The summer lineup of upcoming anime looks increasingly barren compared to recent years, with a smaller number of series airing this summer as a result of production issues caused by COVID-19. Even during the time it took for me to create this summer 2020 anime season preview guide, it was announced that one of my most anticipated anime of the summer, Ikebukuro West Gate Park, was delayed until the fall. It’s equally likely that some of the anime listed before could face a similar fate.
Saying that, a number of highly-anticipated anime are set to make their debut this upcoming season, and we have the full lowdown on what to expect from this coming summer anime season.
Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2
One of several anime initially scheduled for the Spring anime season before being delayed as a result of COVID-19, Re:Zero Season 2 will finally continue where the previous season of the anime left off. The massively successful light novel adaptation is easily the most anticipated anime for the upcoming season. Ever since the story of Subaru Natsuki, a NEET who is transported into a fantasy world and falls in love with a silver-haired half-elf girl named Emilia, was first adapted into an anime back in 2016, it’s been difficult to escape the deserved praise and characters of the show.
Set to premiere after a 3-month delay on July 8th, this second season will be split into 2 parts, the second part set to air in January 2021, while bringing on much of the same team that made the original series such a success.
As with the previous season, you’ll be able to watch Re:Zero season 2 over on Crunchyroll.
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax
A trend with many of the most anticipated anime of this season is that many of the most anticipated shows of the upcoming season were originally scheduled to release in April, and My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax is no different. Bringing the anime back to the forefront for the first time since the most recent series of the show concluded back in 2015, this adaptation aims to wrap up the story of the light novels in animated form following its recent conclusion.
Over multiple seasons this harem anime has followed Hachiman Hikigaya ever since he was forced to enter the ‘Public Service Club’ by his teacher, where he meets other problem students.
If you’re interested in catching this series out for yourself, you can watch the series over on HiDive.
Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Part 2
Sword Art Online has earned a bad reputation from certain corners of the anime fandom, and I feel this is an unfair judgment of the series. Although the series was initially hampered by a quality of storytelling best described as inconsistent, the series has improved as it has gone along, with Alicization being hailed as having some of the franchise’s strongest emotional moments to date.
This series will conclude the anime adaptation of the Alicization story arc that begun in 2018 and started in the 9th light novel of the series. This story arc saw Kirito placed into an unknown virtual world with two characters whom he seems to remember from his youth despite their virtual existence. One is Eugeo, an NPC with the emotional range of a real human, and Alice. Despite succeeding in their fight against Quinella, this only causes a war that takes up both parts of the War of Underworld adaptation.
As with every season of the show up to now, you can find Sword Art Online streaming on Crunchyroll, but the series will also be available on Funimation, HiDive and Hulu.
Fire Force Season 2
Fire Force follows Special Fire Force Company 8 as they deal with people known as Infernals with the ability to combust and control flames at will. The original season of this anime took the team at David Production (the studio known for bringing Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure into an animated form) and put them in charge of this firefighter-focused shounen action anime. Saying that many of the team behind the first season of this production came over to the studio from SHAFT, famous for their work on the Monogatari franchise, making an instant impact with the high bar set with the animation of Fire Force.
Although director Yuki Yase won’t be leading this newest season (Tatsuma Minamikawa will be taking charge this time round), with chief animation directors Hideyuki Morioka and Yoshio Kozakai returning alongside others, there’s little to suggest the quality will suffer this time around.
Similar to the first season, Fire Force Season 2 will be available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.
The God of High School
While many of the most anticipated time for the upcoming season are sequels to established properties, one of the most anticipated new anime for the season would have to be The God of High School. The latest title from the lineup of Crunchyroll Originals that brought us Tower of God this Spring season, The God of High School is a shounen battle anime in its purest sense, animated by the team over at MAPPA.
The God of High School is essentially a tournament arc turned into an entire series. Based on a Korean Webtoon of the same name, the premise of the series revolves around a fighting tournament that seeks to find the best fighter out of all the high school students in Korea. Mori Jin, a Taekwondo specialist, is competing in this tournament while learning about the shadowy organization pulling the strings.
