Ah, spring, when the bone-chilling snow melts into refreshing puddles that feed the budding spring blooms. Similarly, our dashed hopes and exceeded expectations from winter melt into our hopes for a blossoming Spring anime season. Will the anticipated premieres bloom into a beautiful sakura-lined avenue or a putrid bed of carrion flowers? Well, we will have to tune in to see! What I can say is that there are some very promising buds.

Back in fashion for the season are Tiger & Bunny 2, Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari, Kingdom, and Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu. On the sports field, we have the unique horse-racing anime Gunjou no Fanfare and the anticipated Aoashi. While not a sport (although some may claim it is a game), love is in the air too with the high school romance Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san, battle-crossed lovers in Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de, or the hilariously stubborn Shinomiya Kaguya and Shirogane Miyuki in Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai for added (viewing) pleasure. For a heartwarming story of a not-so-usual “family”, check out Spy x Family (which I think may be one of the standouts of the season). Or, for a bit of supernatural mystery, Summertime Render may be just the thing. Sometimes (at least for me), life is about the finer arts and Dance Dance Danseur, a coming of age story about finding one’s own self-expression through the art of ballet, promises just that. Spring really is here at last, and anime isn’t far behind: this is Random Curiosity’s Spring 2022 Preview!

As is tradition now our Excitement Levels previously introduced shall again be used. With every anime a cacophony of hype and wholly immune to objective thought (because art), we will embrace the spin and give you our visceral gut reactions to what is likely to transpire. 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 Excitement Level.

 

Disclaimer: Considering how substantial a task the Random Curiosity season preview is, we’ve divided it up among our active staff (Choya, FJ Freeman, Gabie, Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Princess Usagi (that’s me!), Miss Simplice, Takaii, Yaseen Hijazi, Zaiden, 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 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, seem to be oriented toward young children, or of late, shows being exclusively batch released through Netflix (refer to the OVA section for mentions on these). Likewise, any shows which have been postponed or currently are not confirmed to premiere have also been excluded. 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. And if we happened to miss something major, don’t hesitate to poke us!

Above all else, however, let me take this chance for a big thank you to the Random Curiosity team for this season’s preview. Life is hectic at the best of times (especially now more than ever), and if not for the help of everyone this preview wouldn’t have been possible – so the thanks are persistent and kudos plentiful. Also remember if in need of some differing perspectives to check out the LiA Spring preview for a second opinion on many of these shows.

Finally, and as always, many thanks to the entire Random Curiosity community. Whether you read every post or only a handful, whether you’re involved with and/or contribute to our Discord channel, or simply just lurk the site and stop by for the seasonal preview roundup, it’s your time, attention, and company which keep us going. Here’s to another fun season of anime for us to enjoy together!

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 example, Friday morning at 1:30AM would become Thursday at 25:30 to show that the episode aired late Thursday night. Series being streamed and season carryovers are excluded and series lacking confirmed air times are excluded until further airing info is released.

Saturday

Shadowverse Flame
10:00 TV TOKYO (04/02)

Love All Play
17:30 Yomiuri TV (04/02)

Aoashi
18:25 NHK-E (04/09)

Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai (2022)
22:00 TOKYO MX (04/02)

Spy x Family
23:00 TV TOKYO (04/09)

Gunjou no Fanfare
23:30 TOKYO MX (04/02)

Kingdom (2022)
24:00 NHK (04/09)

Kunoichi Tsubaki no Mune no Uchi
24:00 TOKYO MX (04/09)

Build Divide: Code White
24:30 TOKYO MX (04/02)

Kakkou no Iinazuke
25:30 TV Asahi (04/23)

Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san
26:00 ABC (04/09)

* Jump to OVA/Movies.

Kotarou wa Hitorigurashi | コタローは1人暮らし
Kotarou Lives Alone Top
https://kotaro-anime.com/
Animation: Liden Films Premiere: March 10th, 2022
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Web Release
Episodes: 10 Station: Netflix
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @kotaro1_anime

Preview by Guardian Enzo

By the time you read this Kotaro Lives Alone will already have dumped on Netflix, but it’s a notable enough property that I wanted to include it. Kotarou is a manga with quite an interesting history. The manga itself is an award winner, and the live-action adaptation has been one of the most well-received TV dramas in recent years. It’s little-known outside Japan but quite a prestige property here.

Manga and anime’s fascination with children living alone seems to reach the point of absurdity here, where the child in question is 4 years old. I’m withholding judgment on that premise (update: it’s great) until I see how it’s rationalized, but there is obvious potential for emotional resonance in the story. Director Makino Tomoe did good work on Kitsutsuki Tanteidokoro (though he’s actually directing two series this season, which can be worrisome). An odd duck, certainly, but Kotarou wa Hitorigurashi has a lot to recommend it, not least that it’s a seinen and that always improves the odds of a series being good.

Kotarou wa Hitorigurashi represents the challenges Netflix presents to a blogger. Is it a winter series? Spring? How does one cover it? Preview it? Netflix stubbornly refuses to distribute anime in the manner fans are used to, and as a result their series seem to generate less buzz among serious fans than they otherwise might (as witness excellent works like Great Pretender and Godzilla Singular Point). The trade-off I suppose is greater exposure to the general public – one Netflix is willing to make. Kotarou at least was dumped worldwide as opposed to making subscribers outside Japan wait a season.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Optimistic
Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road | 処刑少女の生きる道
The Executioner and Her Way of Life Top
http://virgin-road.com/
Animation: J.C.Staff Premiere: April 1st, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @virginroad_GA or #処刑少女

Preview by FJ Freeman

The story centers around people called The Lost, wanderers who come to this land from a far-flung world known only as Japan. No one knows who, why or how they came to lose their homes. Or how they came to be in this land. The Lost Ones created an advance civilization with the supernatural force. The civilzation ended up using Japanese as their main langauge. This community created a powerful force called the Pure Concept, which ended up getting out of control.

