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AniTAY’s Summer 2022 Sequel Guide To Make You Cry

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2022 has, thus far, been the Year of Sequels, indicated by the number “2” appearing three times in it and also the avalanche of anime continuations each season. Summer continues that trend, with some expected and anticipated continuations, some returns of old favorites, and of course, some that make you ask “What? Why?”. With perpetual lateness, here are some of our most (and least) hyped sequel seasons this summer.

Classroom of the Elite Season 2

Presented by: Marquan

Genre(s): Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Drama

Studio: Lerche

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Spoiler-free Synopsis: We have Advanced Nurturing High School, a utopian high school designed to mold its students into the best society has to offer. With a 100% job and college placement rate, to graduate from this school guarantees you’re set up for a life that most only ever dream of coming from other schools. At least, that’s the case for those who graduate from Class A. And Ayanokoji is part of Class D, the lowest tiered class at the school. Witness his journey to rise to the ranks of Class A.

Why You Should Catch Up: High school shows are a dime a dozen in anime, as are light novel adaptations. Honestly, Classroom of the Elite should just be another drop in the ocean. But, like Yuichi from Spring’s Tomodachi Game, this show features a great lead. There’s something enticing about a dead-eyed, genius sociopath as a main character, and Ayanokoji does his best running everything from the shadows. Think Light from Death Note.

The show features an ensemble cast, and I’d even go as far as saying the school itself is a character. A looming, enigmatic, and, as of yet, indecipherable character, but one nonetheless. The evaluation system, the way points work, even the special exams the students are forced to endure (which make my head hurt just thinking about), and even information regarding the school and the way it functions are kept on a need-to-know basis. Most of the time, it’s like most of the students don’t need to know, but that’s what makes learning things about the school so worthwhile! Sporting a strong sense of intrigue, mystery, and drama, COTE is definitely going to be one of the better offerings of Summer 2022. Mark my words.

Time To Catch Up + What You Need To Watch

Classroom of the Elite S1: 12 episodes, approx. 4 hours

Where to Catch Up: Crunchyroll has all of season 1 available to stream.

The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, Season 2

Presented by: Umrguy42

Studio: Studio 3Hz

Genre(s): (Reverse) Isekai, Fantasy, Comedy

Why You Should Catch Up: The Devil Is a Part-Timer! tells the story of the Demon Lord Satan and his right-hand Demon General, Alciel. Having conquered most of the islands of Ente Isla, they suffer a sudden and catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Hero Emilia. The two barely escape by summoning a portal to modern-day Tokyo. The trip leaves the two demons human in appearance and without most of their magical powers. Taking on the names “Sadao Maou” and “Shirou Ashiya,” the former Demon Lord plans to someday return to Ente Isla and re-conquer it… after conquering the world of food service (and perhaps more) through his part-time job working at McDonald’s MgRonald’s. Along the way, he once again encounters the Hero Emilia, now stuck in Tokyo as well after following the demons through the portal, and working in a call center as “Emi Yusa.” Despite a mutual distrust of each other, the Demon Lord and the Hero wind up working together on multiple occasions as both they and their human friends end up entangled in the messy business of Ente Isla politics, as additional visitors from the other world keep coming to Tokyo to put a stop to one or both of them…

All the way back in 2013, the first season of The Devil Is a Part-Timer! aired, roughly two years after the release of the original light novel. Now, nine years later, it’s perhaps appropriate that we’re finally getting a second season almost two years after the final volume of the light novel was released in Japan. Having adapted the first two-and-a-bit of the light novels, this series has often been a response in Reddit threads to the perennial question of “what anime series would you like to see a sequel to”, and for good reason.

The story, and the first season of the anime adapted from it, provides an early, prominent combination of multiple categories including several that have seen a more recent surge in prominence: reverse isekai, workplace comedy, workplace comedy involving / revolving around characters and groups you wouldn’t typically expect to see, demon lord protagonists, and demon lords who turn out to be something more than just Chaotic Evil. While not as exaggeratedly comedic as often as last year’s The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!, it still has plenty of humor. It has quite a few action sequences, with various smaller ones throughout, and the few larger battles well-spaced through the season. Even given a common theme of “the demon lord’s household is chronically short of money”, the series manages to avoid repeating the same jokes over and over. Indeed, the series zips along at a good pace.

