Random Curiosity

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Spring 2016 Preview!

The heat of summer has mercifully given way to autumn here in the southern hemisphere, but in animeland, i.e. the only place that matters, it’s spring, which means another big season of anime is coming. We have sequels targeted at those seeking a blast from the past, including more Sailor Moon Crystal to continue an old franchise, and more Concrete Revolutio to deconstruct them all. Watching anime just for the robots? Both Gundam and Macross have an iteration this season. Of course, there are adaptations across the genres for your perusal: the popular manga Boku no Hero Academia brings us shounen action, the popular videogame series Gyakuten Saiban brings legal adventure, and Sakamoto of the titular Sakamoto Desu ga? is plain popular, and also hilarious. But perhaps most notable are the original series that are harder to pigeonhole, like the supernatural bus trip of Mayoiga or Kuromukuro’s story of a samurai in a school on a dam, both to counterpoint the uncannily familiar Koutetsujou no Kabaneri. Why just listen to me list shows, though? Our crack team of animethusiasts are on hand to be your Geiger counter for the entire season of anime. This is Random Curiosity’s Spring 2016 Preview.

 

As a quick reminder, most entries are divided into two paragraphs:

  • A brief introduction to the series and its premise, often with the starring cast of characters.
  • The writer’s impressions, expanding on the plot and highlighting specific points of interest.

This season we’ll continue using our Expectation Levels. Remember, these reflect our own subjective excitement level for each show; they do not necessarily reflect how shows will pan out. For more information, check out the Overall Impressions section at the bottom, which includes an expanded explanation of each category and a list of all shows by expectation level.

 

Disclaimer: Back in the time of antiquity the scribes called 2012, previews were done by a single writer, Divine. Since none of the current writers are as crazy awesome as he, we’ve divided them up among our staff (Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zanibas, and Zephyr) in order to maintain the quality of this preview. We will try to point out what appeals to us in each series, in the hope that it will help you determine if it coincides with your tastes.

Disclaimer #2: Please note that this list does not reflect all the series airing this coming season. It is meant to be as comprehensive as possible, but omissions have been made for shows that stray from the anime norm or seem to be oriented toward young children. Please check out MOON PHASE for complete listings, syoboi for specific air times, and Fansub DB for a list of potential sources for each series.

As always, thank you to the entire Random Curiosity staff for helping with this preview. Special thanks go to Divine and Xumbra, who encoded all the PV’s; Zephyr, who compiled the OVA/Movie list; Stilts, who was both manager and editor; Passerby, who missed errors; and Cherrie, who did formatting, links, pictures, and everything else that makes this wall of text into a coherent document. We couldn’t have done it without you all. For more of a one-man-show experience, our very own Guardian Enzo has the LiA spring preview where you can find a second opinion on many of these shows.

Finally, I’d like to thank all you readers, commenters, lurkers, trolls, spambots, and the two of you who haven’t scrolled past this paragraph for your continued support of Random Curiosity. Without an audience and feedback we all might as well be screaming into the void. I don’t know if it makes us more sane or less sane to wish the void to scream back, but there would be no RandomC otherwise.


TV Series


Technical Note: The chart below is ordered by the date and time that the shows premiere. The links in the schedule will take you to a series’ corresponding entry and the “Top” links on the right will bring you back. You can also use the back/forward buttons in your browser to jump between links you’ve clicked. All times are given in a 24-hour, relative-day format where times are extended to show which day they belong to. For instance, Friday morning at 1:30AM would become Thursday at 25:30 to show that the episode aired late Thursday night.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Gundam UC RE: 0096
7:00 EX (4/3)
12-sai. Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki
19:30 MX (4/4)
Hakuouki ~Otogisoushi~
21:55 MX (4/5)
Sousei no Onmyouji
18:25 TX (4/6)
An Happy♪
21:30 AT-X (4/7)
Mayoiga
22:30 WOWOW (4/1)
Gyakuten Saiban
17:30 ytv (4/2)
Boku no Hero Academia
17:00 MBS (4/3)
Pan de Peace!
20:55 Animax (4/4)
Joker Game
23:00 AT-X (4/5)
Neko Neko Nihonshi
18:45 NHK (4/6)
Kuromukuro
22:00 MX (4/7)
Ushio to Tora 2nd Season
22:30 MX (4/1)
Kyoukai no RINNE 2
17:30 NHK (4/9)
Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou
22:15 MX (4/10)
Sailor Moon Crystal 3rd Season
23:00 MX (4/4)
Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game
22:00 MX (4/6)
Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?
23:00 AT-X (4/7)
Uchuu Patrol Luluco
22:30 AT-X (4/1)
Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd Season
22:00 Animax (4/2)
Macross Delta
22:30 MX (4/3)
Bakuon!!
24:00 MX (4/4)
SUPER LOVERS
23:30 AT-X (4/6)
Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
24:25 CX (4/7)
Kagewani Shou
23:00 MX (4/1)
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge
22:00 MX (4/9)
Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou THE LAST SONG
23:00 MX (4/3)
Usakame
25:05 MX (4/11)
Onigiri
25:00 MX (4/6)
Shounen Maid
25:58 TBS (4/7)
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
24:30 MX (4/1)
Kiznaiver
23:30 MX (4/9)
Kumamiko
23:30 AT-X (4/3)
Wagamama High Spec
25:10 MX (4/11)
Bungou Stray Dogs
25:05 MX (4/6)
Sakamoto Desu ga?
26:28 TBS (4/7)
TERRA FORMARS Revenge
25:05 MX (4/1)
Hai-Furi
24:00 MX (4/9)
Sansha Sanyou
24:00 MX (4/10)
Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalite
25:35 TX (4/4)
Big Order
25:40 MX (4/15)
Flying Witch
26:25 ntv (4/9)
Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
25:05 TX (4/3)
Hundred
26:05 TX (4/4)
Magi Sinbad no Bouken
26:25 TBS (4/15)
Endride
26:30 ntv (4/2)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.



Mayoiga | 迷家-マヨイガ-Top
http://www.mayoiga.tv/
Animation: Diomedea Premiere: April 1, 2016
Genre: Drama, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:30
Episodes: Station: WOWOW
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mayoiga_project or #mayoiga

Preview by Samu

Thirty young men and women step aboard a bus tour. Their destination? Deep in the mountains, to the nonexistent village of Nanakimura. Mayoiga follows a massive and varied cast of unfortunate characters, each harbouring their own troubled experiences, brought together in this journey into the unknown. Urban legends claim that this illusive village is an utopian existence, far from the real world’s obstacles. But when the 30 strangers arrive, they find an uninhabited village showing signs that people once did live there. What is the mystery behind Nanakimura? Do any of its inhabitants remain? And why is this bus taking them there in the first place? All will be revealed…

While there are plenty of surefire hits this season, I’m going to place my bets on Mayoiga. The premise alone is compelling, but once you open the hood it’s clear there is some talent behind the production. With Mizushima Tsutomu (Another, SHIROBAKO, xxxHOLIC) directing and Okada Mari (GOSICK, Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans, Zetsuen no Tempest) as series composer, there’s too much potential to ignore. While both have had their duds/underperformers over the years – BLOOD-C and M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane respectively – there’s a real chance for their experience to complement each other here. And although unconfirmed at the moment, there’s a chance Mayoiga could be the first full-length WOWOW original anime in 8 years. If you’re unfamiliar with this particular network, the easiest comparison would be HBO. Due to looser broadcast standards of this premium service, WOWOW has become renown for producing anime that other mainstream networks cannot. Such example would be: Ergo Proxy, Ghost Hound, Kaiba, and Paranoia Agent. If there’s a chance Mayoiga can be of the same level of quality as those acclaimed titles, we’re in for one hell of a (bus) ride. The only major concern I have is production began crowdfunding earlier in March. This could be early hints of things going sour, but since the required amount was reached, perhaps it won’t come to that. Either way, there’s too much potential here to sleep on. Hop aboard the ride, strap in your seat belt, and let’s see what mystery awaits us.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Mayoiga Promotional Videos ▼

Ushio to Tora 2nd Season | うしおととら 3クール目Top
http://ushitora.tv/
Animation: MAPPA Premiere: April 1, 2016
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @ushitora_TV or #ushitora

Preview by Samu

Ushio to Tora returns for its third and final cour after taking a break over winter. If you didn’t have the opportunity to catch up during that time, now’s your chance. This second season will continue right from where the first left off, as we follow the story of Aotsuki Ushio (Hatanaka Tasuku), the spear-wielding, yokai-killing son of a legendary shaman and dishonest temple master, and Tora (Koyama Rikaya), a golden tiger yokai who was trapped in Ushio’s basement for over 500 years. Together they’ve faced off against monsters of the week, made plenty of friends, grown as a team (although Tora still claims Ushio as his prey and wants to be the one who kills him), and learned about the horrors of the past, as history now begins to repeat itself.

This looks to be a great season for fans of shonen battle manga, and in the case of Ushio to Tora, fans of ’90s classics. I love that the past few years have seen a resurgence in older source material getting worthy adaptations (and usually to some degree of success). Fans of the series or those who love those nostalgic gags, action, and artwork are spoiled rotten with Ushio to Tora – not only are the characters easy to root for, but their journeys feel both personal and epic. My favourite part of the first season would have to be the flashback into the past that ties in all the plot threads with the present, proving this is a multi-layered journey worth investment. The staff is still the same for this third cour, so the pacing and quality is sure to remain consistent. I recommend any lover of action anime check this out before it’s too late.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu Expectation Level: Moderately High
Uchuu Patrol Luluco | 宇宙パトロールルル子Top
http://luluco.tv/
Animation: Trigger Premiere: April 1, 2016
Genre: Romance, School-Life, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @s_p_luluco or #ルル子

Preview by Stilts

This series of 7-minute-long shorts will commemorate the fifth anniversary since studio Trigger was established. Uchuu Patrol Luluco is set in Ogikubo, a specifically designated area in the Milky Way where earthlings and aliens can live together. It stars the titular Luluco (Ichimichi Mao), a normal middle school student who lives with her father (Iwata Mitsuo), who is a detective in the Space Patrol’s Ogikubo branch. No matter where she is, Luluco is a common, super normal girl—that is, until the mysterious transfer student ΑΩ Nova (Enoki Junya) appears. Their meeting, and everything that will happen with the Space Patrol, will change Luluco’s fate.

Slow down, Trigger. I feel like a celebratory series is a bit premature after only five years, especially since the studio’s star has dimmed somewhat since they started doing more Hacka Doll and Ninja Slayer, and less Little Witch Academia, Kill la Kill, and Inou-Battle. I probably wouldn’t say that if the premise inspired more confidence, but what we know is limited and not terribly inspiring. Normal girl meets mysterious boy, only they’re in space, and he’s a awfully human-like alien, and there may be some stuff with the space police. I wish they were giving us more to work with. Then again, with director Imaishi Hiroyuki (TTGL, Panty & Stocking, Kill la Kill) at the helm, there may be cause for optimism. There are also hints that the Space Patrol element could play a larger part than early indications, and the lack of information could lead to a pleasant surprise. I’m balancing all these elements in my analysis, and they come down on the side of (slight) pessimism, if only because Trigger’s forays into short-form anime haven’t inspired confidence. I say all the time that we shouldn’t judge series by their studio, but Tigger is one of the studios (along with SHAFT and KyoAni) that has a relatively stable staff and distinct house art style, so it might be valid here. If a Imaishi Hiroyuki-led original Trigger short sounds promising to you, here it is. I’ll either be going into the first episode with low expectations, or waiting until someone tells me that it’s great.

Watching This: Samu Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Kagewani Shou | 影鰐 承Top
http://kagewani.com/
Animation: Tomovies Premiere: April 1, 2016
Genre: Horror, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 23:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_kagewani or #kagewani

Preview by Takaii

With a trend of more short format shows appearing as we go through the year, Kagewani is no exception. Literally meaning “shadow crocodile,” the show’s premise is based around mysterious creatures called Uma suddenly appearing and attacking humans indiscriminately. Given only a keyword of “kagewani,” biologist Banba Sousuke (Sugita Tomokazu) begins his search to find the truth behind the phrase, as well as the origins of monsters that have suddenly appeared. The show will be airing in the well known Ultra Super Anime Time block, alongside other shorts like Uchuu Patrol Luluco.

With very little information about this second season, let’s go over what we know and how it should play into everything. We have Takashima Tomoya reprising his role as director and newbie studio Tomovies handling the production. The unique art style isn’t going anywhere, and we still have Sugita Tomokazu handling the voice for recurring character Banba Sousuke (you can never have enough Sugita Tomokazu). So for those of you who were looking for more of the same, there’s probably nothing to fear with all the big players returning. If you’re on the fence (or considering whether or not to watch the first season), I think there’s some merit in doing so if you have the time. While the art style may not suit everyone’s taste, the sense of fear, tension, and mystery can get pretty intense for a mere seven minute show. And honestly, after a few minutes you’ll probably forget it even looks weird. Overall, I’d give this show a thumbs up if you have a few minutes to spare and want to feel some chills go down your spine.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable | ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 ダイヤモンドは砕けないTop
http://jojo-animation.com/
Animation: David Production Premiere: April 1, 2016
Genre: Action, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_jojo or #jojo_anime

Preview by Zephyr

As a franchise that has spawned multiple iterations and nearly 75 episodes in its most recent run, this was a series whose arrival was more of a “when” than an “if”. Less than a year later, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is back with its fourth story arc, which takes place 11 years after Stardust Crusaders. Now set in 1999, the series focuses on the town of Morioh, Japan, which finds itself plagued by an ancient artifact known as the “Bow and Arrow.” With everyday people suddenly manifesting stands and a string of homicides resulting from their usage, Higashikata Jousuke (Ono Yuuki), the illegitimate child of Joseph Joestar, finds himself investigating its culprit. Having recently arrived in the city to warn Jousuke of the threat surrounding him and his city, Kuujou Joutarou (Ono Daisuke) joins in the investigation. David Production will return as the studio behind the series, with Tsuda Naokatsu, Kato Toshiyuki, and Takamuta Yuuta all returning from prior series as the director, series director, and chief director respectively.

If you haven’t watched Jojo yet, there aren’t enough words to describe how much you’ve been missing out. As my personal pick for best action series multiple years running, Jojo has been an immensely popular series throughout the years, giving us non-stop cans of ass-whooping and a flamboyant cast of characters that were as memorable as they were unique. Ridiculous villains highlighted the epic nature of their journey with their over-the-top abilities on a weekly basis, and this is a franchise whose greatness must be seen to be believed. There’s no reason to expect the franchise’s newest iteration to be anything but as great as its predecessors, despite a few retroactive changes to the franchise and a new brand of storytelling more on par with its investigative nature. From what I’ve gathered, many fans have been looking forward to this series in particular for a while now, and with both the main staff and production studio returning, there’s not much else to say here.

Watching This: Passerby, Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: High
Show Jojos Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Promotional Videos ▼

TERRA FORMARS Revenge | テラフォーマーズ リベンジTop
http://www.terraformars.tv/
Animation: LIDENFILMS x TYO Animations Premiere: April 1, 2016
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @terra_official

Preview by Zephyr

In the late 21st century, scientists sent cockroaches and mold to the surface of Mars in an attempt to make the planet habitable for humanity. Hundreds of years later, a manned survey is sent to Mars, only to result in the death of its crew at the hands of the aforementioned cockroaches, which have mutated to have incredible strength and gigantic, human-like bodies. Armed with the ability to transform into insects, a group of elite warriors are sent to take back Mars, ultimately resulting in only two survivors. Set twenty years later, TERRA FORMARS: Revenge focuses on an Earth now ravaged by a virus with Martian origins. As one of the survivors of the previous mission, Komachi Shoukichi (Kiuchi Hidenobu) finds himself sent to Mars once again in an attempt to acquire the samples necessary for producing a vaccine. TYO Animations will join LIDENFILMS in a collaborative effort to produce the series, with a brand new staff led by director Fukuda Michio (Nurarihyon no Mago: Sennen Makyou).

While the original storyline sounded promising from an action/horror perspective, the first iteration of the Terra Formars franchise fell short of expectations. Ridiculous censorship reduced many of the scenes with blood and gore into giant blobs of black circles and ovals, and many portions of the story were skipped or rushed through. While they did attempt to address the former in the later episodes, the damage was already done, and many viewers opted to stop watching early on. The story still had its moments in regards to its cast’s valiant fight against the cockroach menace, and the uncensored BD’s ultimately gave us the blood and gore fest we expected, but given that we have an entirely new staff, it’s far from a sure bet that the sequel will be done better than the original. The censorship issue could also return in force, so those interested in this sequel will benefit from a wait and see approach, with the expectation that watching it as it airs may not provide the best experience. Aside from that, there’s sadly not much positive to say about the expectations of this adaptation in general, with the positively received manga being the better of the two mediums.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show TERRA FORMARS Revenge Promotional Videos ▼

Gyakuten Saiban | 逆転裁判Top
http://www.ytv.co.jp/animegyakuten/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: April 2, 2016
Genre: Drama, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:30
Episodes: Station: Yomiuri (ytv)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_gyakuten

Preview by Passerby

Finally, the fan-favourite Gyakuten Saiban (also known as Ace Attorney) series gets an anime adaptation. In the near future (or was it the ’90s?) in Japan (or is it America?), the criminal justice system has been drastically overhauled in the name of increasing efficiency. Each trial can only last for a maximum of three days, after which a verdict must be handed down. This, in a legal regime where the presumption of innocence has apparently been suspended—that is, guilty until proven innocent—makes the job of defence attorneys very difficult. Ryuuichi Naruhodo (Kaji Yuki) is one such attorney, fresh on the job and already fighting a losing battle. While he believes his clients to be innocent, proving it is a different thing entirely. Prosecutors hold all the power, having no obligation to disclose evidence or witnesses in advance, and able to hinder the defence’s investigation at every turn. And perhaps Naruhodo’s greatest opponent is one Mitsurugi Reiji (Tamaki Masashi), a ruthless young prodigy rumoured to be willing to do anything—anything—to get the guilty verdict. And he always does. With the odds so stacked against him, how will Naruhodo manage to turn things around in court?