If you’re a fan of well-animated battle anime, this should be right up your alley. Unsurprisingly considering its status as a Crunchyroll Original, The God of High School will be available for streaming exclusively on Crunchyroll.
Gibiate couldn’t have come out at a better time. Or worse time, depending on how you look at it. The show was one of the series highlighted in Otaquest’s ‘5 Things You Need to Know’ for this exact reason!
This original anime project is set in a post-apocalyptic Japan in the year 2030 after a global pandemic has ravaged humanity and turns those infected into a variety of monsters based on their age, sex and race. Samurai Sensui Kanzaki and ninja Kenroku Sanada time-travel from the early Edo Period into this virus-ravaged modern age and fight alongside a doctor on their journey to find a cure for this disease.
As you can guess from a concept like that, the series feels particularly relevant in these modern times. What makes this show stand out most are its character designs, with these designs being handled by Yoshitaka Amano, best known for his iconic Final Fantasy work.
The anime premieres on July 8th, and though no streaming services for the series have been announced at this point, I’d be surprised if this series wasn’t picked up by the time it kicks off.
Great Pretender is one of the most exciting anime to be coming out this season. The original anime project from WIT STUDIO is filled to the brim with exciting characters and a bold design that instantly stands out among next season’s anime lineup. Directed by Hiro Kaburagi, the series focuses on conman Edamaru Masato who attempts to con a French man in Asakusa before being swindled themselves. This man turns out to be in control of the mafia, and is soon sucked into their schemes as a result.
With a talented staff working on the show that includes Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s recognizable character designs and Ryota Kosawa in charge of the script, the only disappointment with this series is that it could be a while before international audiences get a chance to check it out for themselves. Airing in Fuji TV’s +Ultra block from July 8th, the first 14 episodes out of 23 are already available on Netflix exclusively in Japan.
Since the company is also in charge of international rights for the series, it may be a while before we see this show available outside of Japan.
Japan Sinks: 2020
Speaking of Netflix, Japan Sinks: 2020 is another show whose rights are held by the international streaming conglomerate. Unlike Great Pretender, however audiences out of Japan won’t have to wait long to dive into for themselves. Another Masaaki Yuasa production by the team at Science SARU, this series is an alternative take on the novel Japan Sinks by Sakyo Komatsu.
This adaptation of Japan Sinks moves Komatsu’s novel from 1970s Japan to 2020, just after the Tokyo Olympics. Four members of the Muto family are forced to fight for their survival after Tokyo is ruptured by major earthquakes, forcing them to search for a way to escape the city.
Unlike Great Pretender, which is a Netflix license, Japan Sinks: 2020 is a Netflix production and will, therefore, launch worldwide on the service on the same day, July 9th.
We spoke about Deca-Dence here at Otaquest not too long ago, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited about this original anime production. Studio NUT is handling the project having previously proven themselves with projects like Saga of Tanya the Evil, but it’s the names attached to the project that creates the most excitement for this upcoming original anime. Yuzuru Tachikawa and Hiroshi Seko are both involved as director and scriptwriter respectively on this series, bringing the team together for the first time since their work on Mob Psycho 100.
In Deca-Dence, 90% of the world’s population was lost in the Battle of Gadoll, and those who remain have combined their strength in order to fight off the mysterious creatures roaming the planet which threatens their way of life. They do this using the mobile fortress they call home known as ‘Deca-Dence’.
This intriguing anime will be available for streaming on Funimation once it starts airing next month.
The Misfit of Demon King Academy: History’s Strongest Demon King Reincarnates and Goes to School with His Descendants
Another anime delayed from a planned April premiere to release this season, this light novel harem adaptation is set to make its debut this summer season.
In this series (in case the title didn’t make this clear), the main character, the demon king Anoth, has grown tired of his time as ruler, and all the blood and terror this reign entails. Reincarnating in the hope of a more peaceful life, he finds himself going to school with the descendants of his old castle 2000 years in the future, with the magic that once dominated the world at the time of his reign now on its last legs. There’s no way to assess his magical power with many lacking the ability to perform magic and a lack of warfare for him to showcase his might.