Based on the trailers for season 2, without giving away too much, the show should begin moving into a story arc that introduces a new character that will force The Demon Lord and The Hero to have to work together even more than in the first season. In addition, this story arc in the light novels begins exposing a deeper mystery connecting both Maou and Emilia from before their times as the Demon Lord and Hero , and which will tie into the deeper intrigues back in Ente Isla that will look to continue to either ensnare the protagonists further or remove them from the picture instead. Other scenes shown or hinted at in the trailers indicate that this season will also likely further explore Maou’s motivations and actions as the Demon Lord prior to becoming stuck on Earth.

While some of the themes I mentioned above may sound like (and indeed have been) something seen quite a bit in more recent series (e.g., the afore-mentioned Great Jahy), if you haven’t already seen the first season, I highly recommend still giving this one a chance. If you’re interested in a story that gradually moves well beyond its initial “back of the box” premise, you could certainly do worse than The Devil Is a Part-Timer! On top of everything else, it not only has a great Japanese voice cast (including at least two of my personal favorites, Yoko Hikasa and Nao Toyama), but it also has a good English dub cast, making the story that much more accessible.

Time to Catch Up + What You Need to Watch:

The Devil Is a Part-Timer! season 1 (13 episodes, 5 hours)

Where to Catch Up:

Crunchyroll (sub and English dub) streaming (also Funimation while it remains), Blu-ray/DVD

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV

Presented by: Stínolez

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Studio: J.C. Staff

Where to Watch: HIDIVE

Spoiler-free Synopsis: Everyone is coming to Orario for different reasons. Some are looking for fame and fortune from adventuring to the sprawling Dungeon below the city, others are trying to expand their business ventures in the city in the middle of the world with materials to be found only there. Bell came for neither — before parting with his grandpa, he was listening to his stories of heroes of the past and how they always rescued damsels in distress. Filled with these ideals, he’s looking for his own adventure just to be rescued by a girl from a certain death. This is where his journey begins.

Why You Should Catch Up: With abundance of generic fantasy isekais each season, seeing purely fantasy anime, especially of an outstanding quality, is a rare sight. Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is a prime example of that rare sight. It utilizes a wide range of distinct and interesting characters, each with their own history and desires for the future, well-fleshed world, and D&D-like rules that can be bent but not broken. The leading character, Bell, goes through significant character development over the course of the past three seasons, while, at the same time, leaving his naivete, fascination and desire to be like the heroes of the past intact. While each story arc isn’t a novelistic masterpiece and most of the time you can predict the outcome, there is still room for unexpected turns of events. But what’s more important is how the stories are interconnected which breathe life to the world.

If you exhibit any interest in fantasy anime, give this series a chance. Before long you might be captivated the same way I was, where from the lighthearted comedy of season one, you are now watching a nerve-wracking fight of season three where pride goes out of the window for what is right.

Recommended by: Stínolez

Time To Catch Up + What You Need To Watch

Required:

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (13 episodes; approx. 5 hours; Crunchyroll, HIDIVE, Hulu, Netflix, VRV)

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II (12 episodes; approx. 5 hours; Crunchyroll, HIDIVE, Hulu, Netflix, VRV)

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III (12 episodes; approx. 5 hours; Crunchyroll, HIDIVE, Hulu, Netflix, VRV)

Optional:

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Is It Wrong to Expect a Hot Spring in a Dungeon? (1 OVA; 25 mins; HIDIVE)

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion (1 movie; 1 hour 22 mins; HIDIVE, Netflix)

Sword Oratoria: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side (12 episodes; approx. 5 hours; Amazon, HIDIVE, Netflix)

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II: Is It Wrong to Go Searching for Herbs on a Deserted Island? (1 OVA; 26 mins; HIDIVE)

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III: Is It Wrong to Try to Find a Hot Spring in Orario? -Bath God Forever- (1 OVA; 28 mins; HIDIVE)

Love Live! Superstar!! 2nd Season

Presented by: TheMamaLuigi

Studio: Sunrise

Genre(s): Idol, Comedy, Slice-of-Life

Why You Should Catch Up: What do you get when you take the tried-and-true Love Live! formula — a group of misfit girls band together, create a school idol group, and quickly rock the world with their charm and jams — and completely refresh that formula? Well, with Love Live! Superstar!!, you get what might just be the best Love Live! series so far.

Superstar!! shines in two particular ways: a reduced cast size and a greater focus on comedy. Regarding the former, every other Love Live! series has revolved around a cast of nine distinct and, for the most part, interesting girls. Both School Idol Project and Sunshine!! effectively developed their casts through a combination of individually focused episodes and cast-driven moments that endear viewers to each of their core nine while fleshing out their characters. Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, the series running concurrent to Superstar!!, largely fails in how it offers only cursory glances at each of its core cast members and instead balloons that group to absurd amounts in the second season, shooting itself in the foot by butchering what makes Love Live! so special: the characters.