Yes, Gyakuten Saiban is a videogame adaptation, and some of those can get pretty dodgey. But the Gyakuten Saiban series should make for a straightforward adaptation. It’s light on gameplay and heavy on text, it’s entirely linear, and it has plenty of great stories ready to be turned into anime. While courtroom antics are not the most familiar material for anime, it’s not really of a heavy sort—Gyakuten Saiban has always been loose with its law, always making sure the legal drama serves the human drama, which is driven by a large cast of quirky characters that play well in its twisting murder mysteries. While screenwriter Tomioko Atsuhiro may not have many stand-out hits, director Watanabe Ayumu did the excellent Space Brothers, and composer Wada Kaoru has five-and-a-half games of impressive soundtracks to work with (which is not to detract from his own talents). The only major concern is the amount of time and money behind this project, because Gyakuten Saiban has the potential to be long-running, which can stretch resources thin. Oh, and for the Western audience: in case you haven’t realised, we’re talking about Phoenix Wright. The games were localised into English in every sense, changing both names and setting, and the Japanese version of those may take getting used to. That shouldn’t be a huge barrier; it’s bad puns either way. Enjoy.

Watching This: Cherrie, Passerby, Samu, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately High
Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd Season | 学戦都市アスタリスク 2nd Season Top
http://asterisk-war.com/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: April 2, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: Animax
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @asterisk_war or #asteriskwar

Preview by Takaii

After a quick one season break, Gakusen Toshi Asterisk is back for its second season! For those who’ve forgotten, the characters of this story live in a world that was nearly destroyed when a comet known as Invertia smacked the earth. From the ashes of that event, humanity rebuilt itself with one added bonus—it had a new generation of individuals who could control a new power known as mana. Fast forward a few hundred years and you have a very technologically advanced society that uses its mana wielders in all fashions, ranging from exhibition battles all the way to total war. Luckily we get to focus on the former, with the spotlight on Amagiri Ayato (Tamaru Atsushi) and all of his friends (AKA harem) as he tries to find his sister who went missing a few years ago. But with enemies lurking in the shadows and more secrets than the FBI could handle, what’s a guy like Ayato supposed to do?

Seeing how this is a continuation of the first season which aired last fall, it would make sense to watch the first twelve episodes before leaping into this one. Something that I’d say is definitely worth your time if the idea of magical swordsman fits your fancy. This second season looks like it’ll pick up right where the first left off, with the Phoenix Festa. With Ayato, Julis (Kakuma Ai), Saya (Izawa Shiori), and Kirin (Ozawa Ari) all still in the running and a ton of incredibly strong opponents (like those two humanized mechs) still waiting for a chance to really fight, I doubt there’ll be a lack of material for some awesome action scenes. That said, I really hope this second-cour takes the opportunity to skip all the small stuff and dives straight into the real meat of the story. From the possible romance opportunities between Ayato and his harem to the shady dealings going on behind the scenes, I’ll be really disappointed if we get hit with even more aimless dialogue. If you’re looking for a good looking show (A-1 Pictures is behind this one) that plays this genre just right, you can’t go wrong with Gakusen Toshi Asterisk. That and Rasmus Faber made some music for this show and it was absolutely fantastic! So yeah, catch up with the first cour and give this one a watch.

Watching This: Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
Endride | エンドライドTop
http://anime.endride.jp/
Animation: Brains Base Premiere: April 2, 2016
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:30
Episodes: Station: Nippon TV (ntv)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @endride_anime or #エンドライド

Preview by Passerby

The conspiracy theorists were right! Earth is hollow! And under the planet’s crust is the magical kingdom of Endra. There, crown prince Emilio Langheim (Masada Toshiki) awaits his sixteenth birthday, for it is then that he would be eligible to take the throne. Emilio’s grudge against the current ruler of the kingdom is deep, and plans to speed his succession via tried and true assassination. He fails, and is thrown into prison for his effort. There, though, he has a chance encounter—out of thin air appears Asanaga Shun (Ono Kensho), an average high school student of roughly Emilio’s age from the surface world. Apparently, Shun was transported to Endra after touching a strange crystal (for crystals are of all manner of wondrous and fantastic properties). And so the two young men strike a tenuous partnership; Shun wants to return home to the surface, and Emilio still wants to commit regicide. As they start on this new adventure, will they be able to able to work together to accomplish their disparate goals?

While Endride is an original anime, from the synopsis, designs, and awkwardly oversized weapons, one may suspect there’s a shady JRPG behind it somewhere. And indeed, it’s one of those Japanese cross-media projects, so one may well emerge. Right now, though, there’s not much to judge the anime on other than a premise that doesn’t go far to distinguish itself from other fantasy stories in either anime or gaming. That’s not to say there’s no promise in this show. For one, it’s slated to be two cours right from its onset, which is not something we see often in anime these days. So there must be some confidence behind the series, or at least some money. And the promotional material we’ve seen so far looks good enough, and for some, character designs by Bastard!!’s Hagiwara Kazushi and Rurouni Kenshin’s Watsuki Nobuhiro may be legitimate selling points. The rest of the staff are a mixed bag when it comes to resumé; while screenwriter Machida Touko is mostly respectable, Gotou Keiji has been away from the anime direction scene for a while. Maybe the accomplished Tanaka Kouhei on music will swing it. Overall, we’ll have to wait until Endride airs to make clearer conclusions, and since it will be occupying two seasons I hope for good things out of it.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Gundam UC RE: 0096 | 機動戦士ガンダムUC RE:0096Top
http://www.gundam-unicorn.net/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: April 3, 2016
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 7:00
Episodes: Station: TV Asahi (EX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @gundam_unicorn or #g_uc

Preview by Zephyr

Nearly two years after its conclusion, Gundam Unicorn returns with a re-edited version in RE:0096. With additional content, new opening and ending themes, and special preview footage voiced by Full Frontal (Ikeda Shuuichi), the two-cour TV broadcast will be the definitive edition of the Unicorn story, which served as the climax of the original franchise’s Universal Century timeline. As with the original, the series will focus on Banagher Links (Uchiyama Kouki), a student who finds himself piloting the mysterious Unicorn Gundam. As the key to the mythical Laplace’s Box, Banagher finds himself caught in the middle of the age-long conflict between the Earth Federation and Zeon as they fight for the box’s contents, which is said to be capable of ending the Federation’s hundred year rule. Furuhashi Kazuhiro returns as director, along with the remainder of Unicorn’s main staff.

As the sequel to almost every Universal Century era series (and by extension, most of the Gundam franchises released to date), Unicorn was a series that aired amid great expectations and a large amount of hype. Despite taking nearly four years to reach its conclusion, the series was well-received and noted for its breathtaking visuals, memorable soundtrack, and solid story. If you’re someone who hasn’t watched the series yet, RE:0096 offers a golden opportunity to not only catch up on one of the Gundam franchise’s more memorable iterations, but its definitive version at that. Those that haven’t completed a majority of the Universal Century series would do well to do so before watching Unicorn however, as the factions and terminology differ greatly from the other stand-alone Gundam franchises, which will drastically affect your enjoyment. Ultimately, your prior experience will determine whether RE:0096 is right for you, with those who caught Unicorn previously likely falling into the group that won’t gain much from watching the new re-edit, given that they’ve already experienced the main story and the secret of Laplace’s Box.

Watching This: Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Boku no Hero Academia | 僕のヒーローアカデミアTop
http://heroaca.com/
Animation: Bones Premiere: April 3, 2016
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 17:00
Episodes: Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @heroaca_anime or #heroaca_a

Preview by Samu

Comic book fans rejoice, for Boku no Hero Academia has arrived! Chances are you’ve heard of this Weekly Shonen Jump hit, but if you haven’t then here’s what you need to know: finally, after all these years, we’ve got the western-inspired superhero anime we all deserve. Set in a world where people with superpowers known as “Quirks” are the status quo, we follow the life of Midoriya Izuku (Yamashita Daiki), a middle-school boy who, unlike the masses, was born without a quirk. Where others have super strength, can conjure fire, or turn invisible, Midoriya is just a regular boy. But that doesn’t dampen his passion to one day become a hero himself. Fights between the heroes and villains happen daily, are broadcast on television, and define the way of life in this world. However, when Midoriya finds himself caught by a deadly villain, he is saved by the #1 Hero, All Might (Miyake Kenta). Their encounter only fuels his passion to become a superhero, beginning the journey of a quirkless boy who aims on joining a Hero Academy in order to make his dream a reality.

In case you weren’t aware, the Next Big Thing has arrived. The hype for Boku no Hero Academia has been through the roof since it was first published, and it totally deserves its popularity. There are endless qualities that you can’t help but appreciate: how it celebrates inspiration for those who aren’t naturally gifted; its wonderful and ever entertaining cast of characters; the diversity in the superpowers and how they can be used in combat; and just how damn fun it is. It’s a classic shonen battle series to the core, and sure to be one of the big hits of this upcoming season. With Bones producing the series there are some concerns of an anime original ending, but as this is likely to be a long-term project with a great chance for financial success, that shouldn’t be too worrisome. Director Nagasaki Kenji (Classroom Crisis, Gundam Build Fighters) isn’t the most experienced man for the job, but if the passion and joy bursting from Build Fighters comes out in Boku no Hero Academia, this is sure to be a blast.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Stilts Expectation Level: High
Show Boku no Hero Academia Promotional Videos ▼

Macross Delta | マクロスΔTop
http://macross.jp/
Animation: Satelight Premiere: April 3, 2016
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @macrossD or #macross

Preview by Zephyr

Seven years after the debut of its previous iteration in Frontier, the next chapter of Macross has arrived. Named Δ (Delta) after the franchise’s three thematic elements of love triangles, music, and transformable Valkyries, the series takes place in 2067 on a remote planet within our galaxy. Set after Frontier, Macross Δ finds humanity under siege by a condition known as Var Syndrome. Utilizing the power of their songs, the five members of the all-female Tactical Sound Unit Walkure are deployed to combat its spread, ultimately coming into contact with a mysterious Valkyrie unit known as the Aerial Chivalry Order. Led by director Yasuda Kenji (Full Metal Alchemist, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee), Δ will utilize all new designs from Kawamori Shoji and feature a renewed focus on Valkyrie vs Valkyrie combat. Joining them are script writer Nioto Toshizou (Gosick, Log Horizon, Towa no Quon) and sound director Mima Masafumi (Full Metal Alchemist, Guilty Crown, Initial D).

Considering the history of the franchise and the critical acclaim it has received since its debut in 1982, any new Macross is worth keeping an eye on, and Delta is no different. It arrives as an interesting new addition due to its intentional contrast with the space-centered Frontier, and the fact that it borrows elements from multiple predecessors—the Valkyrie vs Valkyrie combat reminds one of Macross Plus/Zero, while a multi-member group fighting with their songs is reminiscent of Macross 7—gives it a wide appeal to both long-time fans and new viewers looking to get a taste of what previous series had to offer. Rumors of multiple love triangles promises to give Delta a fittingly dramatic backdrop, and there’s much to be said about the debut of a new delta wing shape, plus the return of the SV-series of Valkyries are already making mecha fans drool. As a die-hard Macross fan, I’m looking forward to having a bunch of songs stuck in my head for the next few months, and for those who haven’t watched Macross yet, Delta could very well be the series to get you into the long-running franchise.

Watching This: Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Macross Delta Promotional Videos ▼

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou THE LAST SONG | コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~THE LAST SONGTop
http://concreterevolutio.com/
Animation: Bones Premiere: April 3, 2016
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @conrevoinfo or #コンレボ

Preview by Passerby

The 1960s were a turbulent time. An increasing civil consciousness, fear of nuclear annihilation and the rise of counterculture movements made for a sense of public unrest all around the globe. In the world of Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou, this is all on top of the aliens, time travellers, youkai, magical girls, kaijuu, robots—superhumans of all sorts—that exist, and are not shy about it. It’s chaos out there, which is usually a call for the government to step in and do its job. Hence Japan set up the Superhuman Bureau, supposedly dedicated to managing the superhuman population, recruiting them for legitimate work, and protecting them from a rightfully wary public. In the last season of Concrete Revolutio, Superhuman Bureau employee Hitoyoshi Jirou (Ishikawa Kaito) discovered that his workplace wasn’t the benevolent organisation he had thought it was. Shadowy conspiracies are everywhere, fueled by the increasing Cold War paranoia of the day. And so Jirou breaks away from the Bureau, intent on creating a superhuman organisation of his very own. In this season the world may well find itself on the brink of a civil war—the promised revolution.

What a ride Concrete Revolutio was. It won Random Curiosity’s 2015 award for ‘Best in… Wah?’ because, despite its quality, it was also extremely hard to pin down. Just look at the title of this season: Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou – THE LAST SONG. It has a subtitle for its subtitle. Who does that? But while Concrete Revolutio was non-linear, and fast-paced, and perhaps sometimes even confusing, it was all held together expertly by a unifying theme and familiar motifs. All of the superhumans in its lineup are loving homages anime’s favourite inspirations—its Astro Boys, its Godzillas, its Kamen Riders—and relies on a familiarity with those stories to drive its own. So chances are if you love anime in general, you’ll find something resonant in Concrete Revolutio. That’s fan-pandering done right, tapping into knowledge of the common nerd heritage to shorthand a complex narrative. And hey, if you’re looking for some heady action to go with your popcorn, Concrete Revolutio will surely still do that well enough, since it seems like the first season’s staff is intact—except that now Masaki Tsuji and Urobuchi Gen are apparently contributing to the script. I don’t know what that means in practice, but bottom line is, you don’t want to miss out on Concrete Revolutio. If you haven’t watched the first season, I highly recommend that you catch up on it. One way or the other, I think this second season is going to be a blast.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou THE LAST SONG Promotional Videos ▼

Kumamiko | くまみこTop
http://kmmk.tv/
Animation: EMT2 x Kinema Citrus Premiere: April 3, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kmmk_anime or #kumamiko

Preview by Takaii

Fans of shows based in rural Japan, rejoice! Kuma Miko: Girl Meets Bear is everything you could have asked for and then some. In a rural village deep in the mountains of the Touhoku prefecture, there lives a girl named Amayadori Machi (Hioka Natsumi), who is the village’s miko (shrine maiden), and her brown bear named Natsu (Yasumoto Hiroki). And in this village, they happen to worship a very specific animal—the great bear. Through the ages, the village and the bears have maintained a great relationship with each other, to the point that these bears have learned to do something amazing—they can speak the common tongue! In the case of our dorky pair though, Machi is the definition of a country bumpkin who’s living a few eras in the past, while Natsu, the bear, understands the finer points in life like electric rice cookers. Two halves of a perfect pair that play off of each other’s flaws as they both learn what it means to grow up and come of age.

With the basic information out of the way, let me start with this—I think this show is going to be absolutely amazing. You have a cozy rural village as the setting, a young protagonist who’s trying to grow up too quickly, and her mentor (who just happens to be a badass bear) who’s wise for his age but still a kid at heart. If that wasn’t enough for you, did I mention there’s also a great supporting cast that seem to always push things in just the right direction when the story starts to get a bit sluggish? When it comes to the comedy though, it’s a nice mix of deadpan, legitimately funny moments, and poking at Machi and her complete lack of knowledge about modern society (though not too much) that kept me coming back for more. In terms of studio and staff, there’s no going wrong there either. With Kinema Citrus of Barakamon fame handling things, I don’t think there is a more perfect combination out there. I mean, it’s been quite a while since I covered Barakamon, but I can still vividly remember all my favorite scenes, and that’s saying something with how bad my memory is! For those of you who want a funny slice-of-life that’ll tug at your heart every now and then while fearlessly changing things up, there’s nothing better than Kuma Miko: Girl Meets Bear.

Watching This: Cherrie, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Kumamiko Promotional Videos ▼

Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu | Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活Top
http://re-zero-anime.jp/
Animation: White Fox Premiere: April 3, 2016
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @rezero_official or #rezero

Preview by Stilts

After leaving a convenience store, high school student Subaru Natsuki (Kobayashi Yuusuke) is summoned to another world. After a pack of thieves nearly kill him, he’s saved by a silver-haired, half-elf girl (Takahashi Rie). To repay the favor, Subaru helps her look for a stolen item, but the search quickly turns against them, and they’re both killed. Only, Subaru awakens once again in this new world, at the same moment he arrived. He has the ability to rewind time whenever he dies, and only he remembers what happened last time. He vows to save everyone with his power.

Boy gets lost in an alternate world and discovers he can rewind time when he dies. That’s the lightning synopsis, and for a magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel, it’s better than many of its peers. It still has all the usual trappings: standard Japanese high school student, check; generic fantasy world, check; bevy of beautiful girls, check. But if the twist works, it can rise above. Which is why I’m sad to say that, at least in the source material I was able to acquire (the manga, not the original LNs), I wasn’t initially impressed. The rewind-upon-death gimmick works, but the protagonist is too slow to suspect what’s going on, even though at other times he’s savvy and speaks in tropes. I think it was the execution that was lacking—jokes weren’t as funny as they were supposed to be, characters weren’t as interesting as they needed to be, and only the rewind mechanic inspired curiosity. And yet, I read more than I normally would have for a preview, and I’m still curious how it will all work out. It’s like the video game Superhot (recommended, by the way), where Subaru fails and fails and fails, all the while collecting the information he needs to do everything perfectly on one go. If it was execution that was lacking in the source I read—and remember, it was the manga rather than the light novels—and if director Watanabe Masaharu, head writer Yokotani Masahiro, and their team at White Fox can do better, maybe one good idea is all it needs, and it really will rise above the rest.

Watching This: Cherrie, Jig, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Promotional Videos ▼

12-sai. Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki | 12歳。~ちっちゃなムネのトキメキ~Top
http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/pr/12sai/
Animation: OLM Premiere: April 4, 2016
Genre: Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 19:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Jig

Based on the manga of the same name, 12-sai. Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki stars twelve-year old Ayase Hanabi (Kakuma Ai), a teenage girl in the sixth-grade—neither adult nor child. The series follows her as she comes across a variety of new situations which confuses her tween self, such as witnessing her homeroom teacher kissing someone, being anxious about how her friends might react to some of her physiological change and growth, and falling in love, as well as many other innocent worries and experiences of a twelve-year-old girl.