The only certainty that is present is that they will bring calamity and disaster to this world. Among those disasters, there are four legendary disasters – Sword of Salt, which turned the whole western continent into salt melting the sea in the process; the Pandemonium, which covers the southern archipelago; the Mechanical Society, which controls the Wild Frontier in the east; and the Starhusk, which carved out the center of the northern continent and set it afloat.

The task of exterminating The Lost Ones without remorse falls to Menou (Saeki Iori) a young executioner. But when she meets Akari, she feels it’s just another job, until, she discovers it’s impossible to kill this girl.

And when Menou decides she will begin a journey to search for a way to defeat this immortal being, Akari is more than happy to tag along. And so begins the journey of a lifetime that will change Menou and Akari forever!

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road Promotional Videos ▼

Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei Shite Mita. Heart | 理系が恋に落ちたので証明してみた. [r=1-sinθ]
Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It Season 2Top
https://rikekoi.com/
Animation: Zero-G Premiere: April 1st, 2022
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:30
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @rikeigakoini or #リケ恋

Preview by Princess Usagi

More than molecules are bonding in the research of two graduate students Himuro Ayame (Amamiya Sora ) and Yukimura Shinya (Uchida Yuuma). Upon experiencing that common, yet unexplainable chemical reaction otherwise known as “love”, the two, being scientists, gather empirical measurements for the parameters of their “condition”. With the help of their professor and labmates, they turn romance into prime data-gathering opportunities. All while encountering the idiosyncrasies of the people (the madness) and the scientific process (the method) that come with research. While growing closer to leveling their hypothesis up to a theory, they level up their feelings for each other. Can they accept love as a feeling apart from the cold, hard facts? The second season will investigate further!

The first season was quite enjoyable. As a former scientist myself, I found the humor related to the idiosyncrasies of working in research and the ridiculousness of trying to objectively measure a subjective experience comic. Not to mention the heartwarming cuteness as the lab-bench romances evolved. On the staffing side of things, I except the quality to be consistent with the first season with the studio Zero-G and the director Kitahata Tooru continuing on for the sequel. If you liked the first season and/or you enjoy romantic comedy with science mixed into the equation, then I hypothesize that you should check out season 2!

Watching This: Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei Shite Mita. Heart Promotional Videos ▼

Aharen-san wa Hakarenai | 阿波連さんははかれない
Aharen Is Indecipherable Top
https://aharen-pr.com/
Animation: Felix Film Premiere: April 1st, 2022
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 26:25
Episodes: 13 Station: TBS / MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @aharen_pr or #阿波連さん

Preview by Miss Simplice

Aharen-san wa Hakanerai is a romantic comedy about an odd, adorable girl named Aharen Reina. Her mannerisms are eclectic, she seems to be unaware of her quirks, and she possibly has difficulty understanding social cues and boundaries. The story follows her relationship with the boy who sits closest to her in class, Matsuboshi Raidou. From the corner of his eye, he notices her and wants to get to know his new classmate. He takes the opportunity during class to return her fallen eraser and from that moment on, a very unusual bond develops. It’s unclear how Aharen interprets the gesture but one thing is certain, she has now taken a liking to Matsuboshi and takes every opportunity to cross the boundaries of his personal space.

Aharen-san wa Hakarenai reminds me a little of Toradora!. While the characters, personalities, and backstories are entirely different, it’s Aharen’s lack of personal boundaries that recalls that of Taiga’s. Taiga is probably the only lolicon-type character I’ve ever truly appreciated, mainly because the character had depth and so did the story. I have a feeling this series won’t go much farther than the connection between a high school boy and the chibi girl sitting next to him but the trailer does seem to highlight the comedic aspect that comes with being friends with such a unique individual. So far, it doesn’t seem like the series is introducing any new ideas or concepts but with the coming of spring, a cute, fresh, and slightly familiar young love is probably just what we need. The dynamic between the main characters and Matsuboshi’s introspection is enough to make me want to watch a few episodes. If I were you, I’d give it a try just in case this ends up being the diamond in the rough we’re looking for.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Aharen-san wa Hakarenai Promotional Videos ▼

Shadowverse Flame | シャドウバースFLAMETop
https://anime.shadowverse.jp/
Animation: Zexcs Premiere: April 2nd, 2022
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 10:00
Episodes: N/A Station: TV TOKYO
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @shadowverse_anm or #シャドバト

Preview by FJ Freeman

Featuring a (second) new protagonist titled Light Tenryu (Uemura Yuuto), Shadowverse Flame is set in the Shadovar College, a facility that trains professional players of the Shadowverse game. Transfer student Light decides to join “The Seventh Flame”, one of the seven Shadowverse clubs.

However, due to insufficient members, The Seventh Flame is on the verge of being erased from history! To avoid the club’s demise, Light decides to look for new members. But what awaits him is a powerful opponent who holds all kinds of different strange and wild cards…

Shadowverse Flame is based on the mobile game by the same name, and it’s second attempt at a TV anime, where you play TCG battles against A.I. opponents as well as PVP action. It’s published by Cygames and now an anime adaptation is on the way hoping to garner new engagement from players and watchers alike.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Shadowverse Flame Promotional Videos ▼

Love All Play | ラブオールプレーTop
https://love-all-play.com/
Animation: Nippon Animation Premiere: April 2nd, 2022
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 17:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Yomiuri TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @loveallplay2022 or #ラブオールプレー

Preview by Yaseen Hijazi

It looks like we’re getting back-to-back badminton anime this year, with Ryman’s Club taking the helm for the Winter Season and passing over the torch to Love All Play which will be carrying this new badminton anime craze for the Spring Season. While I have been enjoying the salaryman x badminton approach of Ryman’s Club, the truth is I have nothing to compare it to when it comes to badminton anime – yes I have not even watched Hanebado! Regardless, Love All Play is still unique in that it’s an all-boys high school badminton series that, surprisingly, doesn’t seem to have been done before. It’s hard to form an opinion about this one with no source material and a fairly conservative trailer, but I do have faith in the animation coming from Studio Nippon and OLM, both of whom have produced some banger shows with series like Hunter x Hunter, Pokemon, and Kenpuu no Beserk.