Superstar!! solves this issue by reducing its cast size to five core members. Kanon, Keke, Sumire, Chisato, and Ren are all well-developed, unique, and engaging characters who develop both as characters we know and people who grow throughout the first season’s twelve episodes. They develop a genuine sense of friendship and camaraderie that arises through their performances and their time off the stage. It’s the latter of these two that takes center stage in Superstar!: the show smartly shifts focus to the slice-of-life elements of the franchise, deploying its more overt idol elements only when it makes sense for character growth or emotional payoffs. By doing so, Superstar! lets its five school idols develop as people first and idols second. The show crafts its own identity by breaking the conventions of its genre, much like the seminal The Idolm@ster did over a decade ago.

Superstar! furthers this shift by placing a greater emphasis on comedy. It’s a genuinely hilarious show, one I would easily recommend to anyone looking for something lighthearted and funny. An episode midway through the first season where the girls spend the entire runtime trying to decide on a name for their idol group is a particular highlight. Really, anything to do with Keke is an instant highlight. Superstar! leans into the inherent ridiculousness of trying to start a genuine, successful idol group in a high school and does so without devolving into satire, self-parody, or cynicism. It’s still heartwarming and it’s still wholesome — it’s just willing to laugh at itself while it does so.

All this praise being said, the key art for the second season does give me pause: four new girls are featured prominently, bringing the cast back up to the standard nine. What made the first season so special was its smaller cast and the space that gave the characters to develop and grow; adding in more characters runs the risk of spreading the writing too thin, as it did with Nijigasaki’s second season. However, I am holding out hope that Sunrise can pull itself together to deliver something funny, uplifting, and refreshing, much like the first season.

Regardless, give Love Live! Superstar!!’s first season a watch, even if you don’t like idol anime. I promise you’ll find something to love. Galaxy!

Time to Catch Up + What You Need to Watch:

Love Live! Superstar!! 2nd Season — 12 episodes (approx. 4.8 hours)

Where to Catch Up: Crunchyroll

Made in Abyss Season 2: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

Presented by: Doctorkev

Studio: Kinema Citrus

Genre(s): Fantasy, Adventure, Horror, Glutinous Moist Orifices

Why You Should Catch Up: Along with Girls’ Last Tour, Made in Abyss season one was for me the undisputed pinnacle of 2017’s anime. Unfortunately, both shows were tied to the ill-considered Amazon Prime/Anime Strike double-paywall service that everyone hated and no-one watched. However, now that both shows now stream on HIDIVE, they are easier (and cheaper) to access.

Despite appearances, Made in Abyss is most definitely not a children’s show. Those cute and squishy, adorably rounded character designs will be weaponised later to wring every last shred of empathy, every last bitter tear from your shuddering body. What starts as an intriguing but jolly adventure into the unknown soon becomes a descent into darkness and terror.

The remote island town of Orth surrounds a massive chasm that plunges deep into the Earth, its economy dependent upon the explorations of “Cave Raiders”, who retrieve rare, valuable artifacts of a long-extinct civilisation from deep within the Abyss. 12-year-old Riko is the orphaned child of famous cave raider “Lyza the Annihilator’’, presumed dead somewhere in the depths below. When Riko receives a letter apparently from her mother stating that she is waiting for her at the uncharted bottom of the Abyss, Riko and her amnesiac robot friend/artificial human Reg descend on a dangerous quest into the unknown.

Made in Abyss balances cuteness and intense horror, humour and desperate drama, while gracing the viewer with spectacular Ghibli-quality animation and production design, plus an incredibly evocative soundtrack. This is the kind of show that anime was made for, no other medium evokes quite the same mixed feelings of magical wonder and visceral revulsion. The Abyss itself is a place of both blessings and curses, a realm where the slightest mistake can lead to tragedy, and the human residents are more disturbing than the monsters.

Season one ended on a satisfying note, with promise of further adventures to come, that was ably continued by subsequent movie Dawn of the Deep Soul. It’s absolutely essential to watch before embarking upon the second season, it’s integral to the ongoing plot. Based on a ten-volume (so far) manga, season one covers the first three, while the movie brings us up to the end of the fifth. Volumes six to ten are one long (very graphic, very unsettling) story, so we can expect that to be covered in its entirety this upcoming season. Come prepared with tissues. (For the inevitable tears, and… other bodily fluids.)