I couldn’t get my hands on the original manga anywhere, but about a year ago, SynergySP—a separate studio that produced MÄR and concluding seasons of Initial D—rolled out a two-season OVA adaption of the manga. The plotlines really do just follow the daily happenings of a twelve-year-old girl, depicting all the harmless and innocent concerns she undergoes, as well as the difficulties with peers wallowing in tween angst. The OVAs in general had a sort of whimsical charm to them, as the characters tried to make sense of their world and themselves as they become exposed to new experiences every day. It was oddly nostalgic. If this new series retains this degree of charisma—one which channels the awe and pubescent confusion strongly associated with this awkward transition between child and adult—I think it could prove for an entertaining series.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Pan de Peace! | パンでPeace!Top
http://pandepeace.com/
Animation: Asahi Production Premiere: April 4, 2016
Genre: Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 20:55
Episodes: Station: Animax
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @pande_anime or #pande

Preview by Takaii

When it comes to Pan De Peace, it’s a pretty simple show. Based on a 4-koma manga, you have four friends Minami (Kido Ibuki), Noa (Oomori Nichika), Yuu (Yamazaki Erii), and Fuyumi (Toyota Moe) who spend most of their day talking about all the amazing properties of bread. From baguettes to croquettes, nothing is off limits as they show their love for all things bread. Ironically enough, the title of the show comes from the small “club” that the girls have. Meeting up at Fuwafuyu bakery (which happens to be Fuyumi’s family shop), the four of them use this place to do normal things. Instead of going rampant about bread inside of a bakery, you’ll typically find them doing their homework or poking fun at Yuu for trying to be a mangaka.

I love bread. Literally, I’m the kind of person who can happily live off bread because of how amazing it is. It’s filling, it’s relatively cheap, and at most decent restaurants you can get as many servings as you like because they don’t realize just how amazing something like a nice warm piece of bread really is. Now, if you told me that someone was going to take all of these pent up feelings and turn them into an anime, I’d look at you with a pissed-off face for making fun of my love of bread. Lo and behold, something like that actually freaking exists. Like, I think it’s impossible to recreate the feelings I felt when I realized this show is simply a slice-of-life about some friends and how much they love one of the best things on this goddamn earth. Intimate affection for bread aside, I’m not sure how this show will fare with its anime adaptation. Besides being extremely polarizing since I know there are a ton of carb haters out there, I just don’t know how well this show will resonate for the viewers in-between. For those of who love the stuff though, I think this show might have just enough oomph behind it to keep us entertained. I hope!

Watching This: Cherrie, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Sailor Moon Crystal 3rd Season | 美少女戦士セーラームーン Crystal 第3期 デス・バスターズ編Top
http://sailormoon-official.com/animation/
Animation: Toei Animation Premiere: April 4, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sailormoon_20th

Preview by Cherrie

Sailor Moon Crystal returns! Joined by the some of my personal favorites, Sailor Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. This would be the equivalent to the Sailor Moon S series which originally aired, but more closely adapted from the manga. The main villain this time around are the Death Busters, and if you don’t remember who they are, they’re the ones led by the creepy scientist man (with the shadow whose face you never see). The Sailor Scouts get a whole new transformation, new characters that join them, and new relationships to build. There are many aspects of the original series that I enjoyed but I fear that a lot of them may have been fillers so I’ll leave that context out in case the manga is extremely different. One thing I will note though, is that the seiyuu for Sailor Saturn (Fujii Yukiyo), Sailor Neptune (Ohara Sayaka) and Sailor Uranus (Minagawa Junko) are all new to the series. So unlike Usagi (Mitsuishi Kotono), there are no returning seiyuu.

Well what do we have here…is anyone surprised to see Sailor Moon Crystal with a sequel? Certainly not me – but not for the right reasons. I blogged the original two seasons a year ago and honestly, it wasn’t a hit with me. It was great from a nostalgia standpoint, but after about two episodes, I was over it. The production values were too low, the actual plot varied so much from the original and I hate to say it – but maybe those fillers were a good thing. As a huge fan of the original anime (not the manga), I was disappointed with the result and I actually prefer the 200-episode original anime. If you’re someone that was a fan of the manga though, then by all means please let me know how this sequel performs. From what I can see of the promotional images and videos, it looks like there’s a new art director in store for us, so maybe, just maybe the animation and girls will be a bit more bearable to watch this time.

Watching This: Cherrie Expectation Level: Established
Show Sailor Moon Crystal 3rd Season Promotional Videos ▼

Bakuon!! | ばくおん!!Top
http://www.bakuon-anime.com/
Animation: TMS Entertainment Premiere: April 4, 2016
Genre: Sports, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @bakuon_anime or #ばくおん

Preview by Jig

Bakuon!! follows student Sakura Hane (Ueda Reina), who gets exhausted every day when she rides her bike up steep hills on the way to her all-girls high school. One day she encounters fellow student Amano Onsa (Uchiyama Yumi) riding a motorcycle on the way to school—easily cruising past the grueling slopes of their commute. Sakura becomes immediately fascinated with the vehicle, and makes quick friends with Amano when she enquires about her ride. Shortly after, they join their school’s motorcycle club, which runs them into a slew of other quirky and eccentric characters. The series follows the club’s various day-to-day activities and hijinks, such as Sakura’s initial pursuit of her license, preparing for the school festival showcase, and so on.

Straight up, motorcycles are seriously wicked awesome. I’d ride one every day if I had the proper finances, so the subject material is enough to intrigue me. What’s more, the characters immediately strike me as charming and likable. In the manga, members of the main cast all exude striking personalities and amusing senses of humor, so I think much of the show’s enjoyment will likely derive from their lively interactions and conversations. Bakuon!! comes to us from TMS Entertainment, whose most recently successful production involved adapting another property centered around two-wheeled vehicles, Yowamushi Pedal. I’m a huge fan of that series, which boasts some impressive visuals, both technically and aesthetically. Bakuon!! seems to have inherited the same level of quality and then some, for the show looks absolutely gorgeous—characters look adorable and beautifully rendered, and the motorcycles are drawn as convincing representations of the actual thing. With a main cast this charming and subject material this unique, the show has the promise to be the next big moe hit.

Watching This: Cherrie, Jig, Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Bakuon!! Promotional Videos ▼

Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalite | 聖戦ケルベロス 竜刻のファタリテTop
http://cerberus-anime.jp/
Animation: Bridge Premiere: April 4, 2016
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:35
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @cerberus_anime

Preview by Samu

Named after the multi-headed hound of Hades, Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukokou no Fatalite is a classic grimdark adventure fantasy. Filled with swords and magic, it’s set in the continent of Kunaaan, where the power balance between the Holy Kingdom of Amoria, the Kingdom of Ishilfen, and the Vanrodis Kingdom exists in order to prevent a war that would devastate all corners of the land. But there’s a fourth player to consider: the evil dragon Danguard, so strong that no one is powerful enough to prevent him from causing chaos and destruction wherever he goes. The story follows sixteen-year-old Hiiro (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), a boy who trained himself with his sword, as he goes on a quest to track down the dragon who murdered his parents. Fueled by vengeance, his personal journey allows him the opportunity to do the impossible and perhaps save the world along the way.

A lot could be said about Seisen Cerberus, and not all of it is praiseworthy. First impressions count for a lot, and if you feel like you’ve read this story before, it’s because you probably have. This is a by-the-book fantasy story that ticks off the checklist of every possible trope, including an evil dragon and a teenage boy with a tragic backstory hoping to save the world. Pair that with the lackluster production quality, and there isn’t much to hope for, unless you’re an unabashed fan of these sorts of titles; in that case, this may be your perfect anime. While it may be attempting to be too dark and edgy for some, I’m sure fans of the mobile game will be pleased with this getting an adaptation at all. Yet history has not been kind to these sorts of anime. Other than Shingeki no Bahamut, these mobile game adaptations rarely end up being good, so Seisen Cerberus certainly has a lot to prove, especially in a season as crowded as this one.

Watching This: Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalite Promotional Videos ▼

Hundred | ハンドレッドTop
http://hundred-anime.jp/
Animation: Production IMS Premiere: April 4, 2016
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:05
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hundred_PR or #ハンドレッド

Preview by Stilts

Savage: Mysterious lifeforms that came to Earth on a meteorite and are attacking humanity. Hundred: The only weapon that can pierce Savage’s hard shells. To become a Military Arts Master who wields a Hundred, Kisaragi Hayato (Hasegawa Yoshiaki) enrolls in the marine academy city ship Little Garden. As soon as he arrives, he’s greeted by Emil Crossford (Ookubo Rumi), his strange yet familiar roommate who seems to know him from somewhere. On top of that, as soon as he enters the school he’s challenged to a duel by the student council president and “Queen” Claire Harvey (Ichimichi Mao). The ultimate school battle action series begins.

This is a magical-fantasy-action-harem anime based on a light novel. It may call itself sci-fi, but don’t believe it—when magical weapons spring spontaneously from magic space rocks, it’s science fantasy if we’re being charitable. Infinite Stratos is the comparison that comes screeching to mind, because though the magic science weaponry is of the armor-and-weapons type, everything else (aside from the all-girls school—there are other guys here) is pretty much the same. There’s the uniquely powerful protagonist who uses a sword, haremettes start lining up immediately, deep friendships form instantly, there’s an unconvincing crossdresser (version: reverse trap), et cetera. But! It still looks fun. Not groundbreaking, but fun. I think it’ll depend on the action, and so far the action in the promos looks good. Plus we have Kobayashi Tomoki in the director’s chair, and his action resumé (Akame ga Kill, the original Utawarerumono) is promising. Look, this is a magical-fantasy-action-harem anime, and you know what you’re getting with one of these. Even if I can feel the tropes being relentlessly deployed (sick little sister? You got it!), that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Oh, and there’s gonna be some ecchi parts here, so look forward to that.

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Hundred Promotional Videos ▼

Hakuouki ~Otogisoushi~ | 薄桜鬼~御伽草子~Top
http://www.hakuoki-otogi.com/
Animation: DLE Premiere: April 5, 2016
Genre: Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 21:55
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hakuoki_otogi or #hakuoki

Preview by Takaii

A new spin-off based on the otome game sharing its name, Hakuouki: Otogisoushi is more of a “what if” series. Essentially, how would things be if all the characters had a peaceful everyday life instead of having to battle all kinds of demons and foes? With the entire cast (both characters and seiyuu) making their return in chibi form, it feels like this’ll be a nice treat for fans of the original show. With only tidbits of information out, let’s get some of the basic housekeeping out of the way: the opening song will be performed by Renka of Fire Emblem fame. The studio behind this one looks to be DLE and not Studio DEEN (they did the original Hakuouki), and to their credit DLE seems well-suited for a chibi-esque show like this.

Overall, I can’t help but feel this is another show trying to grab onto the tailcoats of success that the original game and all of its spin-offs created. If you enjoyed Hakuouki, I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t enjoy the opportunity to see your favorite characters in an alternate universe that’s super focused on slice-of-life. While I personally didn’t enjoy the original show, there’s some charm in seeing the characters in chibi form. It’s tough to describe, but with such a stark difference from the original, it feels like a different show even though it really isn’t. I guess you could it call it one of those “different but same” moments? Anyway, this show should be a treat for those who enjoyed the original, and possibly a quirky samurai-era slice-of-life for those who are new to Hakuouki.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
Show Hakuouki ~Otogisoushi~ Promotional Videos ▼

Joker Game | ジョーカー・ゲームTop
http://jokergame.jp/
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: April 5, 2016
Genre: Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:00
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @jokergame_anime

Preview by Takaii

Set in the late ’30s before Japan entered World War II, Joker Game revolves around Lieutenant Colonel Yuuki (Horiuchi Kenyuu) and his agency of spies. Known as D Agency, these operatives execute missions related to obtaining and maintaining information on both domestic and foreign matters. With a simple code of Don’t Kill, Don’t get killed, and Don’t get captured, this anime follows Yuuki and his agents as they try to stay one step ahead of both the state’s enemies and the state itself.

Boy oh boy, if your mystery bone has been itching, it looks like Joker Game should be the show to scratch it. Based off a successful light novel that’s already spawned a live action movie, what better studio to pick than Production I.G.? Directing the project is Nomura Kazuya (Ghost in The Shell, Sengoku Basara, Robotics;Notes) and seeing how his previous project went, I see no reason for this show not to be awesome. As an added bonus we have Yahagi Toshiyuki of Guilty Crown fame handling character design and animation, so I don’t think it’s too much to expect some buttery smooth shots. And don’t get me started on the voice cast. With big names like Kaji Yuuki, Kimura Ryohei, and Fukuyama Jun, I doubt I need to explain just how much of an eargasm we’ll all be having. When it comes to the plot though, there really isn’t too much to go off on unless you’ve read the books, and it’s pretty tough to get a hold of them over here in Not Japan. Based on the promotional material and the tidbits I’ve found here and there, it looks like this should be an exciting mystery with a little bit of thriller elements here and there. In any case, count me in!

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Joker Game Promotional Videos ▼

Sousei no Onmyouji | 双星の陰陽師Top
http://sousei-anime.jp/
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: April 6, 2016
Genre: Action, Romance, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 18:25
Episodes: Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sousei_pr or #双星

Preview by Samu

Sousei no Onmyjouji is a tale of two halves. The first is Enmadou Rokuro (Hanae Natsuki), a boy who, when he was younger, used to dream of becoming the strongest exorcist in order to erase all impurities and sins across the world. By the time he was twelve, he was already recognised as a talented exorcist, but that all changed when the tragedy of Hiinatsuki occurred, resulting in the deaths of seventeen exorcist cadets, with Rokuro being the lone survivor. Since then he has refused to become an exorcist, going so far as to hate anything associated with the profession. But when the other half of the story, the famed Adashino Benio (Han Megumi) comes into his life, Rokuro finds himself dragged back into the world of exorcism and impurities, as this warrior duo are brought together in an unbreakable bond.

In a season packed with shonen action shows, Sousei no Onmyouji perhaps hasn’t caught the attention it deserves. While Ushio to Tora lends to the nostalgia of older anime fans, and Boku no Hero Academia is destined to be the Next Big Thing, Sousei no Onmyouji has its own appeal. It comes from the same family as Ao no Exorcist and Owari no Seraph – all three are published in the same magazine – so if you enjoyed either of those titles, then this will be worth your time. After the first few volumes I was already smitten with the main duo, even if the premise isn’t anything particularly original. I love the element of romance that is so rare in these sorts of series, so there’s plenty of shipping potential if that’s what you’re looking for. As far as negatives go, it seems manga readers aren’t happy with the character designs, though I don’t see the problem; they’re not that different, and even if they were, it’s common for the art style to change slightly in order to work better in animated form. There’s also an anime original animal sidekick inserted here, which could either be cute or annoying, so the jury is out on that one. But overall, Sousei no Onmyouji definitely deserves more attention than it’s currently getting. Hopefully it ends up a pleasant surprise.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Samu, Stilts Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Sousei no Onmyouji Promotional Videos ▼

Neko Neko Nihonshi | ねこねこ日本史Top
Animation: Joker Films Premiere: April 6, 2016
Genre: History Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 18:45
Episodes: Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation

Preview by Jig

You may or may not be familiar with the stories of key Japanese historical figures such as Queen Himiko, legendary warlord Oba Nobunaga, and samurai Sakamoto Ryooma—seminal individuals in Japan’s long and storied history to be sure. Neko Neko Nihonshi (based on a manga of the same name) offers a retelling of it all…reimagined with adorably-drawn kitty cats! The series will follow many classic narratives of Japanese history, pretending as if all the boring and unoriginal human characters were replaced with cats.

Neko Neko Nihonshi will most definitely follow a short format, given that the source material consists of weekly installments of 4-koma (or 4-panel) manga. Though I could only locate the raw versions online (the series is posted serially on mangaka Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha’s own website), I can tell from the visuals that the anime adaptation won’t embark on any grand or ambitious plotlines, but instead focus on smaller humor. The cats themselves manage to be cute and cuddly in ways typically unconventional to Japanese animation—instead of adorable large eyes and enormous, expressive mouths, these crudely drawn critters sport dot-eyes and tiny jagged yappers. The target audience is likely younger children, especially given the educational undertones of the show—a fun and easy way to learn about your key Japanese historical figures, kids. In that sense, series director Kawamura Tomohiro would seem more than capable, given his previous experience directing a children-oriented production about small animals, Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi. Neko Neko Nihonshi will likely prove a brief but humorous watch.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game | 美少女遊戯ユニットクレーンゲールTop
http://cranegale.com/
Animation: Kyoutama Premiere: April 6, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @cranegamegirls or #クレゲ

Preview by Takaii

With the hype around idol (both male and female) groups growing at an exponential rate, it’s no surprise to see new shows trying to cash in on the craze. But in a world full of well-established series and games like Love Live, Idolish7, and THE IDOLM@STER, what’s an original show like Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls supposed to do? Obviously, throw another plot idea into the mix and hope for the best! In Crane Game Girls’ case, they’re tying in the fate of the planet with a handful of girls becoming successful idols at an arcade. In just a few weeks, join Mirai (Hara Natsuko), Asuka (Tokui Sora), and Kyouko (Rico Sasaki) as they train to not only be great idols but the saviors of the earth!

Before we go any further, am I the only one who thinks the premise for this show is a little crazy? I mean, we’ve seen a certain show about sextuplets trying to do the same thing and we all know how well that worked out for them (that’s an Osomatsu-san F6 reference, and it went pretty badly). One interesting thing about Crane Game Girls’ is it looks like it’ll feature both animated moments and live action ones. Specifically, we’re getting five minutes of anime and 16 minutes of live action. That’s something I can’t say I’ve watched recently, but seems like it could be an interesting concept if it’s executed properly. That said, when you take everything and add it all together, I’m just not sure how I feel about this show. Also, can you even say this is an anime with more than 75% of it being live action? My instincts say that this’ll probably be something to steer clear of, but when you’re dealing with idols (especially ones that are tasked to save the world), just about anything could happen. I’ll probably give this one at least an episode or two. Hopefully it manages to surpass all of our expectations!

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Low
SUPER LOVERSTop
http://superlovers-anime.com/
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: April 6, 2016
Genre: Drama, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @superloversinfo or #スパラヴァ

Preview by Jig

SUPER LOVERS follows sophomore student Kaidou Haru (Maeno Tomoaki) as he visits his mother, Kaidou Haruko (Tanaka Atsuko)—a popular novelist—for the summer in Canada, where he grew up with her as a child. Upon arriving, he discovers that she has adopted eight-year-old Kaidou Ren (Minagawa Junko), a rambunctious and unmannerly boy who spends his time playing with wild animals and disobeying his mother’s words. She tasks Haru with “civilizing” the young lad before he leaves—a tasks which he finds initially impossible. As the summer progresses, however, the two begin to forge a close and intimate bond.