Getting back on the topic, Love All Play follows teen Ryou Mizushima (Natsuki Hanae) who has achieved some awesome feats during his junior-high badminton career showing great vigor and physical prowess to make up for their lack of a proper coach. Now entering high school, Mizushima is offered a position in the prestigious Yokohama Minato, where he will join a team of individualistic teammates under an accomplished coach. My guess is that this series will feature the classical sports anime trope of “the individual vs the team” as each member learns the value of teamwork and working together in the otherwise fairly individual sport of badminton. As an already established school of prodigy badminton players, I’m feeling Prince of Tennis vibes with this series and am very much hoping my intuition is correct. Sometimes, it can be refreshing to follow the story of the best team or school in town as opposed to the usual motif of the underdog team rising to the top. I urge you to keep an eye on Love All Play because it could become the iconic badminton series that is sorely lacking in the world of sports anime.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Love All Play Promotional Videos ▼

Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai (2022) | ラブライブ! 虹ヶ咲学園スクールアイドル同好会 (2022)Top
https://www.lovelive-anime.jp/nijigasaki/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: April 2nd, 2022
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @LoveLive_staff or #虹ヶ咲

Preview by FJ Freeman

At Nijigasaki High School, there are many clubs, but one of them is the Burial School Idol Club. This club despite its lack of popularity is certainly not lacking in potential. When they held their first live performance they were able to capture a large audience, even garnering the attention of their classmates.

Ayumu Uehara (Oonishi Aguri) and Yuu Takasaki (Yano Hinaki) enamored the audience with their charms. The two make their way to join the club. However, they are disappointed to learn that the club has just been disbanded!

Still, Ayumu doesn’t think it should end here just yet. Together with Yuu, they both begin to restore the school Idol Club hoping to recreate the Idol’s performance that previously had dazzled them. Aiming for the Love Live!

Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukaukai reformed school shines its light on the Idol Club as they recruit both former members of the company along with newcomers. How will these girls achieve idol stardom while taking the first step towards their dreams?

If anything is to go by, Love Live! is having a sort of resurgence, so here’s hopping that this will turn out as good Superstar!

Watching This: FJ Freeman Excitement Level: Established
Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai (2022) Promotional Videos ▼

Gunjou no Fanfare | 群青のファンファーレ
Fanfare of Adolescence Top
https://fanfare-anime.com/
Animation: Lay-duce Premiere: April 2nd, 2022
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:30
Episodes: 13 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation <@fanfare_anime or #群青のファンファーレ

Preview by Princess Usagi

Dreams can be both invigorating and terrifying- sometimes leading you to uproot the comfort of the known in pursuit of the unknown. Grace Amane (Hanae Natsuki), Kazanami Shun (Tsuchiya Shinba), and Arimura Yuu (Yano Shougo) leave the comfort of their present lives (one of which includes fame as an idol singer) for the hard competition of horse racing at an elite equestrian academy. The boys, who have lived their lives defined by their fame or family seek to find themselves through their passion of horse-racing.

This appears to be an intriguing combination of sports and pop idols. Not only is one of the characters an ex-pop idol, members of the real-life pop group J01 will also be making guest appearances in the anime. The director Katou Makoto also directed an episode of the boys idol group series IDOLiSH7, giving off premonitions of an idol/pretty boys drama dressed up in sports gear (whether that is a draw or not depends on the viewer). Whether the tone tips more towards to pretty boys’ drama, sports drama, coming of age drama, or preferably, a balance of each remains to be seen. Also on the music front, the score is composed by Sawano Hiroyuki (Shingeki no Kyojin, 86) whose beautiful melodies I am a huge fan of! Music aside, I am intrigued by the idea of a horse-racing anime, as I don’t think there has been one before and it seems like a regal sort of sport. If you like sports, horses, and/or pretty boys, you’ll want to bet your viewing time (time = money) on this horse race!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Gunjou no Fanfare Promotional Videos ▼

Build Divide: Code White | ビルディバイド -#FFFFFF-Top
https://anime.build-divide.com/
Animation: Liden Films Premiere: April 2nd, 2022
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @build_divide or #ビルディバイド

Preview by FJ Freeman

It’s the far future, everything is decided by Build-Divide, it’s the new currency, and there’s a king who reigns supreme over the Build Divide city, whoever can defeat him will be granted whatever their little heart’s desire. Everyone has a wish, but young Teruto Kurabe (Uemura, Yuuto) vows that he will win no matter what, and get what he desires the most.

He has companions that are at his side: Sakura Banka (Watabe Sayumi), and Hiyori Munemashi (Koga Aoi) are there to support him throughout his journey. Now the stage is set, Shin Kyoto is the play, and Teruto dives headfirst into battle.

This time around Build Divide is coming back for its second cour filled with action, intrigue, and mystery; let’s see what new fascinating card battles Build Divide brings to the table!

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Build Divide: Code White Promotional Videos ▼

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden Final Season – Asaki Yume no Akatsuki | マギアレコード 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ外伝 Final Season ‐浅き夢の暁‐
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Final Season Top
https://anime.magireco.com/
Animation: Shaft Premiere: April 3rd, 2022
Genre: Psychological Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 19:00
Episodes: 4 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @magireco or #マギレコ

Preview by Pancakes

Editor’s Note: yes, this season is only four episodes long.

The now substantive spinoff to Madoka Magica (three seasons don’t lie), Magia Record centers on one magical girl Tamaki Iroha (Asakura Momo) and her search for her missing sister Ui. This search leads Iroha to Kamihama City, a strange hotbed of witch activity drawing in magical girls from all over desperate for the sake of promised redemption and salvation. Joining together with resident magical girl Nanami Yachiyo (Amamiya Sora) and outsider Kaname Madoka (Yuuki Aoi), Iroha and her new acquaintances soon start to unravel the mystery of Kamihama City, the involvement of an organization called the Wings of Magius, and the true plans behind bringing both witches and magical girls together. Although ultimately successful in stopping the machinations of the Wings of Magius last season, as Iroha and company will soon find out, there’s always something more dangerous waiting for the right moment to strike.

