Senki Zessho Symphogear: Weird creates called "Noise" attack humanity, simply absorbing everyone they touch. During a concert of two idols, the Noise attack, and they use some sort of song weapons against the Noise -- one of them dies while defending Hibiki, who barely survives. Two years later, Hibiki gets caught up in another Noise attack, and the remaining idol steps in to save her once again -- though Hibiki turns out to be not as defenseless as everyone thought...
The premise is kinda stupid, and it didn't hold my interest. It tries to be a sort-of grown-up magical girl series, but it's all a bit too one-dimensional for me.
Ano Natsu de Matteru: Kaito is a bit of a nerd, always dragging his father's old film camera around. Then one night, he sees an UFO and gets caught up in an explosion -- only to wake up in the morning not remembering. During the break, it is decided (by his friends) that Kaito will be making a movie during the summer vacation, and they invite Ichika, a pretty recent transfer student to join them in the project. (This all spurred on by one of Kaito's friends, because he himself is too shy for stuff like that). And due to various unfortunate circumstances, Ichika moves in with Kaito, much to the dismay of Mio, who has had a crush on Kaito for a long time!
OK, so the setup is typical of a harem anime, and it could degenerate in something like that. But the first episode was pretty toned down (Kaito is absolutely not a horn-dog) and there is the promise of a Great Adventure over the summer break, with the alien angle to boot. Should be fun, if slightly ecchi.
Mouretsu Pirates: 200 years ago, when a planet fought for independence, they issued letters of marque to enterprising spaceship captains. Those letters are still valid, but each ship needs a captain. When the captain of the Bentenmaru dies, his daughter Marika is in line to become the next captain -- even though she doesn't know anything about her father or pirates! But when the crew of the ship seeks her out, she immediately gets caught up in a lot of action!
It looks quite nice, and the build-up is nice and slow as well -- unlike every mecha show that just dumps the hero in the mecha and 'suddenly' he knows what to do. Instead, Marika is clearly out of her depth, but she has some pirates looking out for her. Should be interesting!
Natsume Yujincho Shi: Fourth series about Natsume. Again, the focus is slowly shifting away from the Book of Friends and more towards Natsume's place in both the spirit and human worlds. The series kicks off with a very nice episode where Natsume and Nyanko-sensei get caught up in the nefarious plans of a spirit hunting clan.
Of course, for us this is a must-see!
Nisemonogatari: Straight follow-up to Bakemonogatari. We got tired of the snappy dialogue and the bizarre starting situation real quick -- we didn't even last the whole episode.
Aquarion EVOL: Another 12.000 years have passed, and so it's time for Aquarion to rise again! (Though it's kinda weird to see how things like city planning and technology have not advanced that much...) This time, it's the Abductors who come to Earth to... abduct humans! (Perhaps for replacement organs, like in old BBC sci-fi series!) The Aquarian mecha are still present, but there is a strict prohibition against joining a mech piloted by a girl with a mech piloted by a boy. But when an Abductor attack strikes, both squads are sent out. And two teenagers, out on a date, get caught in the action. Of course the boy ends up in the pilot seat of a third mech, and his powers as Apollo become apparent!
It's all pretty standard, but it looks nice. And I'm willing to give it a try because I enjoyed the previous Aquarion series.
Thermae Romae: Set in ancient Rome. Lucius gets sacked as a bathhouse architect, but somehow he gets sucked into a time vortex and ends up in a modern Japanese bathhouse! With that as his inspiration, Lucius manages to 'innovate' his bathhouses!
We actually checked out two episodes of this. It's crazy in a very amusing kind of way. There's not much animation to speak of (it all looks like a flash animation with barely-animated cutouts moving across a static background), but we liked it anyway.
Brave 10: Set in the Sengoku era. Nami's shrine is sacked by Tokugawa, and she is the sole survivor. She manages to find protection with Saizou, a master-less, travelling (and hungry!) ninja. He takes her to Sanada Yukimura, who uses them as bait to find out more about the attack on the shrine. Then it is revealed that Sanada is building up a group of ten ninja who could change history, to fight against Tokugawa!
And so it's a total reverse harem anime, built around Nami. And of course the two ninja that we meet in the first episode don't like each other at all. And while it was fun to watch the first episode, we simply don't care enough to watch more of it.