The SUPER LOVERS manga is widely revered by fans for its excellent pacing, complex characters, and gorgeous art. Apparently the central relationship is refined and developed at an organic and gratifying tempo. While one might assume this accounts for a vapid, drawn-out narrative, there’re plenty of twists and turns to keep the story engaging. Though I’ve only read a wee bit of the manga in preparation for this post, I could tell that the story is relayed in a thoughtful and introspective manner, drawing plenty of attention to characters’ varying emotional states, as well as their unique personalities. You get the impression that these are real people, with their own thoughts and goals that you deeply sympathize with. The art is also beautiful—something which is kept well intact with the anime adaptation (if the PV is anything to go off of). The series will be produced by Studio Deen, which means that the beloved property is in good hands considering the ample experience the studio has with romance shows. SUPER LOVERS will likely turn out to be a worthwhile watch, given the impressive production values, as well as the lauded quality of the source material.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show SUPER LOVERS Promotional Videos ▼

Onigiri | 鬼斬Top
http://www.onigiri-anime.com/
Animation: Pierrot Plus Premiere: April 6, 2016
Genre: Action, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @onigiri_anime or #鬼斬アニメ

Preview by Passerby

One may mistake Onigiri for a Dagashi Kashi spin-off about savory Japanese snacks, but it’s actually an adaptation of a massively-online role-playing game, with its name roughly meaning ‘oni cutter’. In an alternate medieval Japan, humans co-exist with all manner of supernatural and mythological creatures. But ages ago, there was a malevolence that defied this balance: the Kamigui, devourer of gods, which spread decay and pestilence across the realm. It took the sun goddess Amaterasu herself to defeat the Kamigui, and when she did she erected three great seals, so that the Kamigui would never rise again. But now, untold years later, one of the seals have been destroyed, and rumours of the Kamigui’s return are circulating. Spiritualist Shizuka Gozen (Suzuki Aina) and her loyal retainer Yoshitsune (Matsui Eriko) have to find the cause of this incident, and protect the land from falling into darkness.

I haven’t played the Onigiri video game, but from what I’ve read on it, it seems to stride that golden twilight zone between mainstream popcorn entertainment and abject shovelware. There’s a manga too, but I don’t think this anime is going to have much to do with it; for one, the manga has a male cast, and also, it’s bad. I’m not sure if we can glean too much about the plot from either of these sources; Onigiri is a short-form anime, which is not a format exactly conducive to a narrative-heavy show. It appears one of the key draws of the MMORPG was its supporting cast of comely females (because target demographic), and Onigiri may well focus on them instead, which has worked to arguable degrees of success for other game adaptations. What can be done in five-minute segments, though? Shorts are often focused on comedy, with most sketches working well as brief laughs; will Onigiri go down that route as well? It’s hard to tell at this point, based only a PV composed of some action cuts. Most likely its first priority is to promote the game (what with many anime being glorified advertisements, though I prefer to call it ‘tiered monetisation’). The question is what they’ll do to make that worth watching. I suppose Japanese mythology always has interesting depth, and if you already play the game then you already have some initial investment. Otherwise, it’s only five minutes an episode, so it’s no great loss to check out.

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Show Onigiri Promotional Videos ▼

Bungou Stray Dogs | 文豪ストレイドッグスTop
http://bungo-stray-dogs.jp/
Animation: Bones Premiere: April 6, 2016
Genre: Action, Supernatural Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @bungosd_anime or #bungosd

Preview by Passerby

Japan, early 20th century. It’s a strange time to be alive. Nakajima Atsushi (Uemura Yuto) is an orphan, recently run out of the orphanage that was his home with nothing but the shirt on his back. On top of that, he’s sure that he’s being stalked by a man-eating tiger. Yeah, strange times. The unfortunate youth flees to the big city, where he meets, and assists, a curious man named Daizai Osamu (Miyano Mamoru), who turns out to be an employee of the ‘Armed Detective Agency’. This notorious private investigation firm is not just a bunch of amateur sleuths or guns-for-hire; each member of the Agency are possessed of unique, supernatural abilities, allowing them to tackle cases that stump the police or military. Usually with violence, because that’s just good television. And it turns out, they’re hunting for a man-eating tiger. Atsushi finds himself caught up in the Armed Detective Agency’s routine of solving crimes, warring with the local mafia, and causing excessive property damage. Better than starving alone on the streets? Debatable. But it’s sure going to be more exciting.

I don’t think it’s usually accurate to generalise about animation studios, because of the revolving door their staff often faces, but Bones does seem to have an affinity for stylish action series, don’t they? In fact, Bungou Stray Dogs, based on a manga by Asagiri Kafka (man of two last names), may remind you of Kekkai Sensen by similarities in premise, even though it doesn’t look like Bungou Stray Dogs is going to employ the same flair. More importantly, director Igarashi Takuya and screenwriter Enokido Yoji are frequent co-conspirators under the Bones flag on flashy shows like STAR DRIVER, Captain Earth and, er, Ouran High School Host Club. How to sell this one, though? Well, for starters, all of Bungou Stray Dogs‘ characters are named after and inspired by actual writers of the historical era. Why? Don’t know. But it makes for a varied and colourful cast who drive much of the story and provide the flashy superpowered combat that is the highlight of these kind of shows. Flipping through the manga, it’s not the deepest fare and there’s room for the writing to be tightened in adaptation, but there’s a fun action romp to be had in there. So, sure, ‘stylish Bones action show’ may not mean too much, but Bungou Stray Dogs is it.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Bungou Stray Dogs Promotional Videos ▼

An Happy♪ | あんハピ♪Top
http://anne-happy.com/
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: April 7, 2016
Genre: School-Life, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 21:30
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @annehappy_anime or #あんハピ

Preview by Takaii

Welcome to Tennogofune Academy, a place where students with “negative karma” or extremely poor luck seem to gather. Of the students there, those with the worst fortune seem to end up in class 1-7. Here, we meet the first characters of our story: Hanakoizumi An (Hanamori Yumiri) AKA Hanako, Hibarigaoka Ruri (Shiraishi Haruka) AKA Hibari, and Kumegawa Botan (Yasuno Kiyono). They’re all afflicted with different types of negative karma, ranging from bad luck to straight up getting physically injured. With this in mind, our girls have banded together in hopes of overcoming their negative karma and having a happy and positive school life!

While I couldn’t get my hands on the source material, I can’t help but feel that this will end up being one of those “feel good” shows for the season. It’s nothing new to see a school-life show based on the concept of its characters having bad luck, but seeing how everyone is afflicted with some kind of negative karma, I can’t help but feel that we’ll get some great laughs from all of their misfortune. And while shows like this can fall flat pretty easily, I think the staff and studio backing this one gives it a lot of hope. With Oonuma Shin of Baka Test and Prisma Illya fame directing, and SILVER LINK handling the production, I think we could have a pretty good hit on our hands. Sure, it’s possible the laughs could get old or the material might not handle a full season well, but I think there’s a prime opportunity if An Happy♪ is willing to take things to the next level and merge your typical jokes with the super exaggerated ones. Hopefully our karma is decent and we won’t be left disappointed.

Watching This: Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show An Happy♪ Promotional Videos ▼

Kuromukuro | クロムクロTop
http://kuromukuro.com/
Animation: P.A. Works Premiere: April 7, 2016
Genre: Adventure, Sci-fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kuromukuro_unkl or #クロムクロ

Preview by Passerby

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, anime studio P.A. works has a special project in store in the form of Kuromukuro. Back in the 1950s, Japan built a huge hydroelectric dam smack dab in the middle of the country, and the Kurobe Dam still stands today as the tallest dam in the land. The sheer size of the project and its cost in blood and treasure actually inspired a few dramatisations and fanciful anecdotes about its construction, and Kuromukuro taps into that imagination as well. In the alternate history of Kuromukuro, construction of the Kurobe Dam unearthed a ancient and singular artefact, which set the world ablaze with speculation. And so the Kurobe Research Institute was established under the auspices of the United Nations, attracting academics from all over the globe. To accommodate their families, the Mt Tate International Senior High School was established for the education of the academics’ children. It’s the present day, summer 2016, and both research and enrollment at Mt Tate continues. But something is stirring at Kurobe Dam. What seems to be a samurai from a past age (Azakami Youhei) awakens. Why has he been roused him from his long slumber? What does he have to do with futuristic humanoid robots? Seriously, what does he have to do with futuristic humanoid robots? Kuromukuro hides the answers for now.

So we had a mysterious original mecha series a while back, and it was a trainwreck. We’ve been hyped about shows under the P.A. Works banner before, and it was Glasslip, and then it was Charlotte. Yeah, if we wanted to be pessimistic about an anime, we can dig up plenty of reasons to be. But let’s ignore the superficial comparisons, and pull back the curtain on the important stuff, the people who actually make the show. For example, Higaki Ryou, on series composition, also had a hand in Seirei no Moribito. Director Okamura Tensai also did Nanatsu no Taizai, which was great fun, and Darker than BLACK, which was Darker than BLACK. And as a shout-out to sound directors, Wakabayashi Kazuhiro is a magician. Hopefully that’s enough substance to start, because Kuromukuro keeps the rest of its cards close to its chest. Looking at the promotional material, I guess it looks good enough? And I enjoyed their choice of music? Those are good signs, but that’s not really going to tell you what the series will unfold to be. As is often the case with original anime, we have to mostly rely on the promise behind the staff and the kernel of idea that we are shown. I think Kuromukuro has enough of that to be at least worth checking out.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Kuromukuro Promotional Videos ▼

Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? | ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った?Top
http://netogenoyome.com/
Animation: Project No.9 Premiere: April 7, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays 23:00
Episodes: Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @netoge_anime or #netoge

Preview by Stilts

This light novel adaptation centers on Nishimura Hideki (Toyonaga Toshiyuki), a high school boy who once confessed to a girl in an online game, only for that girl to turn out to be a boy. He keeps this dark history a secret and swears to never to trust a “girl” online again. However, one day a guildmate confesses to him, and it turns out she’s actually a beautiful girl named Tamaki Ako (Hidaka Rina). Whereas Hideki considers online and IRL to be separate, Ako can’t tell the difference between the two, and she’s a loner who has trouble communicating. After an IRL meet-up with guild master/student council president Goshouin Kyou (Ichimichi Mao) and tsuntsun twintails girl Segawa Akane (Minase Inori), Ako’s affliction begins wreaking havoc with everyone’s lives, so they decide to work together to “correct” Ako.

Very rarely do I laugh out loud while previewing a series, but I did with this one, multiple times. While the setup is overly contrived—of course three of the four guildmates turn out to be girls, and all four of them conveniently go to the same school—it sets up a story that’s really funny, mainly because all of the characters are bonkers. From Ako going into dark mode and railing about “normalfags” to Kyou trying to solve all her problems with money—and with both Akane and Hideki on hand to tsukkomi or add to the insanity, depending—they’re all comedy goldmines, especially when combined. I’m especially pleased with the seiyuu choices, particularly Toyonaga Toshiyuki as Hideki, who was superb as the lead in Noucome. If he brings a modicum of the comedic skill he displayed there, we’ll be in for a good time. The staff provides few hints. Director Yanagi Shinsuke appears to be a Project No.9 lifer, with shows such as Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS (good) and Momo Kyun Sword (very not good) as nearly his entire resume, while head writer Takahashi Tatsuya has a decent amount of credits to his name, but few in a leadership role. If you enjoy gut-busting comedies starring dysfunctional characters, the source material for this one is a lot of fun. What remains to be seen is if it will translate into an anime that’s equally as good. I’m heading into this with some hype, so hopefully Stilts won’t end up disappointed.

Watching This: Passerby, Stilts, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? Promotional Videos ▼

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri | 甲鉄城のカバネリTop
http://kabaneri.com/
Animation: Wit Studio Premiere: April 7, 2016
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:25
Episodes: Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @anime_kabaneri or #カバネリ

Preview by Samu

From the same studio, director, scriptwriter, and sound director as the worldwide hit Shingeki no Kyojin, comes Koutetsujou no Kabaneri. Set in a island nation in the middle of an industrial revolution, people live inside “Stations” for shelter, and transport wares through locomotives running on steam. The reason for them living behind these walls is to protect them from the monstrous undead creatures known as Kabane, iron-skinned giant zombies who are at war with the inhabitants of Hinomoto. In the Aragame station there lives a boy named Ikoma (Hatanaka Tasuku) who is creating the Tsuranukizutsu, a weapon whose purpose is to defeat the creatures that make their lives miserable. One night he encounters a girl named Mumei (Senbongi Sayaka), and together they get caught in this conflict as the ferocious Kabane attack their station, giving Ikoma the opportunity to defeat these beasts once and for all.

Does any of that sound familiar? People living behind walls, giant monsters who exist only to make their lives miserable, the story of an unlikely pair fighting against these creatures; it’s all too obvious to ignore. Of course, since it’s made by the people who brought us the Shingeki no Kyojin anime, it may not qualify as plagiarism. And while many will be skeptical about the premise, it’s not overdone enough to warrant significant disapproval. Who knows, it may turn out better than the original. The visual aesthetic alone already has me sold, as the action appears bloody and sleek, and the character artwork is vibrant and distinctive. At its best, this could be a tight production that isn’t bogged down by ongoing source material. It’s sure to be one of the more popular titles of this season, and with it being streamed on Amazon Prime, we’re seeing more anime branching out across the available streaming platforms. All things considered, once you get past this possibly being a rehash of the studio’s earlier success, there’s plenty to get excited about with Koutetsujou no Kabaneri.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Koutetsujou no Kabaneri Promotional Videos ▼

Shounen Maid | 少年メイドTop
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/meido/
Animation: 8bit Premiere: April 7, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:58
Episodes: Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @shonenmaid or #少年メイド

Preview by Samu

Shounen Maid tells the story of Komiya Chihiro (Fujuwara Natsumi), an energetic elementary schooler who lives at home with this mother, following her motto: “No work, no food.”. With that mentality instilled into him, Chihiro is the ultimate clean freak – he hates clutter, and does all the housework and chores at home. But when his mother suddenly dies, Chihiro is left alone in the world – until Taketori Madoka (Shimazaki Nobunaga) appears, claiming to be his uncle, and asks Chihiro to come stay with him. After refusing, Chihiro ends up cleaning up his uncle’s shambolic mansion. When his uncle offers him the opportunity to work as a cleaner, Chihiro accepts… only to find that he has to wear a maid uniform when on the job.

It’s hard to predict how the scales will weigh with Shounen Maid. On one hand, the light and airy visuals are fitting for this shoujo adaptation, and there’s likely to be plenty of opportunities for laughs, but there’s also a chance this could end up more creepy than intended. No matter how you look at it, Chihiro’s self-proclaimed “uncle” is a shady character – he asks an elementary schoolboy to dress up as a maid while he watches and makes jokes. From what I’ve read, it appears more innocent than perverted, but you never know what direction it could take. If you’re a fan of the manga, then this unlikely title getting an anime will surely make your week, but if not, I think it best to go into this with modest expectations. The characters are fun, but we won’t know whether the set-up is used to its best until several episodes are released. 8bit hasn’t got the best record, but with Yamamoto Yuusuke (B Gata H Kei, NHK ni Youkoso!, Yama no Susume) directing, there’s a chance this could follow the trend of many of his series: making a good series out of a questionable premise.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu, Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Shounen Maid Promotional Videos ▼

Sakamoto Desu ga? | 坂本ですが?Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/sakamoto/
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: April 7, 2016
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:28
Episodes: Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sakamoto_anime or #坂本ですが

Preview by Samu

If feels good to laugh, doesn’t it? Most people love a good comedy, and if you looked up “good comedy” in the anime/manga dictionary, you’d likely find a picture of Sakamoto desu ga?. This is a story about the ultimate Gary Stu, Sakamoto (Midorikawa Hikaru). First things first, Sakamoto is the coolest kid in school. All eyes are on him from the moment he walks into the room. The girls love him, the boys despise him. As such, his jealous classmates often play tricks on him to make a fool out of this seemingly perfect human being, but no matter what they do, Sakamoto always beats them at their game. Plant a duster on top of the door to land on his head? Sakamoto will catch it and make a fabulous pose instead. Pour a bucket of water in his cubicle when he’s in the toilet? Sakamoto’s already got an umbrella to keep him dry. No matter how hard life becomes, nothing ever gets the better of Sakamoto, who is focused on progressing through his high school life with class and confidence.

There are several comedies on offer this season, but none have the acclaim of Sakamoto desu ga?. It’s topped the best selling manga charts, its first volume won 2013 Male-Oriented Book of Year, and it won the Comic Natalie Grand Prize in the same year. It may reuse the same gag over and over, but it never seems to get boring – there are no limits to Sakamoto’s coolness. With the manga complete at 4 volumes, this is the perfect length for a 1-cour adaptation, and if the award-winning source material wasn’t enough to seal the deal, you just need to take a peek at the staff list. Leading the production is perhaps the best comedy director in the industry, Takamatsu Shinju (Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, Gintama, School Rumble), supported by literally dozen of all-star seiyuu: Ishida Akira, Sugita Tomokazu, Horie Yui, and Tamura Yukari, just to name a few. And if Studio DEEN worries you, then don’t let it. This year they have already produced the sublime Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu and the ever funny KonoSuba. Their reputation has been changing over the past few years, and it looks like 2016 will be their best year to date.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Sakamoto Desu ga? Promotional Videos ▼

Kyoukai no RINNE 2 | 境界のRINNE 第2期Top
http://anime-rinne.com/
Animation: NHK Premiere: April 9, 2016
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:30
Episodes: Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @pr_rinne_sp or #境界のRINNE

Preview by Samu

Kyoukai no Rinne returns for its second season, and chances are it’s going to hit the same sweet spots as the first. If you’re unfamiliar with Takahashi Rumiko’s latest series, then here’s what you need to know: it follows the life of Mamiya Sakura (Inoue Marina), who was spirited away to the afterlife when she was a little girl. Ever since she returned home, she has been able to see ghosts and other spiritual beings. Because of that, she is the only one in her class who can see the Rokudou Rinne (Ishikawa Kaito), a half-human, half-shinigami who resides in the human world and fights off evil spirits. Over the course of the first season, the deadpan Sakura and the ever poor Rinne have tackled all sorts of ghosts with strange – and sometimes dangerous – abilities. There’s always lightheartedness to the experience, as this is more comedy than drama, helped by a dash of romance to keep things interesting. Going forward, there’s likely to be just as many laughs, ghosts, and steady romantic developments in this second season.