Magia Record’s adaptation really hasn’t had the easiest time of late. Between incessant production issues plaguing its previous season and a condensed story only growing more chaotic as the rushing issues (and anime-original insertions) mount up, this show has struggled to find the ground needed to help stand up to the immense nostalgia-coloured expectations of Madoka itself. I wouldn’t anticipate this season fully correcting course (particularly considering it was supposed to air last season), however given several plotlines have now been dealt with and we’re set to (hopefully) wrap things up I wouldn’t completely write off this one just yet. Magia Record may not be the Madoka continuation a lot have been hoping for, but if you’re in need of some additional Madoka-flavoured magical girl suffering make sure to keep this sequel on your spring radar.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Otomege Sekai wa Mob ni Kibishii Sekai Desu | 乙女ゲー世界はモブに厳しい世界です
Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs Top
https://mobseka.com/
Animation: ENGI Premiere: April 3rd, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 22:00
Episodes: 13 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @mobseka_anime or #モブせか

Preview by Pancakes

Not every isekai adventure is made the same as Leon Bartfort (Ootsuka Takeo) can easily confirm. Resurrected into a fantasy world of swords and magic, Leon’s dreams of saving princesses and overcoming demon lords gets rudely sidetracked when he finds out this new world is a dating sim world. A matriarchal dating sim world. In the world of Otome men are little more than free labour, around simply to serve every need of their female half. Royalty? The nobility? All focused around their feminine sides. It’s quite the abrupt change of pace for Leon, but it’s also one he’s not entirely unprepared for. See, Otome’s world comes from a game Leon once was forced by his sister to play, a game he knows inside and out. This new life may not be living up to expectations, but Leon has all the tools needed to thoroughly upend the status quo.

Thanks to the success of Hamefura isekai keeps finding new material to sink its teeth into and Mobseka is arguable proof of concept. Much like with the Bakarina shenanigans, Mobseka’s focus is on the romance plot of its fictional game world: Leon will be flirting, he will be romancing, and by hell he will be conquering lest he fall prey to the game’s machinations. Of course Mobseka will be more about usurping the system than trying to avoid bad ends (laughs in Bakarina), but the underlying concept remains the same: expect lots of comedy and even more harem insanity to keep things moving, particularly when some of the more, erm, imaginative aspects start to come to the fore. Although the teased animation so far isn’t anything to write home about (ENGI can be hit or miss for a studio) you need look no further than this if in need of some romcom-flavoured chuckles this season. Between isekai and romance both, Mobseka has something for everyone.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Otomege Sekai wa Mob ni Kibishii Sekai Desu Promotional Videos ▼

Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall | ブラック★★ロックシューター DAWN FALLTop
https://blackrockshooter-dawnfall.com/
Animation: Bibury Animation CG Premiere: April 3rd, 2022
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @project_brsDF or #ブラックロックシューター

Preview by Choya

The year is 2062. Two decades after a massive workforce automation project failed, the AI at the core of the project, Artemis, decides to lay waste to planet Earth in a sudden attack against humanity. In an underground facility, a lone girl named Empress (Ishikawa Yui) awakens as one of the three surviving guardians of humanity. Because of her amnesia, however, she can only remember the words that a colonel from the peace-building force tells her. It was a prime directive to prevent Artemis from constructing a space elevator to link the Moon and Earth, aiming to descend upon the planet with hordes of giant mechanized forces. Will Empress be able to protect the ruined planet, or will Artemis end up finishing the job?

Vocaloids are a hell of a drug. Back in ye olde 2010, a “multimedia project” based on a collaboration between Supercell and Hatsune Miku manifested in the form of an ONA film that would spawn a series of video games, TV anime, and manga. To be honest, the amount of material that came from the project is far more interesting than the story itself, which is often boiled down to magical girl fights between aliens. But much of the excitement around Black★★Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall rests on how it both reimagines the property and aims to revive it through a wider range of exposure. One of the larger reveals about the show is that it is one of the many anime that Disney + acquired the streaming rights for. While their main forays into anime were centered around the more lucrative IP’s they bought like Star Wars, I’m curious about the appeal that they figured a Black★★Rock Shooter anime in 2022 would have. It should be neat to see if the new installment is able to build up hype and momentum when it makes its way to the Spring season.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Pancakes Excitement Level: Optimistic
Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall Promotional Videos ▼

Healer Girl | ヒーラー・ガールTop
https://healer-girl.jp/
Animation: Studio 3Hz Premiere: April 4th, 2022
Genre: Music Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @HealerGirlAnime or #ヒーラー・ガール

Preview by Gabie

Healer Girl, ”Kindhearted, powerful songs heal the world. These are beautiful miracles sung by humanity”, follows the story of four healer apprentices at the unusual Karasuma Vocal Medical Institute: these upcoming healers trade tomes of botanics and anatomy for practices of singing with soul, intention and mystic powers to aid anxiety and improve people’s mental health. With an upbeat PV that carries a bit of a slice of life and mahou shoujo tones, this show might take that sweet spot of comfort-show of the season! Studio 3Hz is behind this original animation and from what I could see on the PV, the magic evocations look sweet and cute, just like the entire cast!

Our main protagonists in this series are: Itsushiro Reimi (Horiuchi Marina), Yanagi Sonia (Yoshitake Chihaya), Morishima Hibiki (Kumada Akane) and Fuji Kana (Isobe Karin). And there’s another catch behind the concept of this show–it turns out that ‘Healer Girls’ is also the up and coming idol unit consisting of said main cast. So, if you enjoy wholesome cute singing girls trying their best at their craft, you might enjoy Healer Girl!

