The spring season is well underway, and all the new anime have finally premiered (that I know of…)! Below is a list of the anime I’m watching this season and my first impressions of each. This anime season has some great pinch hitters, and some- not so great additions to the anime universe.
All the below mentioned anime are available for streaming on Crunchyroll, Amazon, or Funimation, so you can get started today if anything piqued your interest by clicking the hyperlinks on the show titles.
Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor takes place in an alternate reality where magic is a studied topic by the best and brightest at the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy. Glenn Radars, a person who claims to detest magic after wishing to be a great magician of justice as a child, was appointed as a substitute instructor at this school much to his class’s chagrin. His lessons, or lack thereof, are what push the plot along.
At the end of the day, based on the first couple episodes, Bastard Magic is going to take the path of a disenfranchised man learning the error of his ways and learning to love magic again. It seems like Glenn was a great magician before, but ran into some trouble that made him hate magic- the very thing he loved dearly since he was a kid. The students will also learn a bit themselves since Glenn is very much an expert in the field; however, from what I can see, Glenn’s character change is the true focus of the story.
There isn’t anything special about the execution of the show in genial, but there is one item to get hung up on: the school uniforms. They are (politely) tacky. The girls have half shirts with what looks like a thong riding up their hips. I’m all for interesting, cute, an even risque school uniforms- but this is too much.
Of course, if you can get past the overly sexualized school uniforms, then this anime may make for a fun watch. Glenn is annoying, but seeing him shine with intelligence is almost worth the pain before.
Alice and Zoroku promises a very cute story with some very cute art, and as far as the first two episodes go- this show delivers. It’s about a young girl, Sana, who has amazing magical abilities that allow her to defy all laws of physics. She escaped from a research institute masquerading as a Pharmaceutical company and ends up meeting Zoroku, a florist. Zoroku decides to take in Sana after a battle with the Institute.
So far we have been presented with some wacky affairs; however, the show takes its time to slow down and explain the gravity of the situation at key moments. This helps endear characters and show far more emotion than a typical action comedy. There’s hints of sadness and death at every corner as well as happiness and hope. I hope we have a continued focus on Zoroku and Alice’s relationship because nothing is better than “grandpa” and “granddaughter” interactions.
What stands out to me the most about Alice and Zoroku is the art style. I’m in love with the simplicity of it all as it maintains uniqueness across all the characters shown. It’s very refreshing to see the plague of “same-face” being eroded.
I believe this should be a top anime to watch this season. It’s adorable, well drawn & animated, and has a lot of heart behind it’s plot.
The first season of Attack on Titan premiered in April of 2013. It begins about 2,000 years from now in an alternate universe where mindless man-eating giants (Titans) have pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. A series of walls were built to preserve what is left of the human population, and various military structures were created to help battle the impending threat.
However, after almost a century of peace, a colossal aberrant titan appears out of nowhere and breaches the first wall. Smaller titans flood the area, and the protagonist Eren vows to kill every titan in existence as revenge for all mankind. Over the season, we see Eren and his friends train to fight titans as the crippling loss and inevitable extinction of humanity looms over the entire cast.
Season two of Attack on Titan picks up right where we left off in season one after Eren and Annie’s titan exposures. It’s been four years since the initial release of the show, and about three since season one’s official end.
This first episode of season two keeps up the pacing that we left behind three year ago, and retains that signature coloring and design we all fell in love with. Furthermore, the story doesn’t seem distracted by the long break which hopefully tells us that the staff really cares about the continuity of this series. I’m happy to this kick off on a great note, and I am looking forward to what the rest of the season brings to the table.
I am working on AOT S2 as a part of my Thoughts & Feelings Column this season, and I have a full episode one review here.
The Private Aichi Symbiosis Academy was originally a prestigious all-girls school, but when the administrators decided to make the school coed disaster struck. The boys who began to attend this academy were seedy and would bully, stalk, and harass the girls in attendance. Due to the girls’ concern for their own safety, the teachers allowed them to carry weapons to school to deal with the boys. After some time, Aichi Symbiosis began to be known as a male corrections school due to the ruthlessness of the female students. Today, all male students wear makeup and live in fear of the girls who run the school.
