MTV81: Stay Inside and Stay Cool With These 5 Summer Anime Series

Sailor Scouts, Giant Robots, Ghouls, and More

By: David Kracker

Via MTV81

August is nearing and here in Japan it’s way too hot for too much fun in the sun. Good thing the summer anime lineup has arrived to keep us inside where it’s nice and cool.


Our favorites from last season, “Captain Earth” and “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders” are still going strong while the slow-burn hit from last spring, “Space Dandy,” is back after a three-month break. Add a slew of strong new shows and you have plenty of excuses never to leave your air-conditioned room again…

Terror in Resonance


Japan has seen some heinous acts of domestic terrorism in post-war history – but this one might top the list.


Director Shinichiro Watanabe (“Cowboy Bebop,” “Space Dandy”) and longtime collaborator, composer Yoko Kanno, kick things off with a bang. After posting a threatening video on the Internet, a pair of teenage geniuses bomb the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Japan’s equivalent of the World Trade Centers. The country is thrown into chaos but the destruction has just begun – turns out these kids also got their hands on some plutonium for a homemade nuke. Whatever it is they have in mind, their actions will resonate throughout Japan for generations.


Streaming with English subtitles via Funimation.


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Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal


Eighth-grader Usagi Tsukino is a klutz, a crybaby and a bit of an airhead, but when the sun goes down and the forces of evil come out she transforms into Sailor Moon, guardian of love and justice. She must awaken her fellow Guardians and protect the power of the Silver Crystal from the Dark Kingdom while piecing together the pieces of her previous life in the Moon Kingdom.


This modern remake promises to be closer in tone to the original manga than the 1990s anime. Between the melodramatic storyline, gorgeous watercolor backgrounds and theme song from idol unit and weekend warriors Momoiro Clover Z, there’s something for fans old and new alike.


Streaming with English subtitles via Crunchyroll and Hulu.


Streaming with subtitles in 12 languages via Nico Nico Douga. (


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Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories (Season 2)


Gather ’round, gather ’round. It’s story time. But you won’t find a happy ending here, oh no. Sit down and prepare yourself to be scared silly by urban legends, ghost stories and tales of domestic terror from contemporary Japan.


The paper cut-out style of the show pays homage to kami-shibai, an old form of performance art where an artistwould cycle from town to town and present stories with illustrated boards. “Yamishibai” carries on the tradition with a dark twist. Look for episodes from horror directors Takashi Shimizu (“The Grudge”) and Noboru Iguchi (“The Machine Girl”, “RoboGeisha”). Until then, try to enjoy the daylight.


Streaming with English subtitles via Crunchyroll.


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Mars attacks! Except the invaders are humans raised on a space colony. In the alternate history of “Aldnoah.Zero,” the Apollo mission discovers a warp gate on the surface of the moon that leads to Mars and technology beyond your wildest dreams. Decades later a war breaks out between Earth and Mars. During the fight the warp gate – along with most of the moon – is destroyed and the two sides decide upon a cease fire.


Flash forward to the present: The uneasy peace is shattered when terrorists launch a missile attack on the princess of Mars visiting Earth on a diplomatic mission. Even with an army of mecha on standby the earthlings can only watch hopelessly as their cities are bombed one after another, though given the bloody track record of show creator Gen Urobuchi (“Puella Magi Madoka Magica,” “Psycho-Pass”), the tragedy has only just begun.


Streaming with English subtitles via Crunchyroll.


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Tokyo Ghoul


Humans are no longer on top of the food chain. That primo position belongs to the Ghouls, highly intelligent humanoids that live among us undetected until it’s time to feed – and you’re on the menu!


Our protagonist, college freshman Ken Kaneki, survives a Ghoul attack only to find himself turning into one. As Ken struggles to hold onto his humanity, he is drawn into the secret underground Ghoul society where he learns their how to think like one, how to act like one and, to his horror, how to eat like one.


Academy Award nominee Shuhei Morita (“Short Piece,” Valvrave the Liberator”) delivers a dark hero rarely seen in anime. “Tokyo Ghoul” is one of the most exciting titles to hit TV in a while – assuming you have the stomach for it.


Streaming with English subtitles via Funimation.


Official homepage:


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