Watching This: FJ Freeman Excitement Level: Average
Healer Girl Promotional Videos ▼

Yuusha, Yamemasu | 勇者, 辞めます
I’m Quitting Heroing Top
https://yuuyame.com/
Animation: EMT Squared Premiere: April 5th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @yuuyame_anime or #勇やめ

Preview by Yaseen Hijazi

It may seem like an Isekai at first glance, but in fact Yuusha, Yamemasu is set in the fantasy world from the jump, following the story of Leo (Kensho Ono) who has saved the world with his incredible strength and essentially became the world’s strongest hero. In fact, he was so strong that he was exiled from this world as he was seen as “too dangerous” for the peaceful human society. As I’m sure many of us would do, Leo decided to join the Demon King’s Army instead, that is, the same army he took down while defending the human world. Using his powers to rebuild the army, Leo starts to get them back on their feet, and ultimately meets his old enemy Echidna (Kaede Hondo). Learning about the truth of why the Demon Army attacked the human world, Leo begins to question who he should be fighting for, and it would seem things are not so black and white as he initially thought.

In a series about finding your true purpose in life, Yuusha, Yamemasu is literally what its title alludes to, I’m Quitting Heroing. Except, Leo will be doing far more than just quitting the hero life, he’s going to become the ace of the Demon King’s Army that plots to crush the human world, for reasons yet to be explained. Of course, it won’t be an easy task, especially having to undo the damage Leo already caused them. My theory is that this show will be all about the adventure and the bonds between comrades in a world where there is no clear good and bad. In particular, Leo seems to be too strong for his own good, especially after seeing the trailer where he effortlessly slays his enemies without breaking a sweat. Brought to you by Studio EMT Squared, you can expect a similar style of animation and plot as their other fantasy-based shows such as Assassin’s Pride and Renai Boukun, though I’m hoping Yuusha, Yamemasu will score a higher rating than these not-so-popular shows as it does have an interesting premise from what I can tell. I say it’ll be worth a watch!

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Yuusha, Yamemasu Promotional Videos ▼

Paripi Koumei | パリピ孔明
Ya Boy Kongming! Top
https://paripikoumei-anime.com/
Animation: P.A. Works Premiere: April 5th, 2022
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @paripikoumei_pr or #パリピ孔明

Preview by Zaiden

Any Dynasty Warrior fans out there will be sure to recognise ya boi Kong Ming as one of the greatest military strategists in history – Zhuge Liang. And here he is reimagined in a reverse isekai of sorts, transported from the Battle of Wuzhang Plains as per his final wish to incarnate into a future life that is free of war. He wakes up in modern day Japan, in attire similar to his traditional Chinese garbs at a costume party and is pressured by his peers to attend a Night Club. There, he witnesses the performance of an extremely talented singer called Eiko Tsukimi and realises his calling in this second life – to make her into a singing superstar! How might he call upon his past experience as one of the greatest military strategists and use it to forge his way through a ruthless, unrelenting entertainment industry as a penniless outsider where money and connections rule above all else?

History and the entertainment industry (if we’re talking about singers and idols) are two topics that don’t really scratch my itch. And given how niche those two things are, I suspect I wouldn’t be alone on that count. But there are some key differences to this premise that completely change my mind for this specific series. Zhuge Liang – or Kong Ming as he’s known in Japan – is that legendary folk hero who deterred an invasion on a town with no garrison by going out to the front alone and playing his flute, scaring the enemy forces into a retreat by making them believe he had a trap prepared up his sleeve. This heroic fable about his deeds will surely give you an insight into Kong Ming’s personality, and how he’s the kind of person who is accustomed to dealing with ruthless ambitions and outwitting enemies at critical turns. P.A. Works being involved also makes me intrigued – this deviates from their usual slice of life focus and gives off serious passion project vibes in the vein of their other work, Appare Ranman. Even if it looks like they’re trying to blood new directing talent by elevating episode director Osamu Honma to manage his first ever project. But because they continue to produce shows I enjoy watching, even if they are arguably way past their heydays, I don’t see any reason to stop indulging.

Watching This: Princess Usagi, Zaiden Excitement Level: Limited
Paripi Koumei Promotional Videos ▼

Birdie Wing: Golf Girls’ Story | BIRDIE WING -Golf Girls` Story-Top
https://birdie-wing.net/
Animation: BN Pictures Premiere: April 5th, 2022
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TV TOKYO
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @birdiewing_golf or #バディゴル

Preview by Miss Simplice

The world of golf is no easy one and the challenges athletes face are tenfold, so imagine what it means for two women to enter the realm that used to be so male-dominated. This original anime follows two women, Eve and Aoi, who “shake-up” the world of women’s golf with their skill. Although their skill levels are practically on par with one another, their upbringings and training stem from extremely different backgrounds resulting in different play styles. Eve has made a living betting on golf, and her difficult past has produced a ‘rough and powerful’ playing style unique to her. Because of this, she’s nicknamed the “Rainbow Bullet”. In contrast, Aoi is from a rich family and trained at a prestigious golf school giving her a leg up throughout her entire golfing career. She has a very professional (traditional) and delicate style giving her the nickname of “Innocent Tyrant”. The cast is varied with each main character having their own, unique support groups representing the socioeconomic worlds they both originate from.

After doing some deep dive into this series and its production, something particular came to light. Writer Koruda Yosuke, charged with the scripting, worked on various series within the Gundam franchise. And low and behold, two of our main male characters are voiced by Gundam actors Furuya Toru (as Amuro Reiya) and Ikeda Shuichi (as Leo Millafoden). Cast and production members working together again is nothing new in the anime world, however, the character name Amuro Reiya is very reminiscent of the Gundam character named Amuro Ray. I believe this is an homage to the Gundam crew working on this production and a nod to their love of the franchise. As a Gundam fan, I am curious to see how Amuro Reiya is portrayed in this series and if there will be any other nods to the franchise that transpire via this character. The PV makes the series look very grounded. It might not drive towards action-packed competition like some sport (or culinary) genre anime (i.e. Prince of Tennis, Shokugeki no Souma) but it promises to be full of drama. And with professional golf consultant Inoue Toru amongst the crew, the series will most likely adhere to the real-life physics of golf and its accompanying rules. I’m pretty excited for this one because of how unique the premise is so you can be sure that I’ll have this on my watch list for the season.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Birdie Wing: Golf Girls` Story Promotional Videos ▼