My experience with Kyoukai no Rinne has been rather strange up until now. Going in, I wasn’t expecting it to be a full-blown gag series, so when it was I was slightly disappointed. But after I was recommended it once again, I caught up with it and was surprised at how damn funny it was. The characters work so well together, constantly clashing and getting caught in weird situations thanks to plenty of dastardly ghosts. If you’re a fan of deadpan humour, then the heroine, Sakura, will be right up you alley – she was the highlight of the series for me, along with her relationship with Rinne. Things did get serious from time to time, but I hope the balance from the first season is maintained. I’m just glad this is getting another season after its dismal sales (it was the 2nd worst selling TV anime of 2015). But sales figures rarely equate to the quality of a series, and that’s certainly the case with Kyoukai no Rinne.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge | 田中くんはいつもけだるげTop
http://tanakakun.tv/
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: April 9, 2016
Genre: Slice-of-Life, Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tanaka_anime or #たなけだ

Preview by Takaii

Another slice-of-life based off of a 4-koma, Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge focuses on the daily life of Tanaka (Ono Kensho), and just how difficult it is for him to live a life of simplicity. Because when it comes to being the protagonist of this show, Tanaka wants nothing of it. With his favorite pastimes involving sleeping, resting his head on his hands, and trying to get things done with the least amount of effort possible, it drives him a little crazy that all of his classmates seem to want something from him. From his best friend Oota (Hosoya Yoshimasa), who is trying to knock some life into him, to the tiny Miyano (Takamori Natsumi), who wants to become his apprentice at living life idly, it seems that the harder Tanaka tries to live his ideal life the further away he gets from it.

I won’t lie, the premise for this show and the first few chapters weren’t really doing it for me. Tanaka came off as a super apathetic character that basically didn’t give a damn about what others said. Even when his best friend Oota tried to help him out with a gentle shove in the right direction, watching him fight it with the least amount of energy necessary just rubbed me the wrong way. But that all changed once I got a little deeper in and the story introduced more characters to balance our Tanaka and his unique way of life. Specifically, I think it was the moment we met Shiraishi (Koiwai Kotori) and discovered a few secrets about her and Tanaka. While not wanting to spoil too much, there was this perfect balance between fleshing out Tanaka and giving a side character just enough personality that had everything finally clicking in my head. Besides the up-and-down story, it looks like the staff has a lot going for it. With Kawatsura Shinya from Non Non Biyori directing and SILVER LINK handling the production, I think the execution of the deadpan style of comedy I felt from the manga should come through nicely. And if all that doesn’t matter to you, this series is rocking a pretty stellar cast of seiyuu. You have Ono Kensho, Hozoya Yoshimasa, Koiwai Kotori, Yuuki Aoi, and Touyama Nao among others! So if you’re looking for a rather relaxed slice-of-life that throws some deadpan into the mix, there’s no going wrong with Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Jig, Samu, Stilts, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge Promotional Videos ▼

Kiznaiver | キズナイーバーTop
http://kiznaiver.jp/
Animation: Trigger Premiere: April 9, 2016
Genre: Sci-fi Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @kiznaiver or #kizna

Preview by Stilts

Kiznaiver takes place in the fictional Japanese city of Sugomori City. One day, Sonozaki Noriko (Yamamura Hibiku) approaches her classmate Agata Katsuhira (Kaji Yuki): “You have been selected to be a Kiznaiver.” The Kizuna System is an incomplete system meant to foster world peace, which connects people through wounds. All who are connected to the system (called Kiznaivers) share their wounds with everyone else; when one Kiznaiver is wounded, the system divides and transmits the wound among all other Kiznaivers. Becoming a Kiznaiver connects Katsuhira to classmates whose lives and personalities completely differ from his own, including Sonozaki and at least six others.

While my Uchuu Patrol Luluco preview sees me down on another Trigger short, with full-length series I’m more optimistic. Kiznaiver has one of those sci-fi premises that makes me sit up and think. The idea of a system that shares wounds is filled with dramatic potential, and provides a fruitful lens through which to explore the human experience. Plus, it’s not too jargon heavy, which is appreciated. This is being written by Okada Mari, AKA the only anime scriptwriter whose name you know. Love her or hate her, her skill and experience are formidable, even if you don’t like the way she does things—though I’d argue that Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans has proven that an Okada Mari series isn’t always what we expect, in the same way that Suisei no Gargantia proved for the Urobutcher (though that nickname is still fun). I mentioned Trigger because the animation in the promos is luscious, and the character designs by Miwa Shirow (illustrator for supercell) are pleasantly dynamic. I’m interested, I’ll admit—they’ve done what they needed to grab my attention. But temper thy excitement, friends, for this is an original series, which means it could be Madoka or it could be Glasslip, or any shade in between. One final tidbit to chew on: Okada said in an interview that the keyword for the series is “kizuna” (connection), and that the title itself is a play on “kizuna” and “naive.” Make of that what you will.

Watching This: Cherrie, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Kiznaiver Promotional Videos ▼

Hai-Furi | はいふりTop
http://www.hai-furi.com/
Animation: Production IMS Premiere: April 9, 2016
Genre: School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @hai_furi or #はいふり

Preview by Stilts

The setting is Japan, one hundred years after plate subduction has dragged many countries under the waves. To save the remaining nations, coastal cities were built up and launched into the seas, and the naval routes between them have been expanded. That led to a need for more personnel who could safeguard the oceans. This new industry became popular among women, and soon the so-called Blue Mermaids became a source of admiration for young girls. Childhood friends Misaki Akeno (Natsukawa Shiina) and China Moeka (Amamiya Sora) want to become Blue Mermaids, which is why they enrolled in Yokosuka’s Marine High School, where they’ll be prepared for maritime occupations. In addition to excelling in their studies, they must adopt an international mindset and become knowledgeable of other customs and cultures. Together they’ll live by the Blue Mermaid motto: “In the sea we live, the sea we protect, and by the sea we go.”

I feel like Hai-Furi does a lot of work to get to “maritime high school anime,” but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have promise. While my first impression was something like Nagi no Asukara by way of Aria, perhaps the more revealing factoid is that Hai-Furi’s original creator is listed as Suzuki Takaaki, who is best known as the military adviser for Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer, as well as occasional scriptwriter for both. That makes me think Hai-Furi is trying to cash in on the KanColle/military otaku craze, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as they can do it well. Director Nobuta Yuu hasn’t done much, but head script writer Yoshida Reiko has done damn near everything, and the cast is full of cute girls (a lot of them), which will probably help financially if nothing else. This is an original series with not a lot known about it, so I’m forced to shrug—it could be great, it could crash and burn, damned if I know. From what I know so far, I’m interested, but not particularly hyped. Hopefully that’ll mean it will surprise, though I can’t promise anything.

Watching This: Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Hai-Furi Promotional Videos ▼

Flying Witch | ふらいんぐうぃっちTop
http://www.flyingwitch.jp/
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: April 9, 2016
Genre: Slice-Of-Life, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:25
Episodes: Station: Nippon TV (ntv)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @flying_tv or #flyingwitch

Preview by Takaii

Originally a one-shot that was serialized a few years later, Flying Witch is your typical slice-of-life focused around a girl named Kowata Makoto (Shinoda Minami) and her journey to become a full-fledged witch in the modern world. Except this is a world where magic is simply from fairytales, and Makoto isn’t that great of a witch. Luckily, even with everything working against her, she has her non-witch cousins Kei (Sugawara Shinsuke) and Chinatsu (Suzuki Eri) to help her make it in the world. Along the way she meets some pretty good friends, and together they’ll hopefully be able to help her discover just what it means to be a witch.

Okay, with the barebones introduction out of the way, let me try to explain why I think this will be one of the best slice-of-life’s of the season. First off, don’t let the name fool you. This isn’t a show about magic or a girl trying to keep her status as a witch a secret. It’s simply about a girl named Makoto as she goes on a coming-of-age “adventure” in hopes of becoming a well-rounded and respectable witch. A premise that seems extremely basic upfront, but leaves so many doors open that there is ample material to create an engaging slice-of-life. Of course, you have the typical archetypes like the ditsy airhead, the straight man cousin, and the adorable little sister you’d kill to see more of, but there’s much more than that! With magic playing an underlying role, there are sprinkles of it all around to help spice up normal everyday situations, like screaming mandrake plants to spirits that change the seasons! Essentially, if you enjoy a little fantasy and/or Japanese folklore, there are a ton of little references to keep you focused. In terms of production, we have J.C. Staff leading the charge, and if there’s any studio that does a good slice-of-life, it’s J.C. Staff. If you’re looking for a show that uses fantasy elements to accentuate the story rather than be dictated by it, give this one a shot!

Watching This: Cherrie, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderately High
Show Flying Witch Promotional Videos ▼

Sansha Sanyou | 三者三葉Top
http://sansyasanyou.com/
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: April 10, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:00
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @sansya_anime or #三者三葉

Preview by Stilts

Sansha Sanyou is based on a 4-koma (4-panel) manga featuring three hilarious characters. First is Odagiri Futaba (Kanazawa Mai), a new transfer student with a super energetic personality, who’s also a glutton. Next is Hayama Teru (Imamura Ayaka), a class president with a surprisingly mean personality, contrary to her innocent looks. Last is Nishikawa Youko (Wakui Yuu), a formerly rich girl whose family is now extremely poor, but she holds onto her princess-like attitude. The story follows these three students with clashing personalities who become unlikely friends as they go about their day-to-day teenage lives together.

I’m going to throw out a name: Arai Cherry. Not familiar with that one? How about Mikakunin de Shinkoukei? That’s right, the author of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei—which was also animated by Dogakobo—is the creator of Sansha Sanyou as well. I wasn’t able to get a hold of the source material, but the comedic air in the promos gives a similar feeling to Mikakunin, but without the romantic aspect. Dogakobo is animating, and as one of the few studios who have consistently put out well animated projects no matter what, they’re one of the few studios I’m willing to judge based on studio name rather than staff alone—which is good, because the staff here is light on experience, with the partial exception of script writer Koyasu Hideaki (GJ-bu). Ditto for the seiyuu cast, which is filled with newbies. Whether you’ll want to watch this slice-of-life comedy comes down to this: Did you watch Mikakunin de Shinkoukei? Did you like it? If so, do you think Arai Cherry is cut from the Cool-kyou Shinja mold, where all her adaptations are gold? Alternately, if you’re looking or a well-animated, hopefully funny slice-of-life series, Sansha Sanyou looks like it’s trying to fit that bill.

Watching This: Samu, Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Sansha Sanyou Promotional Videos ▼

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou | とんかつDJアゲ太郎Top
http://tonkatsudj.tokyo/
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: April 10, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Music Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:15
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @tonkatsu_DJ

Preview by Samu

I know what you’re thinking: “Ew, what is this? That art looks horrible. It’ll probably just be a short anyway. Skip.” But let me stop you right there and tell you there’s more to Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou than meets the eye. Like you, I took one glance and thought how unappealing this looked, and that it would likely be a forgotten title among the mass of surefire hits coming this season. But what if I told you Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou’s first volume placed second in Kono Manga ga Sugoi!’s April 2015 ranking, beating the likes of Otoyomegatari, Golden Kamui, and Orange. That’s right, this ugly little digital manga got more votes than those award nominated/winning titles. So what’s it about? Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou is a gag manga that follows Katsumata Agetarou (Yamashita Daiki), who works at his family’s pork cutlet restaurant in Shibuya. But one day, when he is taking the deliveries to a night club, he’s allowed in and falls in love with the nightlife. He loves it all: the relaxed mood, the cute girls, and most of all, the music. And when he encounters the American DJ Big Master Fly (Chafurin), Agetarou is inspired to become a DJ himself, whilst balancing his duties at his family restaurant.

This is a weird one. The premise is strange (though I’m getting some Shokugeki no Souma vibes from it), and the art is crude, but its popularity indicates there is more than meets the eye here. If you didn’t know, Tonkatsu DJ Aretarou is published in Weekly Shonen Jump’s online magazine, Jump+. This service only started a few years ago, so it’s nice to see it finding some successful titles now getting anime adaptations. It’s likely to be a short, but we are in safe hands with veteran director, Daichi Akitarou (Bokura ga Ita, Fruits Basket, Kamisama Hajimemashita), who will hopefully bring the best out of its source material. Studio DEEN seems to be on a roll with their releases so far this year, so let’s hope that keeps up.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Jig, Samu Expectation Level: Moderate
Usakame | うさかめTop
http://nemumi.com/
Animation: Millepensee Premiere: April 11, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:05
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @nemumiwo or #usakame

Preview by Samu

Whether or not you’ve watched it, you’ve likely heard of the mega-hit short Teekyuu, a sports comedy that’s barely about sports, and more about reveling in its own ridiculousness. It’s been airing for four season straight (since Spring 2015), and just when we thought it was reaching its end, out comes Usakame. Written by the same author, adapted by the same studio and director, we’ve got yet another spin-off to the series that looks like it’s going to air a new season until Fall 2024. Like Teekyuu, Usakame focuses on a high school tennis club and it’s four zany members, originally introduced in the manga as rivals to the Teekyuu girls. Nishiaraidaishi Nishi (Tanijiri Maria), Satou Kurumi (Koide Hikaru), Tanaka Kinako (Nakashima Yuki), and Irohani Hoheto (Aihara Arisa) are sure to be an eccentric bunch, but will they compete with the the originals? Will this actually focus on tennis, or will it be even more balls to the walls than before?

Before I watched Teekyuu, all I ever thought was: “How many seasons is this damn show going to get?” And by the looks of it, seven may be the lucky number. But after I started marathoning the series for the Best of Anime 2015 post, I kind of loved it. The comedy can be hit or miss depending on the episode, but when the rapid fire gags hit you one after the other, it proves that no matter how short the short, it can still deliver as many laughs as a full-length comedy. While we’re not yet familiar with the cast of Usakame, I hope these four new characters can live up to the ridiculousness of the original cast – with the same original creator and people adapting it, I’d say there’s a good chance that the Teekyuu franchise will continue strong for another season. And another. And another. And another…

Watching This: No one yet Expectation Level: Moderately Low
Wagamama High Spec | ワガママハイスペックTop
http://whanime.com/
Animation: Axsiz Premiere: April 11, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:10
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @wagamamahs or #ワガハイ

Preview by Passerby

Naromi Kouki may look like your average high school student, but in truth he hides a dark and terrible secret. Unbeknownst to his unsuspecting classmates, Kouki draws manga. In fact, he’s a professional, published in a weekly magazine. It’s not a point he feels comfortable bragging about, for what he draws is risqué, ‘trashy’ romantic comedy. Not the most highbrow fare, sure, but it sells faster than you can say ‘Fifty Shades of—‘. Kouki manages to keep his side job under wraps until one day the president of the student council, Rokuonji Kaoruko (Honda Mariko) happens to stumbles upon his secret. This proves serendipitous for Kaoruko, as she was just looking for a male recruit to balance out the all-female student council. In return for Kaoruko’s silence, Kouki is blackmailed into joining the student council, where he listens to complaints, does odd jobs, and butts heads with the other members. And, perhaps, he begins to live a romantic comedy that he had only before drawn in manga.

There seems to be a recent trend of anime being produced alongside their source games, like with Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen and Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu, and Wagamama High Spec is another addition to that list. It’s an adaptation of a visual novel by Madosoft and, relevantly for the Western audience, is also being translated into English by Sekai Project later this year. That’s quite an outreach programme, but what does it mean for this anime? Well, the most important thing to know is that it’s actually a short, so we can probably discount a full adaptation of its source. Most likely, it’ll be a series of comedy sketches and fanservice hijinks to promote the game. Which, considering the timing of the release, is not entirely void of value. If you’re interested in the visual novel, and are looking for a primer for it, then you can do worse than watching Wagamama High Spec. And who knows? Short or not, ad or not, it could still turn out to be an amusing diversion.

Watching This: Stilts, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Big Order | ビッグオーダーTop
http://www.future-diary.tv/bo/
Animation: asread Premiere: April 15, 2016
Genre: Action, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:40
Episodes: Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @mirai_nikki or #bigorder

Preview by Takaii

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world where your wishes could become superpowers? Or more specifically, a power based on whatever you may have wished for? Welcome to Big Order, a story based a world like ours that revolves around the people known as Orders and the powers they wield. Powers that are based on the strongest wishes in their heart. And at the center of it all is Hoshimiya Eiji (Morita Masakazu), the boy who you could say started everything. Because unbeknownst to the world, it was because of his wish that the world was hit by a catastrophic event that killed millions upon millions of people. Since that fateful day, Eiji has refused to use his powers and has spent his life questioning why his wish brought upon so much destruction. That is, until a transfer student named Kurenai Rin (Mikami Shiori) joins his class and subsequently appears at his doorstep with a katana aimed straight at his chest.

After going through a good amount of the source material, here’s the one big question I had and you may also have: why hasn’t someone wished for something so ridiculously overpowered that they could do whatever they want? Luckily, the answer is given to us sooner rather than later, and the answer is that the gods behind all of this have a pretty wicked sense of humor. Basically, if they don’t want to, they don’t have to give the power to them! As you’ll quickly find out, the number of Orders are vastly outnumbered by the general population, and aren’t looked upon all that highly. Combined with the fact the some are moving around as a de-facto militia and it’s not tough to see why there’d be some tension between Orders and non-Orders. If the struggle between the everyday man and the selected few isn’t your thing, the protagonist Eiji might be the thing to bring you back. His power is apparently so powerful he could become the ruler of the world, except he has a decent set of morals that keep him in line. Toss in the responsibility he feels for causing the great disaster and you have a character you can really feel for. Overall, if you’re looking for a show that’ll keep the action on full blast while sprinkling some character development and a tiny bit of romance, Big Order should fit the bill.

Watching This: Cherrie, Guardian Enzo, Jig, Passerby, Samu, Stilts, Takaii, Zephyr Expectation Level: Moderate
Magi Sinbad no Bouken | マギ シンドバッドの冒険Top
http://www.project-magi.com/sinbad/
Animation: Lay-duce Premiere: April 15, 2016
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 26:25
Episodes: 13 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Join the conversation @project_magi or #magi

Preview by Stilts

Prequel and spin-off of the Magi series, Sinbad no Bouken will be getting a full broadcast anime treatment this spring. The events of Sinbad no Bouken take place 30 years before the events of Magi, and focus on young Sinbad’s (Ono Daisuke) journey to become king. It tells the story of how he captured two dungeons with his original companions. This will be a retelling of the previous five OVA series, and all of the cast and staff will be returning, including Sugita Tomokazu as Drakon, Fujiwara Keiji as Hinahoho, Sakurai Takahiro as Ja’far, Ishida Akira as Yunan, and more.