The aesthetic of AGM is the first reason I picked up the show. It’s got a fun sketchy feel to with with thick black lines and quick action. Perfect for an action anime. I do have the question the idea behind the show, though. While I do understand the social commentary of men not being able to control themselves, I do wonder who thought it was a good idea for the girls to bring deadly weapons to school- or why the teachers couldn’t implement more severe punishments for the… rapey male students.
From the start, we a shown some very main character-looking girls with swords and unique personalities. If this was the whole show, I wouldn’t have taken issue with the execution.
Our protagonist, Nomura Fudou, is a disgusting person who never ceases to cause a scene, make lewd comments, and peep panties. Since the women at the school are permitted to carry weapons- it should be easy to defend themselves against such a terrible person. However, since his strength is off the charts, they have trouble. I understand that kind, misunderstood protagonists can be tiring, but I don’t want to watch a show featuring a despicable person with no redeemable qualities as people around try to reign in his terribleness. I’m actually offended that the staff on this show believed this was a good protag choice. I’ve never been offended before…
The most interesting thing about AGM is the lack of teachers on the campus. I found myself constantly wondering where the teachers were and why they were okay with students cutting class to have an all out battle in the courtyard. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it gives me a reason to keep with the show for longer than one episode, but the lack of a redeemable protagonist may lead me to a drop if the story and art style doesn’t make up for it.
To understand what Boruto is, you first have to know who/what Naruto is. Now, I’m not going to explain one of the most popular “gateway” anime in recent years, but basically Boruto is Naruto’s son with Hinata. I personally never finished Naruto, but since Boruto looked pretty good I decided to pick it up.
Boruto takes place years after the great Shinobi wars where the world is slowly modernizing in a time of peace. This is the story of how the great seventh Hokage’s child becomes a ninja and saves the world just like his dad- or so the cold open would have us believe.
This whole show feels very similar to Naruto in every good way imaginable. I’m actually sad I didn’t keep up with Naruto because if ended up as good as this- then I really missed out. From what I can remember of the beginning of Naruto, Boruto has quickened the plot speed and become much more confident in itself. Of course, Boruto has years of background material, but it’s nice to not have the entire concept of Chakras and the like diagramed to me again. Brief reminders are just enough.
Boruto has already set up one, if not two, big bads. It’ll be interesting to see how we get there, and if Boruto himself can gain his classmate’s favor quicker than his dad ever could.
Apparently some of the people I follow on Twitter really, I mean really, hate Oriemo. I love it. I understand why some people hate it, but I can see past all the issues and loved Oriemo for it’s adorable nature. And, since I loved Oriemo– I knew I had to jump on Eromanga Sensei since it’s made by the same guy.
Eromanga Sensei is about a brother, Masamune, and sister, Sagiri, who are famous in the otaku world. Masamune is an accomplished light novel writer, and Sagiri is the infamous Eromanga who has been illustrating Masamune’s books. By a stroke of luck, Masamune learns his famous artist is the sister who has been a shut-in since their mother died about a year ago.
The first episode is introducing the characters, basic plot, and giving you a feel for the interactions between the two siblings. Like a run down of their lives before now and how they begin to talk again. It’s a lot like the first episode of Oriemo, so I can see Eromanga taking a similar road to it. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but I do hope to see a little variation in the plot to some degree because the cute art can only go so far to please fans.
It is a little strange that these kids are so good at their jobs- mostly that Masamune is many volumes published and in demand for more material. There are quite a few characters who are light novelists in high school, so my issue doesn’t sit with just this guy. I have to wonder if this is a prevalent thing in Japan, if it even happens at all, or if it’s really just some wish fulfillment on the part of creators. I’m far less surprised about Sagiri’s ability since online art submissions are so common, and I’ve seen some amazing work from young people.
I have high hopes for Eromanga Sensei, and I know I’m going to love all the household accidents that will now ensue. You see, Sagiri and Masamune are adopted siblings…
Hinako Note is about a girl with paralyzing shyness who moves to the big city to attend a high school with a previously prestigious drama club. The drama club is now defunct, but Hinako is set on finding new members to revive the club so she can live her dreams on stage.
This is such an adorable show with an opening that seems to be a Lucky Star callback. It’s an entirely moe attraction. Think of Hinako Note on the level of Is the Order a Rabbit?– it’s a show about cute girls doing cute things. So far, this isn’t any different from what we’ve seen before in this genre, but I really love this type of anime so I won’t be dropping it. However, be forewarned before you pick this title up that this is just a cute girl’s show.
