Ignoring all of the controversy surrounding allegations of tracing amongst its artistic staff, this spin-off of the Muv-Luv Alternative light novel and manga series, Total Eclipse, is arguably one of the more high profile titles of the summer. Animated by Satelight, this mecha series takes place in the same universe as the mainline Muv-Luv Alternative story, introducing more pilots, engineers and robots in the midst of a test site where the world's brightest minds gather to develop said mecha.
Should I watch it? If you're hungry for mecha then I'm sure there will be plenty of the here - the same goes for girls wearing skin-tight outfits. Whether there will be much to enjoy beyond that remains to be seen, but it could make for a decent series if it doesn't forget its action possibilities too much.
The summer's other offering in the Fuji Television noitaminA programming block is Natsuyuki Rendezvous, an adaptation of a josei manga series being handled by Dogakobo. The story revolves around Hazuki, a young man who works in a flower shop and finds himself falling for the shop's owner, Rakka - rather a problem given that Rakka's heart seems to be trapped elsewhere.
Should I watch it? This is almost a return to its roots for noitaminA consider its early successes with adaptations of josei manga such as Honey and Clover. That also means that Natsuyuki Rendezvous has a lot to live up to, but this is the kind of series doesn't get made often enough in modern times so it'll make for a refreshing change for the summer season if nothing else.
Oda Nobuna no Yabou
I recently opined to a friend that perhaps Japanese content creators are constantly reimagining Oda Nobunaga as a cute girl in the hope of keeping said historical figure spinning in his grave fast enough to serve all of the country's power needs. This summer season doesn't look set to disprove this possibility, with Oda Nobuna's Ambition (to give it an English title) translated from light novel to small screen by Studio Gokumi and (of all people) Madhouse.
Predictably, this is another "high school boy transported back to the Warring States period" tale, at which point our protagonist meets various well-known warlords of the time only to find that they're all cute girls.
Should I watch it? I know Sengoku Collection ended up being somewhat decent, but this is a concept that's been done to death by now and I'm really not sure we should encourage anime producers to make any more shows along these lines. Unless my theory about using Nobunaga's spinning grave as a power source is correct of course, in which case - watch it to keep Japan at full power!
Rinne no Lagrange - Season 2
One second season we'll definitely be seeing in the UK is Rinne no Lagrange - or Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne in English - which is coming our way via Anime on Demand. This follow-up season continues the story of Madoka Kyouno, the energetic girl turned mecha pilot who will be rekindling her friendship with two alien girls as the series enters its second half no doubt.
Should I watch it? The first season of Rinne no Lagrange was a whole lot of fun to watch, so hopefully this second season will prove likewise, even if it does look set to have a more serious tone as it gets into the meat of its story. If nothing else, it means that we can look forward to more Megumi Nakajima for the show's opening and ending themes.