I’ll freely admit that I’ve been meaning to watch the Sinbad no Bouken OVAs, but I never got around to it because I have horrible time management skills, apparently. Word on the street is that, while they got the gist of the manga across, they stuffed a ton of chapters into five short OVAs, which always has its problems. I expect the TV series will mostly be a retelling of the OVAs, but with higher production values and more time for the story to breathe. That’s fine with me, because not only does it absolve me of the need to watch the OVAs (time is limited, you know), it means anime-only viewers will get a chance to learn more about the enigmatic Sinbad. Sinbad was always one of the most fascinating characters in the main Magi series, for he seemed both friendly and menacing. Seeing how he grew into that person should be a treat. Plus, it should have a more straight-forward adventure feel, without some of the huge geopolitical concerns that Magi grapples with. (Not that I didn’t enjoy those, but adventure is good too.) If you’re a Magi fan, watch it already. If you haven’t seen Magi, I’ll say that, even though there were a few stumbles at the end of the first season, I supremely enjoyed the main anime, so if Sinbad no Bouken can channel some of that magic—and I’m sure it will—Stilts will be a happy camper. Fantasy adventure fans are encouraged to join in.

Watching This: Samu, Stilts Expectation Level: Moderate
Show Magi Sinbad no Bouken Promotional Videos ▼


OVA / Movie


 

Technical Note: OVAs are sorted by the date they are released. For series that have multiple episodes coming out over the course of the season, please refer to the Notes column for additional dates. More information on each OVA can be found on their respective websites, including promotional videos in some cases. Movie premiere dates are not included since they don’t mean a whole lot to viewers outside of Japan. DVD/BD movie releases are, however. This list is likely incomplete and will be updated as more titles surface. If you notice anything missing or incorrect, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail Zephyr directly.

Release Date Title Notes
03/04 Prison School OVA | 監獄学園[プリズンスクール] OVA
http://prison-anime.com/
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 20.
03/09 Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan OVA | 空戦魔導士候補生の教官 OVA
http://ku-sen.jp/
Bundled w/ LE LN Vol. 9.
03/09 Kurage no Shokudou OVA | クラゲの食堂
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/kurage/
BD/DVD Release.
03/11 Harmony | ハーモニー
http://project-itoh.com/#/harmony/top/
BD/DVD Release.
03/16 Alice in Dreamland | アリス・イン・ドリームランド
http://aliceindreamland-movie.com/
BD/DVD Release.
03/16 Hai to Gensou no Grimgar OVA
灰と幻想のグリムガル 「風呂の壁にかけた青春――one more センチメートル」
http://grimgar.com/bddvd/
Bundled w/ BD/DVD Vol. 1. Episode 2.5.
03/17 Noragami Aragoto OVA | ノラガミ OVA
http://noragami-anime.net/
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 16. Episode 2 of 2.
03/18 Bakuon!! OVA | ばくおん!! OVA
http://bakuon-anime.com/
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 7.
03/20 Colorful Ninja Iromaki | カラフル忍者いろまき
http://animetamago.jp/piece/signal/
Anime Tamago 2016.
03/20 UTOPA | カラフル忍者いろまき
http://animetamago.jp/piece/studio4c/
Anime Tamago 2016.
03/20 Kacchikenee! | かっちけねぇ!
http://animetamago.jp/piece/tezuka/
Anime Tamago 2016.
03/20 Kaze no Matasaburou | 風の又三郎
http://animetamago.jp/piece/buemon/
Anime Tamago 2016.
03/23 Charlotte Special | (シャーロット)TV未放送エピソード特別篇
http://charlotte-anime.jp/bd-dvd/07.html
Bundled w/ LE BD/DVD Vol. 7.
03/23 Kara no Kyoukai: Fukan Fuukei 3D | 劇場版「空の境界」 俯瞰風景3D
http://www.karanokyoukai.com/box/3d.html
BD/DVD Release.
03/25 Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova – Cadenza
劇場版 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ ‐アルス・ノヴァ‐ Cadenza
http://aokihagane.com/2606.html
BD/DVD Release.
03/25 Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu OVA | 少女たちは荒野を目指す OVA
http://shokomeza.com/
Bundled w/ first prints of the game’s “Anime Edition”.
03/30 The Anthem of the Heart | 心が叫びたがってるんだ。
http://www.kokosake.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
04/20 Gekijouban Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – Over the Wishes
劇場版 LASTEXILE 銀翼のファム Over the Wishes
http://www.lastexile-fam.com/
BD/DVD Release.
04/20 Kamisama Hajimemashita OVA | 神様はじめました~過去編~
http://www.hanayume.com/kamisama/
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 24. Episode 3 of 4.
04/22 Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 4 – Nikushimi no Kioku Kara
コードギアス 亡国のアキト 第4章: 憎しみの記憶から
http://www.geass.jp/akito/
BD/DVD Release. Episode 4 of 4.
04/27 Gekijōban Meiji Tokyo Renka: Yumihari no Serenade
明治東亰恋伽~弦月の小夜曲~
http://meikoi-cinema.com/
BD/DVD Release.
April 2016 Masamune Datenicle | 政宗ダテニクル
http://www.gainax.co.jp/wp/archives/post-5468/
Episode 1 of 2.
05/02 Owari no Seraph: Kyuuketsuki Shahar OVA
終わりのセラフ」のオリジナルアニメ「吸血鬼シャハル」
http://owarino-seraph.jp/event/11.html
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 11.
05/25 Doukyusei | 同級生
http://www.dou-kyu-sei.com/
BD/DVD Release.
05/27 Gekijouban Girls und Panzer | ガールズ&パンツァー 劇場版
http://girls-und-panzer.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
05/28 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin III – Akatsuki no Houki
機動戦士ガンダムTHE ORIGIN III 暁の蜂起
http://www.gundam-the-origin.net/
BD/DVD Release. Episode 3 of 4.

Overall Impressions


 

Spring has traditionally been a heavy season by the anime metric, and this year is no exception, weighing in at a hefty 45 titles. There is an advantage to a large offering of shows, if only to beat the odds by numbers, and sure enough, there’s quite a selection across the spectrum. There’s a slight skew towards action at the top of the barrel, but one can find solid offerings in comedy, drama, and even mystery if they spread their anime feelers around a bit. The only notable lack is the epic (unless we make an argument for Jojo), but under-representation in that field is not particularly surprising. For those who have an insatiable anime appetite, this is the kind of season more suitable to those who go wide rather than deep. That’s not to say that there will be no stand-outs, but it behoves one to dabble a bit, especially with relatively less sequels compared to last spring. I’m not sure how I feel about that; on one hand, franchise longevity is a comforting thing, but a higher number of interesting new premiers may be indication of a boldness in the industry. Or, ADHD.

So for a more holistic look, onto the levels. Our rubric remains the same, with the five main expectation levels ranging from High to Low, plus Niche and Established for special cases. Hopefully this guide will help those of you with limited time understand which shows to try first, based on our preliminary examination of the show’s staff, seiyuu, and source material. Failing that, it’ll serve as an eternal testament to the unlimited scope of human fallibility when we invariably peg one or two wrong.

We arrived at these levels by convening our regular (and reliably shady) “anticipation council,” which surprisingly still consisted of Passerby, Stilts, and Zephyr. While we’ve gone to great lengths to be as objective as possible, perfect objectivity is the realm of God on which mere mortals cannot tread, and even the most well-considered predictions can prove themselves wrong in a hurry. Take these with a grain of salt.

Note: Lists are sorted in alphabetical order.

 

The Rundown:

High expectation shows give us reason to believe they have the makings of a very good series that should appeal to the widest audience in their given genres. If you consider yourself a “casual” fan who only gets your toes wet every season by watching the “best” shows (i.e. popular ones that generate the most buzz), then these are the ones we feel you should keep an eye out for. We’re also expecting good things from these shows, so if they fall short, disappointment is understandable.

Moderately High expectation shows are ones that came close to joining the High expectation crowd, but missed out due to one or two elements that gave us concern. The series underpinnings are generally strong, but there is just something that keeps us from putting all our hopes and dreams on these shows. They still have most of the makings of very strong series, so if you watch only the “best” shows but want more than what the High category provides, keep an eye out for these as well.

Moderate expectation shows, also known as “True Moderate”, don’t provide any immediate indication that they’ll be amazing in retrospect. This is often the case with shows that fall into one of anime’s overused plot devices, which most people, particularly self-proclaimed critics, will perceive as mediocre at best. However, in many of our experiences these shows still provide a great deal of entertainment and may turn out a lot better than they appear. They’re good for “regular” fans who are aware of all these tropes and don’t mind seeing them used in different settings. Personal tastes come heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

Moderately Low expectation shows don’t seem to be aspiring to much, but it’s hard to call them bad exactly. They might focus on senseless humor or fanservice, but there’s often at least one element that elevates them above other members of their genre. Once again, personal taste comes heavily into play with these shows, because if they’re part of one of your favored genres then chances are you’ll enjoy them no matter what. Just don’t expect them to break the bank with originality.

Low expectation shows don’t seem to be striving for much and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fanservice. That doesn’t mean they’re the bottom of the barrel and shouldn’t get any consideration, but simply that you need to keep in mind what kind of show it is. Generally only “avid” fans will be interested in seeing what these have to offer, because they’re already watching all the better shows.

Niche shows break away from the norm by being slower-paced, extremely dark/grotesque, or even controversial. In most cases these shows are oriented towards older audiences or those who feel that anime has become far too repetitive and want something different. Shows of this category tend to be highly under-appreciated, but can turn out to be hidden gems for that very reason. Includes some works oriented toward younger audiences.

  • Niche: N/A

Established shows are generally long-running manga/anime series, geared towards younger viewers who are already fans of them. A commonality is that they all air early morning on weekends or well before midnight on weekdays so that “normal” people can watch them. They aren’t very dependent on expectations, but a love for never-ending shows and a willingness to get into all the material that’s out if they’re completely new to you. Shounen series fall into this category, hence why we treat them differently.

March 26, 2016 at 4:04 pm
128 comments »
  • March 26, 2016 at 4:49 pmMentar

    As always, thanks for your enormous work with your season previews :)

    On the downside, this is the first season I can remember EVER in which I don’t have a _single_ show that I’m _really_ looking forward to. Macross Delta and Gakusen S2 as possibles, and maybe Sakamoto desu ga for the lulz, but other than that? Is it just me, or…

  • March 26, 2016 at 4:50 pmJechgo

    OBJECTION!

    Really eager to see Ace Attorney in anime form ^_^

    What’s going to benefit this series is that there are 6 main games (the 6th game is coming soon), 2 spin-offs featuring Miles Edgeworth and 1 prequel dating back to the 19th century. They have access to a LOT of materials to work with, in addition of coming up with new cases as fillers. I doubt that fillers would be needed, but still, it shouldn’t be something that hard to write.

    Too bad that we’ll never see this series in English though :( Yeah… a while back, Capcom tried to market both the English version of Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes (Sengoku Basara 3 in Japan) with the English version of the 1st anime series. It… didn’t work that well… mostly because the game didn’t appeal much to the Western audience… because, for those who don’t know, Sengoku Basara 1 was localized as Devil Kings… that didn’t do well due to a poor localization and “repetitive” gameplay. In Japan, Musou-like games are decent and popular; not so much in North America. On a sidenote, the 2nd anime series (basically the 3rd season) didn’t get localized…

    So yeah, if you’re hoping to hear Sam Riegal as Phoenix Wright, Kyle Hebert as Miles Edgeworth, Dave B. Mitchell as the Judge, Orion Acaba as Apollo Justice, Wendee Lee as Athena Cykes and others, you might want to forget about it ;_;

  • March 26, 2016 at 4:53 pmCarma

    I’m taking:
    - Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
    - Sakamoto desu ga?
    - Uchuu Patrol Luluco
    - Kumamiko
    - Bakoun

    And I will try:
    - Mayoiga
    - Kuromukuro
    - Tanaka-Kun wa itsumo kedakure

    Good season.

    • March 27, 2016 at 10:28 amL002

      Enjoy Kumamiko
      Kumamiko = Japan’s version of Winnie-the-Pooh.

  • March 26, 2016 at 4:53 pmGuy

    Though the translation is “Anne Happy”, and it fits with the character’s name, if you click on the “Unhappy” site you yourself linked, you’ll see the name listed as “Un happy go lucky” at the bottom, which also fits the Official title given by Crunchyroll, who will be streaming it, “Unhappy Go Lucky.”

    But really, did you think anyone in the west would call that “An Happy”? :P

    For Gundam Unicorn RE, surprised it’s not listed as “Established,” since it’s basically a re-edit.

    The DJ show is my own personal pick for “Cult favourite amongst lovers of weird Japanese anime/shorts.”

    • March 26, 2016 at 8:50 pmStilts

      We use the official title, near as we can tell what it is. We may goof it up on occasion, but other times it’s because the author’s intended title doesn’t make sense or doesn’t translate well. In this case, I believe that’s the official English translation (though figuring that out isn’t my job), so that’s what we went with.

    • March 26, 2016 at 11:12 pmquigonkenny

      I think you’re right. Searching “Anne Happy” via Google gets me the show. “An Happy” gets me Commonwealth-accented “a happy” references and not a whole lot else. Not even this article.

  • March 26, 2016 at 4:56 pmWorldwidedepp

    From the first impression:

    1) Macross (i love the songs!)
    2) Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (the Art looks interesting)
    3) Flying Witch (i saw some Previews and like them)
    4) Big Order (the Art looks interesting)

    Well, lets see if my list get expand after the first episodes comes in.. But i do not watch Horror stuff, its not my thing

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:08 pmPancakes

    I’m irritated my engineering exams fall just when this season starts moving, because I’m going to need a lot of time to figure out just what to stick with watching here. Lots of potential diamonds in the rough and dark horses, but most likely require 3-5 episodes to get a proper handle on.

    Oh spring why must you be so time consuming, muh free time is going to suffer ;_;

    Also what the hell is up with Canada and anime now?! First Gundam, and now Super Lovers. I’m probably just going to blame our hot springs, considering the tour buses I keep on seeing every summer :P

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:09 pmOne Pinch Man

    Definitely Watching :
    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
    Boku no Hero Academia
    Sakamoto desu ga?

    3-Episodes Rule :
    Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
    Magi Sinbad no Bouken
    Kiznaiver
    Koutetsujou no Kabaneri

    Sequel :
    Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd Season

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:15 pmJ_the_Man

    *Builds list of shows he wants to watch* *Counts number of shows* Holy…

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:24 pmMistic

    It’s always good to have this big previews. Thanks!

    Definitely going back to Concrete Revolutio. The rest will have to come little by little.

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:33 pmPurpleBomber

    I think there’s no hyperbole in saying that Hero Academia is BONES’ biggest shonen property since FMA. Let’s hope they don’t need two tries this time. XD

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:38 pmyoloalchemist

    Well to hell with it. The winter season was a blast, so I’m just gonna take a leap of faith and say the rest of the year will be worth the hype.
    I’ve already racked up 8 shows this season to watch, and I’m not afraid of them. The rest of the year may not measure up to what the winter season offered, but nonetheless, I’ll be looking forward to this season :)

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:48 pmelmaton

    Wow, it’s the weakest season I’ve seen so far. There is nothing really interesting for me this time.

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:52 pmsithstormjedi

    Koutetsujou no Kabaneri is aesthetically very similar to Sakura wars, which is great for me.

  • March 26, 2016 at 5:55 pmMormegil

    JoJo is already anime of the season.

  • March 26, 2016 at 6:00 pmCarVac

    It’s Swagamoto time.

  • March 26, 2016 at 6:20 pmCarlyle

    Going to watch Hai-Furi just for Amamiya Sora

  • March 26, 2016 at 6:26 pminfo600

    Pretty sure this is the season where I have logged more blog-roll only entries than ones I think I might watch myself…

    Continuation:
    Bubuki Buranki(?)

    Split-cour continuation:
    Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd Season

    Must watch:
    Macross Delta – Mechs, adequate storyline, ear-worming MUSIC! What more you can ask for?

    3-ep-trial:
    Koutetsujou no Kabaneri – more military-istic actions along with EGOIST music. Nuff said

    50/50:
    Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? – THE surprise non-mech/military entry I might be watching

    Blog-roll:
    Sakamoto Desu ga?
    Kiznaiver
    ————-
    Gundam UC RE: 0096 – do I need to watch again after seeing the presumed identical OVAs?
    Hundred – magical-fantasy-action-harem anime, it’s being over-saturated now. (so much you can drown in it all)
    Kuromukuro – another unknown semi-mecha entity… this is PA works rolling their dice once again.

    • March 27, 2016 at 11:44 amZetatrain

      “Gundam UC RE: 0096 – do I need to watch again after seeing the presumed identical OVAs?”

      That remains to be seen. If you remove the ending credits of each OVA episode there is only enough material for about 20 episodes. How much new material depends on how many episodes Sunrise wants and how much they will use flashbacks, recaps, and other animation recycling methods.

      There’s quite a bit of material from the original light novels that was omitted from the OVAs, so if Sunrise wanted to they could add in enough new material to make the series worth another watch.

  • March 26, 2016 at 6:26 pmCriminologist

    Kira Yoshikage willl blow this season’s Yashiro-sensei out of the water. The greatest serial killer in all manga.

    • March 26, 2016 at 6:31 pmIron Maw

      Yashiro isn’t even anywhere near one of the best serial killers to begin with. So that is already a lowbar, aim higher man.

  • March 26, 2016 at 6:27 pmIron Maw

    My top of 6 shows of the season I’m guaranteed to watch:

    -Re: Zero = I’ve read 2 volumes of the manga adaptation and personally I like it a lot. The 2nd arc in particular has become pretty griping and I can’t direction where it will go. It also helps that avoids the most overused common LN elements (OP MC, high amounts of fan-service, violent tsunderes, harem shenanigans, trapped in a fantasy game/MMO)and that the characters likable IMO. Basically it feels like more interested in telling a story than cashing in on the latest fads. Sure it’s basic components aren’t original in vacuum, but put together you get something like a twisted fantasy version of Steins:Gate which think it’s pretty interesting.

    -Joker Game = A rare regular novel adaptation and a intense period piece based on spies? And everyone is wear in Top-hats and suits? SIGN ME UP!

    -Flying Witch = My comfy show of the season, and just looks really nice.

    -Iron Fortress = Frankly, I doubt that story of this will be anything special given the staff’s track record, but audiovisuals are gorgeous and I’d watch the show that alone.

    -Kiznaiver = Cause Trigger

    -Jojo = I’ve recently marathon ed the heck of this series and it’s been a blast. Noway I’ missing this.

    The rest is mostly going be getting the 3 episode rule treatment unless the premier turns out to complete crap. This really is turning out to be one of those seasons where there is something for everyone and because we looking at one of strongest season awhile.

