, because other Twilights have been turning up in the city.

To be honest, I keep dragging my feet when it comes to watching this show and I have no idea why. Gangsta doesn’t deserve to be ignored. It has the best opener hands down this season. The animation has an awesome style, and there’s a decent amount of balance between backstory or information drops and action or intrigue. Plus it has a decent portrayal of a deaf person, which came as a surprise because generally anime just ignores that people can have disabilities and still function. It even has characters signing to each other.

I suppose my problem is that I’m not really in the mood for something as gritty as this show right now, but you would be doing yourself a disservice to not try it for yourself.

Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace

Rampo Kitan

This series airs on Funimation and updates on Thursdays at 1:30pm.

Directed by: Seiji Kishi (Angel Beats, Assassination Classroom, Persona 4: The Animation)
Animation Production: (Assassination Classroom, Persona 4: The Animation, Fate/Prototype)

Kobayashi is a middle school student who is so bored with life he sees things in shades of gray. People aren’t really distinguishable to him unless he focuses on paying attention. His life changes completely when he wakes up in his classroom and sees the mangled corpse of his teacher. A genius detective high schooler named Akechi is assigned to the case and together they prove that Kobayashi was innocent of the crime. Kobayashi decides he wants to keep investigating murders because it is fun for him.

This show is disturbing on a few levels. Some people say it gets boring, but if you have done any sort of reading on serial killers it becomes clear that the insane stuff the killers are doing in this show are absolutely things some nutjob would try in real life. Also, Kobayashi himself is the creepiest character in the show. He thinks being accused of murders and getting himself into danger is awesome fun. The way they portray him makes you wonder if he would have become a serial killer himself someday if he hadn’t been framed for the murder of his teacher and found out that he liked detective work instead. Out of all the “dark” shows this season, this is the one I wouldn’t want to watch by myself at night, because then I would just keep thinking about how creepy it is and how these people could exist in real life.

Prison School

Prison School

This series airs on Funimation and updates on Fridays at 1:05pm.

Director: Tsutomu Mizushima (Genshiken, Shirobako, Witch Craft Works, Bludgeoning Angel Dokoro-chan)
Animation Production: J.C. Staff (Bakuman, Food Wars, Golden Time, Orphen, R.O.D. The TV, the list goes on and on.)

Five boys are admitted into Hatchimitsu Academy, previously an all-girls boarding school. The school is very strict and breaking any of the rules results in a stay at the school’s prison system. Of course, the five boys are caught peeping on the girl’s locker room (while naked) and they are sentenced to a month in prison. They are beaten, humiliated, molested, and dominated by various girls on the “underground student council”. The protagonist, Kiyoshi Fujino, begins planning a breakout to keep a date with sumo-enthusiast Chiyo Kurihara despite the fact that a breakout results in another month in prison.

I was trying hard to not watch Prison School at all, but I needed another series for this roundup and there was no way I was gonna watch a silly monster harem, so here I am, watching the most ecchi thing I’ve ever watched. It really isn’t that bad. The animation is rough, but the style is fitting of the content of the show. The jokes are fetish-y and perverted, and the show is censored so much that it irritated me even though I don’t really have any desire to see lady-parts. I can definitely understand why it’s been popular, and I will admit it made me laugh. However, all five boys are completely unlikable to me, and I don’t think Kiyoshi deserves his date with Chiyo because he’s a lying liar who lies to her, so I probably won’t keep simulcasting this show. Maybe I will borrow it from someone once it is out on Blu-Ray and uncensored.

Don’t feel sad that I won’t be covering this show again, though. This is another series that Logan Peterson has been writing about!

Next Time on The Summer 2015 Anime Roundup

We need something a bit more light-hearted for the third roundup, don’t you agree? We will therefore be covering some currently airing comedy and slice of life anime.

Charlotte
Miss Monochrome
My Love Story
Sore ga Seiyuu
Shimoneta: a Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

Jennifer Valure
Jennifer Valure
Jen is a web developer and anime enthusiast from the suburbs of Philadelphia. She is the proud mama of a future geekling and enjoys yarncrafting, especially if it involves a pop-culture project.

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