The summer 2022 anime season can be hit or miss for anime fans for a reason: it’s full of sequels. Since the long-awaited return of The devil is part time to new tranches of Suzerain and Made in the Abyss, there’s a sequel on many anime fans’ watchlists this summer. For those who want something new, there are shows like call of the night and Recoil of Lycoris introducing something different.
Despite a few new series, the summer anime season can feel a little dry – luckily, there are plenty of niche anime that have been overlooked after spring has been dominated by Spy x Family. In fact, there are a few that aired last year that flew under the radar, and there’s no better time to see what hidden gems they have. Here are four anime that could make this summer season more satisfying for a viewer looking for a sleeper hit.
Daylight saving time rendering
When he returns to his hometown after the death of a childhood friend, Ajiro Shinpei finds himself stuck in a time loop. Unable to move forward in time until he makes the proper changes, Shinpei uncovers new secrets about this city with each reset. Each episode adds a new piece to this supernatural puzzle, but audiences still have many questions. In the Youtuber Gigguk anime lyrics“It’s a bit like a mix between Higurashi and Re: zero“, and he’s right. He blends the best of both series into his own unique story that’s worth checking out.
Unfortunately, access from August 2022 is still difficult. Likely to compete with Crunchyroll and Netflix, Disney+ has claimed the rights to Summer Time Rendering. However, they did the same thing Netflix tried to break away from: releasing the series in its entirety after it aired in Japan. It’s available to stream on Disney+ in Japan and a few other select countries, but it’s unclear when it will be available in countries like the United States. Therefore, the only ways to watch it right now are with a VPN or through less legal means.
Without an easy and legal way to watch a series, no matter how good it is. In a fandom as fast-paced as anime, shows have a very small window to make their mark. If that chance is missed, the series is often doomed to obscurity forever. Luckily for all potential new fans, Daylight saving time rendering is still ongoing, so there’s still time to watch it while it’s current if it can be accessed.
Birdie Wing: A Golfer’s Story
Coming out in a season filled with five other sports anime, Bird wing had the less interesting sport as a goal. Golf is considered fun to play but tedious to watch, so it had stiff competition against Ao Achi and Dance Dance Dancer. However, anime has an uncanny ability to make just about any subject matter interesting if done right.
Bird wing does this with golf as early as Episode 1. Protagonist Eve makes money from golf, but not in the usual way of winning major tournaments. She could be hired to pose as an injured professional in the morning and privately compete against a rich big wig that night. She doesn’t view it as a competitive sport, but more like a typical 9 to 5. Yet she downplays this, saying she just hits a ball with a stick and makes money. Until she found a real challenge playing golf with Princess Amawashi Aoi.
From this typical sports anime beginning, a wild adventure unfolds. She tries to balance a double life of her underground job and trying to meet Aoi in a professional match, only to find herself the target of the Golf Mafia. Every sports anime exaggerates reality to make the story more interesting, but Bird wing makes golf feel like it was made to be an anime.
Rust Eater Bisco
Rust Eater Bisco is perfect for fans who love shows that think outside the box and get a little wild. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where Japan is a desert with few habitable areas, people are ravaged by rust. This disease slowly invades a person’s body, turning living flesh to rust until it kills its victims. Nekoyanagi Milo is a local doctor searching for a cure, until wanted man Akaboshi Bisco crashes into his life.
Because he and his mushrooms are supposed to cause rust, Bisco has a huge bounty on his head. He tells Milo he knows a cure, and the two team up to traverse the desolate landscape in search of the rust-eating fungus. Along the way, they retrieve a wandering merchant, learn to co-pilot their sand crab, fight the government, and risk their lives for those they love. It really is a roller coaster to watch.
On time, Rust Eater Bisco reminiscent of classics like Trigun and cowboy bebop, where the protagonists wander into a new place and help the people who live there before moving on. Other times, it leans into its absurd world-building and significantly subverts audience expectations. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but the experience of watching it is simply unique.
It seems Kageki Shojo is another series that was popular in Japan, but failed to make a splash among the international anime community. This series is popular enough to warrant creating a nendoroid of the main character, but few anime fans have talked about it. It’s perfect for shojo fans, with the potential to become a modern classic. With an anime like this being in such demand, it’s hard to believe it’s fallen under the radar.
After giving up on her idol career, Narata Ai sets her sights on the all-girls Kouka School of Musical and Drama Arts to spend the next chapter of her life away from men. There she meets Watanabe Sarasa, a naive and cheerful girl whose goal is to play her favorite character on stage. The girls start out as complete opposites, with Ai’s cynical nature keeping a firm wall between them. Over time, however, they and the other girls in their class all become a tight-knit group fighting for the same thing: the chance to be a Kouka star.
Inspired by Japanese female theater group Takarazuka Review, Kageki Shojo shares a world as ancient and unique as kabuki with its audience. This art form has its own culture, which is shown in every episode. All the while, he addresses issues that are sadly common among teenage girls. The cast experiences identity issues, sexual assault, eating disorders, and more as the story progresses. So, it can be upsetting for those who have similar experiences.