  • March 26, 2016 at 6:42 pmRyuutobi

    What a wonderful season it is.

  • March 26, 2016 at 6:49 pmUrahara

    Mayoiga
    Boku no Hero Academia
    Kumamiko
    Joker Game
    Sakamoto Desu ga?
    Flying Witch
    Looks like a good season for me ….

    • March 26, 2016 at 6:51 pmUrahara

      to me *

  • March 26, 2016 at 7:29 pmrh75

    Sousei no Onmyouji – Benio and her awakening seal this for me
    Flying Witch – so laid-back and relaxing plus nice character designs
    Big Order – off-kilter women
    Re:Zero – source was mildly interesting so why not

  • March 26, 2016 at 7:41 pmAbyss

    Man! I want more heavy object! Gate! And grimgar! None of this season’s shows pick my interest…

    • March 26, 2016 at 8:19 pmlexer

      Yep. Nothing looks interesting but maybe one or two will be the rough gem at the end. Will wait for continuation of D.Gray-Man :D

  • March 26, 2016 at 7:48 pmvincent

    common guys give flying witch a chance you won’t be disappointed. read the manga if you can.

  • March 26, 2016 at 8:16 pmlexer

    Will Gundam UC RE: 0096 be something like what they did for Psycho-Pass: Extended Edition or sequel?

  • March 26, 2016 at 8:20 pmLonghaul

    Luluco
    Hero Academia
    Macross
    Concrete Revolutio
    Kumamiko
    Bakuon
    Kuromukuro
    Kabanari

    Plus several that are wait and see, gonna be a good season.

  • March 26, 2016 at 9:07 pms_w

    Hell yeah, S-O-L Heaven for me, and since I read a lot of these, I’m already excited:

    Kumamiko
    Bakuon
    Flying Witch
    Swagamoto
    Tanaka-kun

    I hope they all live up to their source material! (Always hard!)

    There are a few other shows I’m interested-ish in, but those 5 are the top 5 for me.

    And coming this summer, Amanchu! (Hell yeah!)

  • March 26, 2016 at 9:26 pmWanderer

    Wellp, there be some stuff here, that’s for sure.

    What catches my attention so far:

    Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – This one seems more interesting than most of the other “boy ends up in a group of girls just because” series airing this season.

    Pan de Peace! – As someone whose father has baked bread for my entire life, and having learned enough to bake the bread that I use to make lunches to take to work and such, this catches my interest.

    Bakuon!! – Cute Girls Doing Cute Things on motorcycles? Sure. Why not.

    An Happy♪ – …Cute unlucky girls doing cute things?

    Hai-Furi – I don’t know why, this just caught my attention.

    Flying Witch – I’m in. My show. MINE.

    Sansha Sanyou – …Sure. Why not. Moar CGDCT. Can’t have too much.

  • March 26, 2016 at 9:31 pmIncognito

    Will definitely watch:
    - JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable“When I saw those trailers, seeing bits of Part 4 in animated form… how do I say this… I had a boner…”
    Seriously speaking, Phantom Blood (Part 1) was a humble start, I thoroughly enjoyed Battle Tendency (Part 2), and Stardust Crusaders (Part 3) turned out to be actually fun and exciting to watch despite my initial hesitation. Now let’s see what Diamond is Unbreakable will bring to the table.

    Will watch with some caution:
    - Macross Delta – Saw the preview episode a month or so ago, and while I’m hoping this new installment in the Macross franchise won’t be as strange as Aquarion Logos, you never know.
    - Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 – I’ll try not to set my expectations up too high after the first two seasons…
    - Gundam UC RE: 0096 – You may be wondering why this show is on this list despite being from a well-established mecha franchise. Well, I’ve already seen the OVA series version of Gundam Unicorn (which was also covered here on RC) and the last time I saw an OVA/anime movie series being retold in TV format (*cough* Break Blade *cough*), the new TV retelling didn’t really offer anything new to look forward to, and if there was anything new, it’s barely noticeable. I know it’s easy for this show to go down the same path as Break Blade did, but part of me still hopes that it won’t. And if Macross Delta screws up, I’d still have a decent mecha anime to fall back on once Iron-Blooded Orphans finishes its run of season 1 (if I read some of the comments correctly).

    Decided to pick up thanks to this preview:
    - Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? – Another case of a girl with chuunibyou, eh? (And the MC with the dark past of getting hit real hard with the “G.I.R.L.” trope?) Sure, why not?
    - Hai-Furi – I’m gonna be honest: The setting of the show made me curious. I can’t help but wonder which countries were dragged under the waves by plate subduction. What can I say? It’s something out of a disaster movie–and I don’t mean movies that performed disastrously at the box office–I mean films like Deep Impact, Dante’s Peak, The Day After Tomorrow or 2012.
    - Wagamama High Spec – OK, so I’m getting a bit of Seitokai no Ichizon vibes from the premise and it’s in short doses like Wakaba Girl, but might as well give it a try. Character designs also look good.

    Other comments:
    - Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova – Cadenza – I’m already jelly of the Singaporean and Malaysian fans who’ve already watched this in theaters, so I’m hoping SM Cinemas (Philippines) will finally get their turn this month or the next (at best…after all, there’s still Love Live‘s “Final Live”).

    • March 27, 2016 at 2:41 amTakaii

      ANOTHER AOKI HAGANE FAN OH MY.

      I didn’t even know there was a movie — I’M SO EXCITED.

      • March 27, 2016 at 8:35 amIncognito

        Actually, it’s two if you include the first movie, Ars Nova DC. While most of DC is a recap/retelling of the TV series, the last quarter of the movie has new content that continues the story from where the TV series left off and serves as a setup for Ars Nova Cadenza.

        I managed to watch Ars Nova DC back in May 2015 (albeit with a bit of censoring), though I do hope that Ars Nova Cadenza‘s Philippine premiere would be moved earlier than May this year to avoid competing against Captain America: Civil War and/or X-Men: Apocalypse. (And without the censoring seen in the first movie, thank you very much.) I’m waiting for any updates from ANN, Anime Pilipinas, or ODEX itself about this.

    • March 27, 2016 at 2:59 amMihashi Nishizawa

      Speaking of Cadenza, I’m still not sure if it’s still showing over at GSC Mid Valley (Yeap, Malaysian here) but maybe it still is. I know for a fact that Love Live screenings were constantly sold out and ran continuously for 2-3 weeks. Regardless, the fact that Seiji Kishi is directing Cadenza and that Cadenza’s plot possibly being anime original, I’m hesitant to watch it.

      • March 27, 2016 at 9:15 amIncognito

        Well, I don’t mind enjoying the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio manga and anime as their own separate continuities since I do want to enjoy an anime on its own merits without being weighed down by whether the anime was a faithful adaptation of a manga/light novel/visual novel or not. (Or being a piece of a shared universe in the case of Schwarzesmarken.)

        Besides, I’m not gonna pass up an opportunity to legally watch a movie of an anime series I like–especially if it shows up locally.

      • March 27, 2016 at 9:50 amMihashi Nishizawa

        You do have a point. It’s actually a miracle that any anime movies even show up in our cinemas in the first place hehehe.

      • March 27, 2016 at 10:20 amMihashi Nishizawa

        Wait, scratch that earlier part, looks like I might have just missed out on Cadenza all along… Apparently, it came out in Malaysia way back in December of last year… NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( ; o ; )

      • March 27, 2016 at 10:50 pmIncognito

        Wait a sec. Ars Nova Cadenza is the second movie. What you might have missed is Ars Nova DC (the first movie).

        The Malaysian premiere of Ars Nova Cadenza is on March 31, according to a post on ODEX’s Facebook page. (Still doesn’t change the fact that I’m still jelly that the Malaysian fans are gonna get to watch it first.)

      • March 28, 2016 at 6:16 amMihashi Nishizawa

        Yeap, looks like I was right all along! But getting to see it earlier than you guys, that’s an -entertaining- thought. Bwahahah XD

      • March 29, 2016 at 8:12 amIncognito

        Meh, the Singaporeans still beat you to the punch, of course. (They managed to watch it November last year, IIRC.)

        If ODEX isn’t gonna follow up Love Live‘s Final Live with Ars Nova Cadenza, however… (*wears pirate captain’s hat, a cutlass, and changes voice to the requisite accent*)…the only recourse be doing some “buccaneer” work… Arrrh.

      • March 29, 2016 at 8:36 amMihashi Nishizawa

        #JapanNoNoticeMyMarket #SingaporeTheTooPopularKouhai

  • March 26, 2016 at 9:51 pmzeroyuki92

    Nothing screams “HYPEEEEEEE” for me in this moment (which might be a good thing since expectation could kill enjoyment sometimes), but I saw plenty of potentials. I think we’d be very surprised if we get a masterpiece this season, but there should be a lot of enjoyable shows to spend the days.

  • March 26, 2016 at 11:24 pmdanes256

    for those of you not quite fond of gundam tekketsu no orphan, here gundam unicorn will let you see what gundam is all about, what the Universal Century is all about. this is the real deal.

  • March 26, 2016 at 11:30 pmquigonkenny

    Well, My Hero Academia is a given, though the rumors that it’s only one cour have me both worried (anime original) and hopeful (leaving more for later). So is Asterisk 2, since I enjoyed the first season. I’ll probably watch an episode of Phoenix Wright just to check it out, even though I’ve never played any of the games, simply due to its iconic status, and if the manga of Netoge no Yome and Sakamoto are pretty good, I’ll probably follow the anime. Might pick up Hundred or Cerberus if I feel the urge for some mindless fanservice. Beyond that everything looks pretty generic, boring, and/or flat out bad.

    Also, “finally, after all these years, we’ve got a western-inspired superhero anime”? Hellooo… One Punch Man was barely a season ago. I don’t think they’ve even finished releasing its BDs. This site even covered it. And I’m not sure even *it* was the first.

  • March 26, 2016 at 11:57 pmmit

    My List of animes I will follow -

    1.Kumamiko -sunday
    2.Joker Game-Tuesday
    3.Bungou Stray Dogs -Wednesdays
    4.Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta – Thrusdays
    5.Sakamoto Desu ga – Thrusdays
    6.Flying Witch – Saturdays
    7.Gyakuten Saiban -Saturdays

  • March 27, 2016 at 12:48 amSerRompalot

    I swear Joker Game’s character designs remind me of Hitogatana soooo much.

  • March 27, 2016 at 1:05 amBamboo Blade Cat

    The main reason I checked out of TERRA FORMARS was the story really dragged. They didn’t balance the flashbacks well and I grew bored towards the later episodes because of the pacing before quitting. I had waited to watch the uncensored version but that did little to help.

  • March 27, 2016 at 1:23 amPyroShield

    Hey Takaii, since you love bread so much, surely you must have heard of Yakitate! Japan right? Because if not, you’re sure as hell missing out.

  • March 27, 2016 at 1:27 amMihashi Nishizawa

    Oh Lord save me, that’s a container ship load of anime if I’ve ever seen one in recent years… And yet, I can count with my toes the ones that generate some semblance of interest in my feeble, feeble body and mind. Alright, take a deep breath………………………………… *Sigh*………..

    Which leads me to 3 conclusions.

    1) I should watch older shows in my backlog
    2) I should hole myself up inside my coconut shell and play some vidya games
    3) Work on my literary projects

    Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, I guess I could try watching Bakuon I guess. I mean, I like bikes, but it would be nice to have a series centered around cars and the hashiriya life, but looks like people still don’t have the balls or the money to produce stuff like that, so I’ll just have to sit down and swing my legs I guess…

    In any case though, I do have one thing to share in this comment.

    Back last year at Malaysia’s VAX convention, one of the directors at GAINAX mentioned about an anime set in a time where much of the earth’s landmass sank due to global warming and basically a bunch of divers -emphasis on the female ones- go around under the ocean searching for ‘stuff’. Now I couldn’t catch the title of the anime project but that GAINAX dude explicitly stated that it was an original work and that it was due to come out this summer. Also, the key visuals they showcased in addition to the video clip depicted a more realistic art style, and there weren’t even signs of ‘fanservice’ shots in their presentation. So I don’t know. Cuz Hai-Furi which is coming out this coming spring basically centers around some kinda ocean-going water theme where they’re essentially akin to coastguards? At least that’s what I was able to understand so far from the preview. And then there’s the case of what’s that called again, Amanchu? which is coming out this summer as well, and it also centers around an ocean-going theme centered around scuba diving of some kind, except that the emphasis is on the female-on-female romance? I’m not really sure what’s going on here, but perhaps that they are all just coincidences, and that this year just so happens to feature a few shows centered around some kinda water-based setting I suppose? Well, whatever the case is, this GAINAX original project specifically focuses on underwater scuba exploration and not on some of the other elements so yeah, take what you may from all these observations. Man, I knew I should’ve taken some photos of that presentation dammit.

  • March 27, 2016 at 1:36 amduck

    Mayoiga
    Kumamiko
    Joker Game (hopefully no BL crap)
    Kiznaiver
    Flying Witch

    Few interesting looking shows, as always to many highschool-superpower-robots related shows but what can we do about that?

  • March 27, 2016 at 3:37 amion42

    Isn’t Sinbad already airing? I’m pretty sure like 5 episodes have already been released.

    • March 27, 2016 at 3:56 amyoukai

      yeah they aired 5 episodes in 2014, ’till the end of Imuchakk arc

    • March 27, 2016 at 11:42 amStilts

      As I mentioned in the preview, they appear to be doing the whole thing from the start again, so they can take their time a little more. So it’ll probably cover the same material as the OVAs did, or perhaps more (we’ll see).

    • March 27, 2016 at 6:57 pmRyuutobi

      That was the OVAs. This one is the full season TV version.

  • March 27, 2016 at 3:53 amyoukai

    I don’t care about anything else, with Sinbad no Bouken and Ace Attourney my life is complete. I will be able to rest in peace after this spring.

  • March 27, 2016 at 4:56 amgunvolt

    Will anyone blog Jojo? Imo, if any show deserved to be reviewed it should be Jojo.

  • March 27, 2016 at 5:40 amShino

    The coming spring season seems to be a good one, even if I’m actually looking forward to summer more. Bungo Stray Dogs, Mayoiga and Sakamoto Desu ga look especially interesting, though I initially thought that Mayoiga was the PA works show and not Kuromukuro…guess it’s the character designs.

  • March 27, 2016 at 5:52 amDomo-kun

    You guys should mention that Big Order is based on a manga by the same mangaka that did Mirai Nikki (Sakae Esuno). Mirai Nikki got best Story and best Horror/Thriller here in RandomC in 2012.
    Personally I really liked the anime (the character of Yuno is unforgettable) and even more the manga. That would my the expectations for Big Order quite higher than “Moderate” :)

    Overall the spring season shows promise.

  • March 27, 2016 at 6:10 amErimaki

    A lot of series I’m getting a good feeling about, not a whole lot that are instant choices for me.

    The ones I’m certain to watch:
    Gyakuten Saiban: as fan of the games I’m interested to see how this works out. I hope someone (read: Passerby) will make enough Ace Attorney localization jokes for the internet to explode.
    Kumamiko, Flying Witch: I’m liking the feel I get from these (Takaii Magic Reviews help)
    Sakamoto Desu ga, RINNE 2: I need my weekly laughter and these should be where I’ll get it
    Sansha Sanyou: seems to fit somewhere between the above two groups I think
    Joker game: mystery, enough said. Also, intriguing setting

    However, the most interesting for me, even though I expect to like other series more, is
    Re: Zero [snip]: I have a thing for LN adaptations that do stuck-in-fantasy-world setting well without falling in to the most common cliches. What I’m worried the most about is that it does follow the cliche of determining the setting before really getting going, so people might drop it too early for the wrong reasons. At least being 2 cours long should help with the pacing (the novels get really long).
    Some recent LN adaptations being done fairly well (Rokka no Yuusha and Grimgar for example) does make me hopeful about this.

  • March 27, 2016 at 6:12 amRui Craveiro

    The series I’ll watch for sure:

    - Beyblade Burst (not on the RC list)
    - Boku no Hero Academia
    - Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou – The Last Song
    - Kaitou Joker: 3rd season (not on the RC list)
    - Magi: Sinbad no Bouken
    - Shounen Maid

    I’ll also keep an eye on these following series:

    - Battle Spirits: Double Drive (not on the RC list)
    - Bungou Stray Dogs
    - Kiznaiver
    - Koutetsujou no Kabaneri

  • March 27, 2016 at 6:23 amAnon

    Wait, Flying Witch and Endride are airing at same channel almost at same time. Isn’t that wrong?

    • March 31, 2016 at 4:41 amPasserby

      That does seem to be how it’s listed officially, curiously enough. Every other episode of Endride is broadcasting at 25:55 on that channel, but the premiere is going to be earlier.

  • March 27, 2016 at 7:18 amGouka Ryuu

    Okay, my list of shows for the season, expanded as always after reading your post:

    Definite Watch:
    Mayoiga
    Phoenix Wright anime
    Boku no Hero Academia
    Sakamoto Desu ga?
    Kiznaiver

    Will Check Out or at Least Wait to Hear About:
    Endride
    Macross Delta (Have only ever seen Frontier)
    Kumamiko
    12-sai. Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki
    Bakuon!!
    Joker Game
    Sousei no Onmyouji
    Super Lovers
    Bungou Stray Dogs
    Kuromukuro (I was burned by Glasslip so this is a definite wait 6 weeks and see)
    Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?
    Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
    Flying Witch
    Big Order

    And I wanted to watch less next season. ;_;

  • March 27, 2016 at 7:31 amzaraki

    The series I’ll watch for sure
    - Kabaneri Iron Fotress
    - Flying Witch
    - Mayoiga
    - Bungoku Stray Dog

    And i’ll keep my tab on:
    - Bakuon #Seems good
    - Kiznaiver #Another Mari Okada shows
    - Kuromukuro #Hope it can make me love PA works Again

  • March 27, 2016 at 8:34 amShirocat

    For now I’m planning to watch 23 shows. Not bad, even with looking forward for shows like Bungou Stray Dogs or Kiznaiver. I’m trying to not have too high hopes to not be left disappointed later ( since many shows’s potential is still unknown ).
    Thanks a lot for preview, I was like refreshing RC each hour for last few days for it :) small error in Sinbad in episodes and previews for Endrive, Wagama High or better one for Kiznaiver are already out :)

    • March 27, 2016 at 11:42 amShirocat

      oh and boku no hero academia doesn’t deserve high expectations ( at least in my opinion ). Just telling, because it can left you disappointed.

