If you need some laughs this summer then you might want to check out Asobi Asobase—a bizarre, ignoble comedy. Asobi Asobase primarily features the members of the “Past Timers Club,” a club designed for the cynical purposes of its members. Stylistically similar to the cult classic Nichijou, that is, if the cast of the show could barely tolerate each other and was set to aggressive rock—this is their story.
A sports anime with a bit of a different twist, Hanebado! looks to separate itself from the pack by changing its focus slightly. While it is your typical high school sports club setting, the story really sets itself apart. The plot focuses on an already established badminton club whose captain, Nagisa Aragaki, upset, and unsettled after a recent defeat, has begun to take her perceived weakness out on her fellow club members. With a brand new school year starting, Ayano Hanesaki, a new student at school, is unwillingly dragged to see the badminton club. Here we have the confrontation that will move the plot forward, as it was Ayano who handed Nagisa the crushing defeat mentioned previously. A mix of dramatic tension and sports action Hanebado! hopes to capitalize on both its more grounded plotline and excellent animation. To be perfectly frank, what really sold me was this clip showing off the amazing quality of animation.
Free! Dive to the Future
More in line with the traditional side of sports anime, Free! is back on the scene with its third season. Dedicated readers of the site will know that I am a big fan of all things Kyoto Animation, especially their most recent work Violet Evergarden which recently announced a brand new feature film. Carrying on their momentum KyoAni look to once again win hearts and minds with the beautiful boys of the Iwatobi Swim Club. It’s Haruka, Makoto, and Rin’s third year, which brings the added weight of planning for a future outside of high school, along with all the usual competition and the rivalries therein. It’s hard not to expect another quality showing from one of Kyoto Animations’ most beloved franchises. Hopefully season three will live up to those expectations.