The first season of My Hero Academia centers around Midoriya Izuku, a boy without any superpowers or “quirks,” though almost 80 percent of the human populations retains such. He has dreams of being a professional hero like the famous All Might, and learns that All Might’s power is inherited. All Might picks Midoriya as his successor and helps him train to get into the UA, the most prestigious hero training academy.
My Hero Academia’s second season starts off strong by connecting directly with the last episode. I can see this being a great show to watch all at once without any lag or awkwardness between season breaks.
Our first episode spends short amount of time reminding us of the basics of the universe before delving right back into the action. The next event for the heroes in training is the classic sports festival. The feel reminds me a lot of the shinobi battles the kids had at the very beginning of Naruto, for those of you who remember that.
Overall, My Hero Academia is promising as it continues where it left off last season. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of All Might and Midoriya, and seeing the motivations behind the other kids as well. This is really turning into a classic series.
The Royal Tutor, Heine Wittgenstein, is nothing less than a genius. He is called to become the tutor of the royal family’s four princes who have managed to drive out all the previous tutors. The boys are rude, difficult, and spoiled. However, Heine is determined to teach these boys for his own goals as well as for their own benefit.
This show hits the sweet fujoshi spot of mine that is seldom quenched anymore. There is something about guys who aren’t in a relationship, but could be, but never will be because they aren’t gay. This version of “will-they-won’t-they” is very much an “anime thing,” and it’s very much something that The Royal Tutor is already beginning to do quite well.
All of the princes have their own quirks and oddly hostile personalities, and watching the dwarfish tutor take them on is hilarious. It’s a beautifully colored and drawn show which matches the mellow humor and pacing presented.
I wasn’t so sure about this one when I first picked it up, but if this first episode is an indicator of everything to come- I’m going to love every second.
Saekano .Flat is Saekano’s second season picking up right where we left off months ago. The first season was about Tomoya Aki who is so obsessed with anime and light novels that he wants to create his very own game. However, Tomoya cannot do much on his own and recruits his childhood friend, Eriri Sawamura- a famous artist, to illustrate, Utaha Kasumigaoka – a famous light novelist, to write the story, and the heroine, Megumi Katou- a very “boring” girl. Tomoya uses his circle to begin to create his game through all the trials and tribulations these women give.
Saekano .Flat continues the story of the circle’s game creation with Tomoya’s cousin, Michiru Hyoudou- a talented musician, joining the mix. The show begins by poking fun at itself before getting back into the meat and reintroducing the cast to us. We get the butts and fanservice we need while the women insult circles around each other like pros. After some mental gymnastics and the reminded that Megumi has feelings (because we all honestly forget she isn’t actually boring), the episode then illustrates the girls working insanely well together as they listen to Michiru’s music in a karaoke booth.
I’m excited to see the girls become more of a team, and I can’t wait to see the how the finished product sells at Comiket. These guys have been working very hard on the game, and even though they are fighting for Tomoya’s affections, we have a great story that never fails to remind us why we are really here: we are making the best visual novel in history.
Almost half of Sakurada’s population have special abilities from minor to fantastic (think of the X-Men), but after people leave the town they forget they ever had powers in the first place. Asai Kei has the ability to remember the past, even the three days that Haruki Misora is able to reset with her ability. Using their powers in tandem, they create a club at school to perform missions for an organization called the Kanrikyoku that oversees all the abilities in the town.
The show doesn’t tell you a whole lot at the beginning, and I think that’s a smart move. I was hoping they would hold out on Kei realizing the repeated time until it happened at least twice, but I think it was still handled very well. The designs and animation are good, but the lighting is something to behold. Their sunset colors and reflections for that time of day are perfect.
Based on the first episode, Sagarada Reset is something I plan on keeping up with; however, the show’s description is where I get a little nervous. Hopefully we have a good organization running the town, and not some shady operation- I’m holding out hope that this remains a mystery anime- suspenseful at the most. I’d hate to see it take the action route.
I will always have a soft spot for P.A. Works’ art and productions, so picking up Sakura Quest this season was a no-brainer.