Time to Catch Up + What You Need to Watch:

Required:

Made in Abyss Season 1: 13 episodes (including double-length finale): ~5.5 hours

Made in Abyss movie 3: Dawn of the Deep Soul: 105 minutes

Optional (movies that recap season 1):

Made in Abyss movie 1: Journey’s Dawn: 119 minutes

Made in Abyss movie 2: Wandering Twilight: 108 minutes

Where to Catch Up: HIDIVE, Blu-Ray

Overlord Season 4

Presented by Alistair Hyde (In Favor) / Harvey Jeckyll (Against)

Studio: Madhouse

Genre(s): Power/Dark fantasy, supernatural, action, adventure

Themes: Seinen, videogame, isekai

Why You Should Catch Up: This is a story that knows how to set itself apart from other power fantasies by using various resources to enrich the plot, characters, and settings where it develops.

The worldbuilding is organic because the events donot occur through the actions of the protagonist but because there are other characters and powers at play constantly that make it feel alive. This quality exposes the history of the world outside the tomb of Nazarick.

It uses its survival of the fittest premise to establish that even a salaryman can change to become eventually a fit leader for his new companions in an unknown world. To do that, Demiurge and Albedo interpret the words and actions of Ainz as if they were teachings from Sun Tzu’s Art of War to accomplish their objectives. This is a welcome variation because Ainz only pretends to be a great leader to keep the status quo instead of abusing his role and taking whatever he wants just for the sake of plot progression. This implies variations between handling things, directly and indirectly, depending on what the specific scenario requires to let his might manifest as a victim in search of restitution, a savior that faces injustice, or an irresistible force of nature. It plays in a particularly effective way when Ainz creates the conditions to make any foe fall in despair after realizing resistance is futile. The process to do it feels natural because it implies that he needs to acknowledge and learn from his mistakes, keep his emotions in check, communicate, transfer his knowledge and organize his peers, and think carefully about every situation before actually doing anything. This type of development is what keeps things interesting around the idea of conquering the world to contact other Yggdrasil players.

It provides comedic moments through the room of growth that it sets in the interactions Ainz has with the members of Nazarick because he is learning as things develop. He learns what each of them is capable of, and gets to know them better so he can assess how they think, how he can communicate better and how they can fulfill their duties better.

In addition, every member of Nazarick has a mind of their own and a moment to shine in the spotlight. Their designs, weapons, and personality traits have enough characteristics to let you differentiate them from each other, the protagonist, and the rest of the cast. A great example of this plays out when Sebas carries on his mission for Ainz, using his judgment to face the Eight Fingers and rescue Tsuareninya Veyron.

Furthermore, the alliances created with powerful beings from the world play a key role in making things go as planned to prevent potential issues to arise eventually only after their practical value is established. To give substance to those alliances, the author executes brilliantly the idea of deviating focus from the protagonist to said beings to let them develop their motivations and personalities. The adult mutant lizard people arc is an excellent example of this while also creating a dilemma for the viewer between hoping to see the lovable lizard tribes win or letting Cocytus prove to Ainz that he can create a plan to defeat them. This is an exquisite way of building tension and picking up interest for a battle with a predictable outcome. Another example is the pacts made with Fluder Paradyne and the Baharuth Empire to fight back against the Re-Estize Kingdom, take over E-Rantel and defend Carne Village, which also illustrates the Machiavellian paradox principle about the effectiveness of ruling through love or fear depending on the context provided by strategic thinking over brute force.

The appeal in Season 4 remains alive and well, as the creation of a new kingdom will imply facing new challenges and taking higher risks by taking a deeper look into this world, the only thing left is to enjoy the ride despite the final destination.

Why You Should Not Catch Up: The anime simplifies the story of the light novels, affecting the quality of suspense and mystery of the narrative by exposing the events in a chronological order. In contrast, the light novel enhances them by not revealing when some events take place, purposefully obscuring the chronology to let the reader figure out how they actually happened. This becomes evident when you notice how much additional content appears in the light novel that is not in the anime in favor of making everything fit into a thirteen-episode format. As an example, we have the power struggle inside the Re-Estize Kingdom that left Gazef Stronoff without his armor to defend properly Carne Village during the attack by the Slane Theocracy to make their strongest soldier look as incompetent. This event also played involuntarily in favor of the Slane Theocracy agenda to unite all humans as a species under a single kingdom to fight against all non-human creatures. The reason behind it is that to do sothe Sunlight Scripture needed to take out Gazef Stronoff and they would only be able to do it as long as he did not use the treasures of Re-Estize.