  • March 27, 2016 at 8:42 amAmiluhur

    My Lord this season. It’s so frickin’ huge. Just going with action series alone (the genre i’ll most likely dive into), it’s already 8 shows. Nevermind the sci-fi, or comedy, or some obscure ones. Not to mention that three of them come from Bones, studio i have strong faith with, and then P.A Works stuff, and then the new Macross series, the only mecha franchise whose lore i actually give a damn about. Argh, it seems i have to rely heavily on RC’s first series impression yet again.

  • March 27, 2016 at 9:15 amtheirs

    Loved the song from the Macross Δ preview episode. It looks like it’ll be fun.

    But if there’s one thing that I find interesting, it’s that it seems to be quite Macross 7 like. Now I won’t judge Macross 7 since I’ve only seen about 5 nonconsecutive episodes, but it could be a polarizing show to the fanbase. The thing is, one of the few things I did when I discovered the internet was look for Macross (and what the heck is Robotech). At the time there was a near unanimous consensus that Macross 7 suck. Things seem to have changed with time, but it’ll be interesting nonetheless.

  • March 27, 2016 at 9:24 amPega

    Thanks for the review, I always appreciate your work with this. :-)

    As already mentioned by you should include that Big Order is based on a manga by the same mangaka that did Mirai Nikki (Sakae Esuno). I still agree with “moderate” expectations, because the manga isn’t as good imho (having read up to vol. 7).

  • March 27, 2016 at 10:03 amLyfe

    There’s a few shows on this list that interest me, but I’ll also pick up two or three shows covered on here, ones that I know nothing about. Don’t let me down ;)

  • March 27, 2016 at 11:53 amTakaii

    Whenever someone mentions Flying Witch or Kumamiko, I just get all fuzzy inside. #icantwaitforthemtostart

  • March 27, 2016 at 12:40 pmGuardian Enzo

    Just as a follow-up to Samu’s preview, unless the anime completely goes in a different direction than the manga to try and score a few cheap commercial points, the creepy factor with Shounen Maid is basically zero. It’s a silly comedy that’s weighted heavily towards heartwarming and fuzzy, and surprisingly well-executed. In a season as deep as this one it’s certainly not at the top of my expectations list, but I’ve rarely seen expectations of a series more out of line with what that series should likely be.

  • March 27, 2016 at 3:02 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    thank goodness, looks much better then last season!….and HOPEFULLY most of these show still have HAND DRAWN type animation and not that pressed out CGI Bull$HIT that has been flooding the net.

    cheap cgi will truly be the DEATH of ANIME.

  • March 27, 2016 at 4:30 pmdark

    <.< the season seen so lame ¬¬
    i will give a chance to boku no hero, hundred , netoge no home some¿ but i´m sure that i will drop some half way…

  • March 27, 2016 at 4:45 pmRedlotusx

    Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? LOL another dose Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! with the dysfunctional characters. This is gonna be on my watch list.

  • March 27, 2016 at 7:37 pmsealouse

    I’m gonna watch that Ace Attorney show just because of this.

    https://youtu.be/0w961B0_Z7Q

  • March 27, 2016 at 9:17 pmstardf29

    What really stands out to me this season is how many promising slice-of-life shows there are. Between Kumamiko, Flying Witch, Sansha Sanyo, An Happy, Shounen Maid, Tanaka-kun, Bakuon, and Pan de Peace, you have one SoL show for every day of the week to help you unwind, and you can eve double-up on one particular day of the week you find especially stressful. And even if the cute-girls-doing-cute-things brand of SoL is poison to you, there’s still four other great-looking choices for your relax time.

    Personally, as a slice-of-life fan, this is the most excited I’ve been for a season in a long time.

  • March 27, 2016 at 10:13 pmSeya-san

    I will watch:
    “Gyakuten Saiban”,
    “Gundam UC RE: 0096″,
    “Joker Game”,
    “Flying Witch”
    and “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” or “Bungou Stray Dogs” just for fun.

  • March 28, 2016 at 6:42 pmDrew

    I don’t know what crack you’re all on these days at RandomC, but even if I don’t see myself liking half the shows, that’s a lot of shows that are obvious “high” expectations for stereotypical niches in the anime community that you all seem to be hedging your bets on in the “moderately high” section. Seriously, I don’t know how any “otaku” fanblog could say with a straight face that shows/franchises like Macross aren’t automatic “highs”. And, to be clear, I haven’t much interest in a number of those shows (like this new Macross…which looks a little too “cute” to me).

    • March 28, 2016 at 7:18 pmStilts

      No need to be rude. As for the expectations, we struggled a lot on them this time. We were hesitant to give High expectation to originals, since they can so easily go off the rails, hence the tilt toward Mod High. Though I’ll admit that we’ve all been extra swamped these past couple weeks, so we didn’t get a lot of time to reconsider the levels and tweak. For instance, I’m out of town (again), so I had to one-and-done my picks.

      Regardless, even if the expectation levels went a little more toward the mean this time, the previews are rockin’. Just read the words and decide for yourself. We do advise that the expectation levels should be taken with a grain of salt, after all.

  • March 28, 2016 at 8:23 pmEren

    Where is Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2?! I thought it will be released this season? That is so disappointing…

    • March 28, 2016 at 8:52 pmAtalla

      It was announced a couple weeks ago they were delaying the anime so the manga could get farther ahead. It seems when the first season aired the manga as 4 parts/arcs/whatever ahead, and they’re not going to do a second season until the manga is equally far ahead. I’ve long since lost the article, but it’s floating around the net – google away.

      As long as they’re delaying because A) they want quality, and B) they want to stick to the source, I’ve got no problems.

  • March 28, 2016 at 9:03 pmAtalla

    @ GUARDIAN ENZO – Any news on another Yowamushi Pedal season? Also, and perhaps even more important, will there be more Ace of Diamond? I was quite surprised to learn the show finishes this week. (I haven’t seen the final episode yet.) I’ve quite new to anime, but have been watching Ace of Diamond since I starting watching lots of shows. I picked it and Yowamushi Pedal up off of your recommandations way back when, and will be missing my weekly fix of baseball. I also miss Baby Steps. So good.

    @ RC CREW – Curious if ya’ll fine folks know anything about second seasons to The Seven Deadly Sins, Shokugeki, and Arslan? I thought they were supposed to come out this year, but I was curious if there was any concrete info.

    As always, thanks for the review. I’ve picked out 35 shows to try out this season, will likely only end up watching 3/4s of them – I’ve had the pattern of not finishing about 1/4 of the shows I’d like to watch for a year now. Time, as always, in uncooperative. Knowing that, I deeply appreciate the amount of effort ya’ll put into this every quarter. :)

    • March 28, 2016 at 11:57 pmGuardian Enzo

      S3 of Yowapeda has already been confirmed, but not the start date – wouldn’t be surprised if it was Fall. As for Diamond, as I understand it, it would take quite some time for the “Phase II” manga to build up enough of a lead to be able to support another season. Truth be told I’m done with Diamond anyway though – it’s pissed me off once too often.

      If you’re looking for a baseball fix, keep an eye out for Battery this summer on NoitaminA – from the looks of things it should be excellent.

    • April 1, 2016 at 2:43 amMormegil

      Nanatsu, Soma, and Arslan will be in the summer. Unfortunately, the new Nanatsu anime is only going to be 4 episodes long. I guess it’s some side-story thing. Maybe we’ll get an actual new season after that. I hope. :(

      • April 1, 2016 at 12:05 pmGuardian Enzo

        Also Arslan is only going to be 5.

  • March 28, 2016 at 11:44 pmNeks

    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
    Watching This: Passerby, Samu, Zephyr Expectation Level: High

    **proceeds to not review the series in favor of other generic kawaii show..

    i love you guys, for years, but seriously…

    Anyway its been a while since a season got me interested on 7 or 6 shows.. (3 of them are guaranteed ill watch..) i like that!!(generally is 1 or 2 shows.)

    • March 29, 2016 at 10:45 pmStilts

      Jojo is a long-running series which all of us respect (a series doesn’t get those kinds of rave reviews for so long for no reason), but which not all of us are watching. To our detriment, probably, but it’s a long series and I personally am not even keeping up with the major series for each season anymore, lol

      Add onto that how, of the three writers watching it, this seems to be a fertile season for Samucchi and Bystander-kun, and Zephy is still on quasi-hiatus but will probably be lured back by Macross above all else, and it looks dicey for Jojo coverage. Not ’cause it’s not good, but because we’re not a monolith. There are wrinkles in our coverage sometimes, and long-running series are some of the most frequent casualties.

  • March 29, 2016 at 10:55 amSaburau

    It looks like this spring anime season could be one of the most head-scratching ones in recent years.

  • March 29, 2016 at 7:51 pmVyseLegendaire

    Looks to be the most promising anime season for me in ages. I feel like a spiritual drought is being quelled. One can only hope we aren’t in for a bevy of duds, though, with the sheer display of newness here.

  • March 30, 2016 at 1:47 amWhyY

    Leading the Packs…

    Macross Delta
    Boku no Hero Academia
    Gundam Unicorn
    Ace Attorney

    Another great season!

  • March 30, 2016 at 10:26 amzztop

    I don’t know why they want to only adapt spinoffs of the main Hakuoki game – there’s other spinoff games that could be worth adapting.

    There’s Urakata Hakouki, which focuses on the activities of the Satsuma revolutionaries during Hakuoki’s events. There’s also Toki no Kizuna, which focuses on the ancestors of the oni characters and how the Battle of Sekigahara drew their people to take sides with humans.

  • March 30, 2016 at 1:15 pmWorldwidedepp

    You know what, this was also the last Season where i cherished my Diesel-san Personality, it born with Aldonoah.zero and reach its peek with this Season. I think i should put this personality into hibernation. Because i begin to feel to much Old School. I am curious in how the “new generation” of Story writers/tellers handle their show. Lets see, i still has the 2nd season of my old favorites and some new ones invoke my curiosity (Macross alone for the “Ar Tonelico” style… Where a new Voice “melt” the others ones into one. Trailer)

    I admit, i do not understand a thing of the song, but do i see the emotion, life and soul

    I am retiring my Diesel-san personality, and watch now from the sidelines

    • March 30, 2016 at 1:23 pmWorldwidedepp

      Anime no tame no ōku no okage de

  • March 30, 2016 at 4:25 pmkishiu

    OMG, I felt like I waited ages for this preview xD It’s finally here <3 and there are so many potential epic anime series this season *hyped*

  • March 30, 2016 at 9:22 pmNatsumeGuru

    Watching List :
    Action /Supernatural/Adventure
    - Ushio No Tora Season (Yes atlast , this anime is wortwhile watching How’d I miss Tora)
    - Boku no Hero Academia (I read the first 30 chapters I guess and well it is good yet it is better to watch the anime than reading the manga I guess and also what I’ve like in this adaption is that the voice actor of the MC is Daiki Yamashita (Onoda’s Voice Actor also in YowaPeda \m/ I love this))
    - Sousei no Onmyouji (Plan to watch atleast 3 Episodes)
    - Bungou Stray Dogs (Plan to watch atleast 3 Episodes)
    - Magi Sinbad no Bouken (I’ll finish it to the end .)

    Mystery:
    - Mayoiga(Plan to watch atleast 3 Episodes)
    - Joker Game (Plan to watch atleast 3 Episodes)

    Lastly this
    Yaoi : Super Lovers (I’ve been waiting for ages for this , the Manga hasn’t updated ,Ye I’m into that kind of world just so you know *wide smile*)

  • March 31, 2016 at 12:49 amYanDaMan

    Practically nothing to watch this season beside from Ace Attorney, meh.

  • March 31, 2016 at 11:11 pmWowth

    Spring 2016 is worst season IMO

    Mayoiga and Kiznaiver? Okada again? Sieg Hell No.

    More Sieg Hell No Gundam UC 0096 milking again….
    It should be good as OVA only instead milking it into TV series..

    Not a fan of Macross anyway, but I might watch delta one.

    What I only want to watch is Boku no Hero Academia only.

    • April 1, 2016 at 8:04 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Actually, I just finished watching the first episode of Mayoiga and, without spoiling anything, it definitely has me intrigued. And given it’s also clearly animated by the ones who did Another, as well as various ominous foreshadowing, I’m also expecting things to quickly turn grimdark.

      As for Gundam Unicorn, you do know that despite the largely positive reviews the OVAs got, there was also plenty of criticism, including by (Universal Century) Gundam fans, about lack of (good) explanation and development for various things too, right? It’s not (solely) milking as much as it is expanding the narrative to allow more room to explain and develop such things that were missed or marginalized in the OVAs due to time while possibly tweaking things here or there. Remember that each of the OVAs were only around fifty four minutes long, with the final episode being ninety minutes, meaning that the entire OVA series was squeezing in barely one cour’s worth of episode time (around thirteen episodes) of what should have been two cour of twenty four plus episodes (so roughly forty eight to fifty plus episodes) while still trying to show as much as they could.

      If anything, it should have been a two cour series with twenty four plus episodes each from the start rather than merely seven OVA films.

  • April 1, 2016 at 8:28 amgoblin

    ten years ago, spring 2006:

    Black Lagoon
    Gintama (First Season)
    Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
    Nana
    Ouran High School Host Club
    School Rumble 2
    The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
    xxxHolic
    ……

    • April 1, 2016 at 2:45 pmquigonkenny

      An amazing season of anime. That whole year was great.

  • April 1, 2016 at 8:44 amsamui

    What? Many said it will be the worst season ever? Errr… I saw these lines too many times.

  • April 2, 2016 at 4:50 amWorldwidedepp

    @Mayoiga

    I only saw some Screenshots so far

    But, alone the ones i saw did not turn me on, no it more turn me away to watch this. Alone hitting the Bus Driver with the elbow into his face without consequences (passenger and Bus driving) did not found good vibes inside me, no it even pursed me not to watch it. Perhaps i am to old school for this kind of “love”

    • April 2, 2016 at 9:50 amStilts

      I suggest you wait until the episode post appears to comment on individual shows. No one’s going to see your comments here. That’s not why they’re coming to this post.

      • April 2, 2016 at 12:55 pmWorldwidedepp

        i know, but until the episode is live i lose perhaps the interest. Oh well, i try it

  • April 2, 2016 at 7:48 pmlebleu

    would it be possible to add a field in the info box of each series on whether it is a short-form or long-form anime, in terms of episode length (where the info is available)? if not in this preview, in future season previews?

    i see that this information is sometimes mentioned in the description text, but it’s not always clear.

    being a key feature of an anime, i think it merits its addition, and would be much appreciated by many i’m sure (myself included).

    • April 4, 2016 at 12:11 amStilts

      We always mention if it’s a short in the paragraph text. I make certain of that (unless we didn’t know, ’cause mistakes do happen occasionally.) I’ll talk to the rest of the team and see if we want to add something like that, though I will tell you that we sometimes purposefully exclude information from the info boxes in order to coax people into reading the paragraphs, because otherwise people would (for instance) reject all shorts out of hand when there might actually be a few shorts that would interest them.

      • April 6, 2016 at 4:53 pmlebleu

        It’s more an issue of clarity.

        For example – ‘Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou’. Despite the text it a couple times, I can’t figure out if it’s a long-form or a short. OR whether the information is even included in the write-up.

        I have try to figure out if the information is even there – which is worst thing; not knowing if I’ve simply missed it. A distinct field in the info box would remedy it – if it were blank or ‘N/A’ I would be able to ascertain that the info is unknown. Of if known, could see what it was at a glance.

      • April 6, 2016 at 4:53 pmlebleu

        It’s more an issue of clarity.

        For example – ‘Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou’. Despite having read the text a couple times, I can’t figure out if it’s a long-form anime or a short. OR whether the information is even included in the write-up.

        I have try to figure out if the information is even there – which is worst thing; not knowing if I’ve simply missed it. A distinct field in the info box would remedy it – if it were blank or ‘N/A’ I would be able to ascertain that the info is unknown. Of if known, could see what it was at a glance.

  • April 3, 2016 at 10:34 pmDafuq

    • April 3, 2016 at 11:36 pmStilts

      Working finished after the hour-long finale. It’s over, dewd. I know, I’m sad too, but we’ve got to let Popura go :(

    • April 16, 2016 at 9:46 amSamu

      Hey, guess what! Working is getting another TV anime (titled: http://WWW.Working!!), based off the spin-off web manga that’s set around the same time, but focuses on different characters.

  • April 4, 2016 at 2:40 pmNo

    How can people even get excited about SUPER LOVERS, it is so beyond me.
    The PV even has a 16 year old kissing an 8 year old boy. 8 YEAR OLD.
    Since when is that appropriate to hype up?
    Are we really at that place where an incestious pedophilic anime is being looked forward to?

    Wauw.

    • April 6, 2016 at 5:07 pmLyfe

      The target audience for this series in Japan is older females. That said, I do see where you’re coming from, but I don’t have a clue about the series as I don’t read a lot of manga lol.

  • April 9, 2016 at 3:08 pmWorldwidedepp

    @Haifuri

    Cute Girls doing cute things on a WW2 Ship…

    Well, at first i thought about an all girls Sailing Class, doing an trip. But then, why an Sailing Class needs an Torpedo and Artillery Officer to set sails? As if they just wait for to use them

    Girls und Panzer (on Ship) meets Kancolle (on land) mix

    • April 9, 2016 at 3:13 pmWorldwidedepp

      also their undying love for the Yamato battleships class. Well in this case it looks like Musashi is here on screen (The side turrets). Do we get to see sometime the Design A-150 battleship class? (Well they used an full working Maus in Girls und Panzer. Why not an Super-Battleship only born in Blueprints?)

      • April 9, 2016 at 3:23 pmWorldwidedepp

        Sorry, episode 1 you gone to fast ahead…

  • April 16, 2016 at 8:03 amzwei

    Macross is finally back but how can I take that show seriously with a MC that looks like he came from a hippie store. What ever happened to the cool MCs like previous Macross’.

  • June 24, 2016 at 12:16 pmlebleu

    any ETA on the summer 2016 preview?

    thank you!

  • June 24, 2016 at 5:08 pmsafdaf

    ^seconded

    this season is pretty much over.. when might the summer preview come out?

    • June 24, 2016 at 6:12 pmStilts

      The answer is always “Around the same time as last year,” and if it’s running a little late, “Soon.” The 24th-27th is usually a good rule of thumb. All that applies this season as well.

      • June 25, 2016 at 6:22 amlebleu

        good to know thanks

      • June 28, 2016 at 7:19 pmShadow

        guess what? Its the 28th and still no preview :(