In this edition of beautiful animation we will be a told the story of five women who work for a local tourism bureau for a very rural town in Japan. Our center is Koharu who has Tokyo dreams, but can’t seem to land a job in Tokyo. She takes a modeling offer in Manoyama as the town’s “Queen,” but ends up stuck there for a year due to her contractual misunderstanding. This will be a story how Koharu and her co-workers strive to revive an old town, and how they come to learn more about themselves and each other as people.
The first episode does a great job of introducing Koharu and her views on country life. Since she has grown up in rural areas all her life, she just wants to live in the city and escape the “boring” country life she used to live. One of the great things about P.A Works’ productions is how alive everything feels around the characters in the show because everyone has a unique personality. There are no blank slate background people- they all seem to have a story, opinion, and life. It’s really great, and we get to see this with some of the people we meet in town during small asides.
At the end of the episodes, we see that Koharu has actually been to Manoyama before as a child when town used to be a huge tourist destination. Instead of endearing her to town; however, Koharu still views her “Queen” position as troublesome. I’m glad that they’ve the route where Koharu doesn’t feel like she needs to be in this rural town just because she was here once a child. This will definitely help strengthen her character when she (hopefully) comes to love Manoyama.
Tsukigakirei takes place during Kotaro and Akane’s third year of middle school. The two have never really met despite attending the same school for the past two years. Kotaro and Akane become closer using LINE, but Takumi has been in love with Akane since the first year of middle school, and Chinatsu is interested in dating Kotaro. There’s bound to be some heart break in the future with all the love going around.
The best comparison I can think of is His and Her Circumstances. The soft coloring and lighting really remind me of that show. However, the love triangles are a newer twist on that design. Tsukigakirei is wonderful so far. It’s a show that takes it’s time in building relationships and allows the characters time to sit and think. This adds a lot of depth to a show about young love, and pausing isn’t something you a lot nowadays in middle school romance stories.
I’m really looking forward to what else this show will bring to the table. I love school anime, and this seems like the perfect slice of life romance for me.
Amatsuki Meguru is Twin Angels BREAK’s main protagonist. She’s a sweet girl whose only dream is to be a hero and save people in need. Kisaragi Sumire, the secondary protagonist, is a cool beauty who grew up in a very strict home. She has heroic seniority to Meguru as her family is hinted to be consistent heroes. Both girls are in their third year of middle school and become partners who fight evil with the blessing of Miruku, an adorable magical hedgehog. Heroes work in pairs as created by Miruku and are called “Twin Angels.”
I expect that the first half of the season will revolve about Megu befriending Sumire and the last half testing what their friendship has become. While I’m not into the forceful cherrfulness that Megu exudes, I do think that Sumire could learn from her soon-to-be best friend- and vice versa. Meguru could learn to take a deep breath and chill out every once and a while.
The show itself is relatively fast paced, and the battles seem like they will be enjoyable- especially if the enemies are as oddly strange as the shamisen man. I’m looking forward to seeing if the series will take any risks or leaps with the genre, though I expect we are going to get the typical Saturday Morning Cartoon plot.TBA is cute, quick, and fun. What more do you want?
I am working on TAB as a part of my Thoughts & Feelings Column this season, and I have a full episode one review here.
WorldEnd will be another show to really watch this season as it seems like an instant classic. In this alternate reality, the world’s citizens were attacked by monsters from an unknown origin and forced to retreat to floating islands in the sky. 500 years after a decisive battle, Willem Kumesh awakes on a sky island, in despair form being the last of humankind. Willem joins the military after a friend’s suggestion and beings to watch over a special cache of munitions young girls known as “fairy weapons.”
There are beings that resemble humans as well as anthropomorphic animals that inhabit the sky islands. Based on the first episode, Willem may be the only human left, but there are beings known as “disfeatured” who resemble what humanity used to be.
This is going to be a very sad story from what we can gather with the cold open, and I don’t see the ending changing in any way. So far the plot is well evacuated, but we don’t have a lot to go off of just yet. I’m looking forward to seeing how these girls are weapons, what problems Willem will encounter while he deals with them, and how we get to where we were at the cold open.
Again, all the abovementioned anime are available for streaming on Crunchyroll, Amazon, or Funimation, so you can get started today if anything piqued your interest by clicking the hyperlinks on the show titles.
I will be covering Attack on Titan and Twin Angels BREAK in my “Thoughts and Feelings Column” this season, so look forward to a look at episode one of each this week!
Please comment with any questions, or if you just want to discuss.
Thank you for reading!