Tomodachi Game | トモダチゲーム
Friends Game Top
https://tomodachi-anime.com/
Animation: Okuruto Noboru Premiere: April 5th, 2022
Genre: Action, Thriller Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:29
Episodes: 12 Station: NTV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @tomodachi_anime or #トモダチゲーム

Preview by Choya

Money never came easy for Katagiri Yuuichi (Kobayashi Chiaki), but he remains positive through the help of his close circle of friends. When Yuuichi saves up enough money to join them on the school trip as part of a promise, the group is struck with misfortune when the money goes mysteriously missing. Because two of his closest friends Sawaragi Shiho (Miyamoto Yume) and Shibe Makoto (Tomohiro Ono) were in charge of collecting the money, they take responsibility when no one else comes forward about where the money went. A few days later, Yuuichi and his friends are tricked into meeting up by a series of mysterious letters and are quickly knocked unconscious when they come together. As they wake up, they are greeted by Manabu-kun, a character from a controversial children’s show who informs them that one of the friends indirectly gathered them together to settle the debt. Because Manabu-kun’s show was #canceled for spreading harmful, malicious content across airwaves, the character also expects them to play a “friendship game”. With Manabu-kun’s game, the friends are told to play a series of games that will test the strength of their friendship, their bonds, and their trust in one another. The “friendship game” turns out to sow discontent amongst the friend group as Yuuichi must figure out which of his friends are trustworthy, and which one is the traitor who is responsible for the growing number of secrets and betrayals they face.

If you ever had the pleasure or misfortune of watching an anime like Ousama Game or Darwin’s Game, you’d know very well why Tomodachi Game sounds like it’d travel down the same crazy alley. Nonsense self-immolating group participation games are always prime material for getting some of the craziest stories ever translated into an anime. In this case, the main attraction is seeing how much of a rift is caused between a group of friends by participating in a mean-spirited game where they’re constantly pitted against each other. With all the trickery, backstabbing, and wacky faces this anime is promising us, who would I be to turn my back away from such wackiness?

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Pancakes Excitement Level: Optimistic
Tomodachi Game Promotional Videos ▼

Shijou Saikyou no Daimaou, Murabito A ni Tensei Suru | 史上最強の大魔王, 村人Aに転生する
The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody Top
https://murabito-a-anime.com/
Animation: Blade Premiere: April 6th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 21:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @murabitoa_anime or #村人Aに転生

Preview by Pancakes

The demon lord Varvatos (Fukamachi Toshinari) is not one for subtlety. As the most powerful being of his time he wants for nothing and indeed desires nothing, having everything a mere flick of the finger away. It’s enough to drive any man to boredom and so Varvatos takes matters into his own hands and decides to reincarnate several lifetimes into the future with perfectly average powers. There’s just one catch: Varvatos cannot account for the powers of everyone else. Coming to as Ard in the modern world, the demon lord not only finds himself still ridiculously overpowered, but with everyone from ladies to royalty and even ex-minions seeking him out for his abilities. Such things won’t stop this demon lord though, and one way or another he’ll find the thrill he’s been searching for.

The fantasy (and isekai) train has always been one for flavour of the month and it shouldn’t be too hard seeing why with Shijou Saikyou. The overpowered MC returned as average (yet still overpowered) concept has been done multiple times already, from Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha to Noukin and even Shikkaku Mon no Saikyou Kenja this past season exploring it in some capacity. In short don’t expect a lot of ground breaking to happen here: the MC is ludicrous in terms of power, the harem options are cute and plentiful, and it features only the best of modern light novel fantasy plots. Pretty much everything we’ve seen before, however given Shijou Saikyou is a Silver Link production and is being helmed by the fairly robust (and fantasy/comedy focused) Minato Mirai as director there’s still plenty of opportunity for some entertaining shenanigans. I wouldn’t expect Shijou Saikyou to be setting any records, but it’s definitely worth some attention if in need of some lighthearted spring entertainment.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Shijou Saikyou no Daimaou, Murabito A ni Tensei Suru Promotional Videos ▼

RPG Fudousan | RPG不動産
RPG Real Estate Top
https://rpg-rs.jp/
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: April 6th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 21:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @rpgrs_anime or #RPG不動産

Preview by Gabie

Not an Isekai–it’s a fantasy RPG show about girls working at a real estate company! “Our work is to make people happy by providing them with a place to live!” is the motto behind RPG (Rent Plan Guide), and they take this very seriously. Set in a world that’s finally at peace, the story follows Kazairo Kotone (Inoue Hanoka), a newly arrived female magician and her three new coworkers: dragonkin Fa (Kino Hina), priestess Rufria (Kawaida Natsumi) and soldier Rakira (Iwami Manaka) as they support one another while trying to help their clients find their forever homes!

Based on the ongoing 4koma by mangaka Kenmotsu Chiyo, the series has been adapted by studio Doga Kobo and seems to fall under the same category as Healer Girl: a comfortable, wholesome and cutesy type of show following a group of four girls striving for their best at their craft. If that’s your niche, this one might be a fun addition to your weekly watch list.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
RPG Fudousan Promotional Videos ▼

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 2 | 盾の勇者の成り上がり Season2
The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2Top
http://shieldhero-anime.jp/
Animation: Kinema Citrus Premiere: April 6th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @shieldheroanime or #shieldhero

Preview by Pancakes

At one time Iwatani Naofumi (Ishikawa Kaito) was just another high schooler doing typical teenage things. Until he and three others found themselves transported to another world. Summoned to be Legendary Heroes, the world’s saviours, the four out of place kids are granted immense power to see their task through, however for Naofumi not all is as it seems. Granted only the seemingly measly power of a shield, Naofumi is soon belittled by his fellow heroes and even betrayed by his early confidant and assistant Malty Melromarc (Sara Emi Bridcutt) looking to benefit her own position. Outcast, despised, and now burning with rage, Naofumi turns towards the path of revenge, enlisting the assistance of demi-human slave Raphtalia (Seto Asami) and the literal birdbrained Filo (Hidaka Rina) along the way. And now, after having exacted revenge and learned a good deal of the world’s truth, Naofumi once again returns his original mission: saving the world – and maybe a bit more besides.