Veteran director Shin Oonuma is the person in charge of this adaptation, and the anime will be streaming on Crunchyroll.
Lapis Re:LiGHTs, aside from its awkward capitalization, is the latest in a string of idol-themed cross-media projects. We’ve had Love Live, [email protected], Bang Dream!, even series like Revue Starlight with it’s more theatrical stylings, and more, and Lapis Re:LiGHTs is simply the latest in this recent trend to release in animated form.
This item around, the cross-media project is blending magical girls into its pop-themed musical landscape, as Lapis Re:LiGHTs is set in a magical fantasy world centered around 6 idol units, giving the anime a massive 25-character main cast.
Following the release of a musical album in February and the premiere of the anime next month, a smartphone game will follow, while a manga for the series is already in serialization. So far the anime is yet to receive an English streaming announcement, but this is another series I’d be surprised to see left in the wilderness by the time it premieres next month.
No Guns Life 2
No Guns Life 2 will contain the second half of the manga adaptation that first aired in October and was supposed to conclude last season before being delayed due to, you guessed it, COVID-19.
In the world of No Guns Life, Extends are people whose bodies have been altered to turn them into dangerous weapons. One of these people is Inui Juuzou, who has no memories of his life before his head was transformed into a gun. Juuzou makes a living in this post-war world by taking on cases involving other Extends who live in the city and is assisted by a woman he cares for called Mary.
The first season of No Guns Life was well-liked when it initially aired last year, and there will be a hope that this second season can retain that level of quality. As with the first season, this anime will be made available on Funimation’s streaming service, as well as Hulu.
Koi to Producer: EVOL x LOVE
While not a new phenomenon, otome games have become a popular source for anime adaptations over the last 10 years, particularly following the runaway success of Uta no Prince-Sama back in 2011. This time around, Chinese smartphone game Koi to Producer is the choice for an adaptation.
Koi to Producer takes place in a world where psychic powers known as Evol exist, with those possessing the power to control these powers being known as Evol. The anime follows a young woman who inherits her late father’s almost-bankrupt company and is determined to save this company from collapse. During these efforts, she runs into 4 evolvers, and the group of them are soon entrapped within a world of conspiracies and underground mysteries regarding these psychic powers.
While otome game adaptations aren’t normally my thing, I can’t deny the concept isn’t at least somewhat intriguing, even if the anime does predictably appear to lean more into these otome routes with a heavier emphasis on the romantic elements of the series. The anime is set to premiere next month, and though it doesn’t currently have a streaming announcement, expect one in the upcoming weeks.
The final anime I want to highlight is Rent-A-Girlfriend, a rom-com manga adaptation set to start broadcasting from next month.
Kinoshita Kazuya, after being dumped by his girlfriend, decides to use a rental service to ‘rent’ a girlfriend of his own. Both parties begin to form a deeper emotional connection through their meetings, which only becomes more complicated for the pair when their personal lives intertwine in multiple directions. With rental girlfriend Mizuhara Chizuru determined to keep her work a secret from other people, this only causes problems for her as time goes on.
There are several interesting stories to be told surrounding rental services that offer the services of friendships and relationships, and although this series is setting its stall firmly into the rom-com category, I would like to think the series could potentially touch upon the various issues, as well as the human reasons a person may seek such services while remaining comedic at its core. Whether it will remains to be seen.
Rent-A-Girlfriend will stream exclusively on Crunchyroll from July 10th
There are far fewer anime airing next season than many have come to expect in recent years, although I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. With the increased strain it put on people working in the industry and how easy it was for strong series to be lost within the sea of new shows airing daily, this smaller, curated lineup of upcoming anime should allow for a far greater level of attention being afforded to each series.
It’s not like this reduced selection has hurt the number of impressive-looking series, either. You can find each of the series listed above streaming on their respective streaming services starting next month.