The same aspect affects the development of the characters because we cannot get a detailed glimpse of their motives and actions, like the reason why the outskirts of Nazarick’s new location were so amusing to Ainz considering his technologically advanced world he lived in was like a wasteland instead of a natural landscape with grass and mountains. Another example was the thought process behind Enri’s plan to defend her sister during the Carne Village attack if she needed to fight the soldier that was about to kill them both before Ainz interfered. This phenomenon also reduces the effectiveness of the nihilistic tone behind when Ainz takes action to make his opponents realize all their efforts are futile. It happens because we are not fully aware of how things transpire, making it feel like he executes a successful plan just because the progression of the plot demands it and not because of his own merit.

Furthermore, during Season 3, the anime took some creative freedoms by changing the order of events by beginning in volume 8 instead of 7 like the manga did. Volume 8 works as a prequel of events that took place between the adult mutant lizard people arc of volume 4 and volume 5; therefore, the anime broke the chronological order that distinguishes it from the manga and the light novel. This translated into leaving out many mysterious and comedic moments and creating a plot hole in the process by misplacing the gathering where Ainz becomes aware that the members of Nazarick are trying to take over the world. The light novel only portrays Lupus Regina’s misunderstanding of her task in Carne Village because of a lapse in judgment from Ainz after failing to know better the personality traits of her as a leader. However, the anime also makes her look childish and selfish by not listening to Demiurge and letting her sadism take over against the best interest of Nazarick; although, at that point the inhabitants of Carne Village are loyal servants with an important mission for their plans. The original intent was to let the viewer perceive things through the eyes of Enri and Ainz, but the anime made it seem as if Ainz abandoned the people in Carne Village when Nazarick was the one behind the confrontation with the Giant of the East. The different contrasts in the anime are interesting and valuable, but not as effective as their conception in the light novel.

This establishes Overlord not as an isekai about a villain but as a dark comedy with a farce criticizing heroic and villainous tropes while selecting carefully what to reveal or conceal providing true shock value. Therefore, if this tendency continues in Season 4, leave the anime and pick up the manga or the light novel.

Time To Catch Up + What You Need to Watch:

Essential:

TV series: 19.5 hours

  • Overlord Season 1: 13 episodes covering volumes 1–3 of the light novel.
  • Overlord Season 2: 13 episodes covering volumes 4–6 of the light novel.
  • Overlord Season 3: 13 episodes covering volumes 7–9 of the light novel.

Optional source material, but highly recommended:

Manga: 70 chapters

Light Novel: 16 volumes

Where to Catch Up:

Shadows House Season 2

Presented By: Requiem

Studio: CloverWorks

Genre(s): Drama, Mystery, Victorian Fashion

Why You Should Be Watching: We watch an awful lot of anime here at AniTAY, and frankly a lot of it is pretty similar. Most of us could very happily go the rest of our lives without watching another idol show where the girls try real hard for their dreams, or another isekai where the protagonist is overpowered and forms a harem of girls whose affections he’s oblivious to. So when a show really stands out from the crowd, it’s time to take notice — Shadows House, dear readers, stands out like an elegantly dressed thumb.

For starters, it’s not set in Japan, nor in middle/high school. It’s not a battle shounen or isekai. Instead, it’s an atmospheric drama/comedy with puzzle box mystery elements. It’s not a horror show, per se, but it can give off quite creepy vibes as our characters navigate their lives in a giant, creepy Victorian mansion often at least semi-cloaked in darkness.

The mystery elements are fun, but if that’s all the show had going for it, it would fade and become less engaging as the puzzles were solved. Thankfully, the real core of the show is the relationships between the core characters: the titular Shadows and their “faces”. The exact nature of this relationship in the overall scheme of how the House works goes into heavy spoiler territory, but suffice to say it’s a strong hook, and watching how each pair, Shadow and Face, handle the various situations is the real joy of the show. Most outstanding among them is the main pair, Emilico and Kate, who are the emotional bedrock of the cast. Emilico especially is radiant to watch, the kind of “happy, optimistic” main character who manages to be inspiring instead of annoying. Season 1 also had just real bangers for OP and ED; one imagines S2 will keep up that standard.

It’s pretty, it’s intriguing, it’s got top notch voice work and a great cast of interesting characters. Definitely make sure you hop on this train. (Don’t drink any tea they offer you, though. Trust me.)

What You Need To Watch+ Time to Catch Up:

Shadows House S1: 13 episodes, 6.5 hours

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Interested in checking out some brand new anime but not looking to start something with multiple seasons already? Take a look at our recommendation list from the previous anime season for a quick look at the hottest premieres of the spring!

You’re reading AniTAY, a reader-run blog whose writers love everything anime related. To join in on the fun, check out our website, visit our official subreddit, follow us on Twitter, or give us a like on our Facebook page.

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