While not the absolute best isekai has to offer, I always had a soft spot for Tate no Yuusha. An ostensibly dark isekai (it effectively enabled the likes of Kaiyari and Arifureta to see the tv screen), Tate no Yuusha displayed some surprising depth when it premiered in 2019, taking a revenge-based story and slowly morphing it into your usual saving the world premise, albeit with more edgy flair. It was simple, it was very generic, yet it was also fun, particularly after Naofumi’s quest for revenge finally gave way to proper hero shenanigans. Although it’s taken over three years to see this sequel, likely due to Crunchy Roll’s acquisition (some might remember the talk of CR funding four seasons total) the good news is that little is changing: all cast and most crew are reprising their roles, Kimena Citrus remains at the animation helm, and the always impressive Kevin Penkin is back for more soundtrack goodness. I wouldn’t expect this season to win over any doubters, but if you only watch one isekai this spring Tate no Yuusha should be it.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 2 Promotional Videos ▼

Deaimon | であいもんTop
https://deaimon.jp/
Animation: Encourage Films Premiere: April 6th, 2022
Genre: Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @Deaimon_anime, #であいもん or #deaimon

Preview by Princess Usagi

There’s nothing like the sweet taste of youkan or any of the other wagashi (traditional Japanese treats)! Irino Nagumo (Shimazaki Nobunaga) is supposedly in line to inherit his family’s wagashi shop but has been disconnected from his family for 10 years. When his father’s illness precipitates a bittersweet return home after a 10 years’ absence, Nagumo expects to head the traditional sweets business only to discover that the young Yukihira Itsuka (Yuuki Kozue) is the heir. To make matters worse for him, he is asked to care for the very girl who “usurped” his position.

This looks like it could be a heartwarming tale of food and adopted family like Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari. It could also be a healing story with the obligatory genki girl. It could go either way. Nothing from the staffing and the studio (Encourage Films) really catch my eye, but a blank slate isn’t always a bad thing. As such, I can’t really say much about this manga-based series other than the fact that it centers around wagashi and I like wagashi, so I will tune in for at least the first episode. If you also are a fan of sweet things or are interested in a healing drama, I would recommend this from the menu of Spring 2022 previews!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Deaimon Promotional Videos ▼

Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu. (2022) | 古見さんは, コミュ症です. (2022)
Komi Can`t Communicate 2nd Season Top
https://komisan-official.com/
Animation: OLM Premiere: April 6th, 2022
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TV TOKYO
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @comisanvote or #古見さん

Preview by Yaseen Hijazi

Just as season 1 was my #1 choice for the 2021 Fall Season of Anime, Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu Season 2 is my anime of choice for the 2022 Spring Season and I have no doubt it will be just as hilarious and just as wholesome as its first installment. From what we’ve seen in the trailer, there’ll be plenty of wacky characters returning for this season and we’ll also be introduced to a few new ones that, as the show’s motif goes, will be eyeing Komi Shouko (Aoi Koga) in pursuit of her love and affection. With the mission of making 100 new friends still hanging in the balance, Tadano Hitohito (Gakuto Kajiwara) will continue to do what he can to support his friend and, let’s be real, his love interest in achieving this goal and hopefully overcoming Komi’s communication disorder in the process. This season looks to have something of a winter theme, so it’ll be interesting to see how that comes into play (I’m thinking ski trips and snowball fights).

If you’ve been reading my coverage of Komi Can’t Communicate Season 1, then you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Osana Najimi (Rie Murakawa) and often call him the “MVP” of the show because of how they always come in clutch to break down awkward barriers between Tadano and Komi and generally takes all the initiative to create fun memories for the group. Thankfully, the loveable childhood friend will be just as relevant in this upcoming season as we’ve seen from the trailer and main cast, and as I always say they will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the plot’s progression and (I would even say) the progression of Tadano and Komi’s romantic relationship. Fanboying aside, it’s set to be an exciting new installment of Komi-san and I have no doubt it will deliver the same quality of laughs, over-the-top reactions, and some wholesome kawaii moments to give us the full experience of what this show is all about! Oh yeah, the new theme songs sound like bangers too.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Yaseen Hijazi, Zaiden Excitement Level: High
Komi-san wa, Komyushou Desu. (2022) Promotional Videos ▼

Estab-Life: Great Escape | エスタブライフ グレイトエスケープTop
https://establife.tokyo/
Animation: Polygon Pictures Premiere: April 6th, 2022
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 24:55
Episodes: N/A Station: Fuji TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @establife or #エスタブライフ

Preview by FJ Freeman

In the distant future, Earth’s population has reached its peak and is unable to sustain anything more. Which prompted the development of an AI to help preserve the environment. Titled the “Supernatural Renovation Project” Tokyo gets split with towering walls into several clustered sectors. Through genetic engineering, various citizens were created to live in the city. All governed by an ever-watching looming A.I that tracks each and every single one of their movements.

Each cluster had its own unique culture. The AI maintains the system’s survival rate by monitoring the people living in the area. Most of them live their lives in their own unique clustered sector, unaware of what others are doing outside of it. However, there are those who seek to escape into other sectors. A special outfit, when worn, helps those that seek escape, achieve it.

Gorou Taniguchi has created a new mixed-media original project called Estab-Life. It consists of various anime and mobile games. One of these is the mobile game called Unity Memories, which was developed by Square Enix.

The anime is being assembled by Polygon Pictures, the people behind Knights of Sidonia, and the one semi-good Blame! movie, as well as adapting the Ajin manga into TV form. As for expectations? They’re certainly out there, with mixed media projects it’s always anyone’s guess if it’s going to be any good, but Polygon Pictures have redeemed themselves time and time again; even though CGi is not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s certainly one of the better studios to handle it. So let’s throw caution out the window and see what this anime can bring to the table!

Watching This: FJ Freeman Excitement Level: Limited
Estab-Life: Great Escape Promotional Videos ▼

Shachiku-san wa Youjo Yuurei ni Iyasaretai. | 社畜さんは幼女幽霊に癒されたい.
Ms. Corporate Slave Wants to be Healed by a Loli Spirit Top
https://shachikusan.com/
Animation: Project No.9 Premiere: April 7th, 2022
Genre: Supernatural, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 21:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @shachisaretai or #しゃちされたい

Preview by Choya

Ms. Fushihara (Kanemoto Hisako) is a corporate lackey who is beaten down and run ragged by her working conditions. While others find catharsis through drinks at a nearby izakaya or karaoke to let off steam, Ms. Fushihara wants to be healed by a loli spirit. A little ghost girl is worried to find that Ms. Fushihara is working until midnight, and tries to get her to take on healthier habits. While saying “Leave now~” in an effort to make her go home, the ghost girl brings her refreshments and helps her out along the way. Her preciousness is quick to heal Ms. Fushihara’s heart as she finds the motivation to carry forward on her miserable work/life imbalance. Perhaps you might feel the same rejuvenating factors when you experience the heartwarming daily life of Ms. Fushihara and this cute ghost girl.

It’s hard to be too hyped up for a show that has the title Ms. Corporate Slave Wants to be Healed by a Loli Spirit. Between the current waifus of the year being comprised of high-school girls and the upcoming anime remake of a story created by a sex offender, 2022 is the year of treading as carefully as can be with regards to what the anime world deems as peak fiction. But from the looks of things, I have a feeling that Shachiku-san wa Youjo Yuurei ni Iyasaretai will be a lot more innocuous than it sounds. In its essence, Ms. Fushihara is only looking for some relief and inspiration to carry forward in an unforgiving work environment, and this appears in the form of a small ghost child. Not going to lie, it just made me go from cautious to really depressed to think that many of the supernatural characters in the show were children who died in tragic circumstances. On a lighter note, it is a slice-of-life coming from Project No.9, a studio that has also made a plethora of other relaxing and colorful comfort anime. Here’s to hoping that the premise is as wholesome as it sounds in the description when it appears this spring.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Shachiku-san wa Youjo Yuurei ni Iyasaretai. Promotional Videos ▼

Heroine Taru Mono! Kiraware Heroine to Naisho no Oshigoto | ヒロインたるもの! ~嫌われヒロインと内緒のお仕事~
To Become a Real Heroine! The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task Top
https://honeyworks-tvanime.com/
Animation: Lay-duce Premiere: April 7th, 2022
Genre: Music, Sports, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 22:30
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @HoneyWorksMovie or #ヒロインたるもの

Preview by Miss Simplice

Idols, track and field, work, high school, and romance. When you’ve got all this to manage, I don’t know how a teenager doesn’t crack under the pressure. I’m always drawn to series that show the challenges of being an independent high schooler. It’s at that youthful age that we begin to experience life and its hurdles. While anime (or any form of entertainment) doesn’t truly represent our experiences, I can appreciate a good high school plot. In Heroine Tarumono! Kiraware Heroine to Naisho no Oshigoto, the story follows Hiyori Suzumi, a young girl who leaves her home to pursue her dreams of becoming a track and field athlete. She enrolls into Tokyo’s Sakuragaoka High but getting into the ideal school doesn’t equal success. To be far from home means standing on your own two feet, so Hiyori must find a job and that’s when she becomes a junior idol manager – for her classmates Yuujirou Someya and Aizou Shibasaki. They are members of the idol group LIPxLIP making Hiyori’s day-to-day quite eventful. With her plate full with school, chasing after her own dreams, making new friends, and managing her peers, Hiyori will have to learn to juggle the struggles of being a high schooler the best way she can.

As a full-fledged adult, I don’t think I could manage as much as Hiyori has on her plate. But I like to imagine that if an anime character could, then I could too. I think that’s the appeal of a genre like this one. The hard work and determination of youth are still so pure that it tends to rub off on me. The other reason I’m looking forward to this series is that it is somewhat reminiscent of Skip Beat!. At the time, romance was an underlying theme of the show whereas the heroine’s aspirations and hard work were center focus. While the PV showcases some stereotypical romantic scenes, I do hope the story highlights Hiyori’s determination to achieve her goals. It might not be the most original plot but I’m confident this series will offer audiences a perfect balance of love, happiness, tears, and friendship.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Average
Heroine Taru Mono! Kiraware Heroine to Naisho no Oshigoto Promotional Videos ▼

Gaikotsu Kishi-sama, Tadaima Isekai e Odekake-chuu | 骸骨騎士様, 只今異世界へお出掛け中
Skeleton Knight in Another World Top
https://skeleton-knight.com/
Animation: Hornets Premiere: April 7th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @gaikotsukishi or #骸骨騎士様

Preview by Pancakes

Another day, another kid enjoying the wonders of MMORPGs. Or at least that was originally case for Arc (Maeno Tomoaki), a guy who got a kick out of playing an undead skeleton clad all in white, because as we know reality is stranger than fiction, and reality decided to give him a taste of the isekai life. After falling asleep one night, Arc wakes up to find himself in the body of his bony impersonation and in the world he enjoyed playing in so much. Not the most predictable of scenarios, and while equipped with powerful weapons and ludicrous abilities, Arc quickly deduces his appearance may invite trouble and so decides to live as an anonymous mercenary. When elven warrior on a mission Ariane (Fairouz Ai) stumbles across Arc, however, his hopes for a quiet life may prove less sustainable than first thought.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Video game; skeleton avatar: it’s Overlord in new packaging right? Indeed you’d be half correct. At its core Gaikotsu Kishi can be thought of as Overlord gone nice. Whereas Ainz seeks to dominate the world Arc sets out to save it, while death and destruction follow the original bony boy around in lockstep the new white knight (literally) endeavours to end it. It’s basically your typical vanilla isekai tale, just now from the perspective of someone other than the expected human/elf insert. Although good to note that Gaikotsu Kishi isn’t without some measure of controversy (there’s a scene early on which could’ve come right out of Goblin Slayer) don’t expect this one to playing too hard into the dark and gritty – it’s all adventuring all the time here, and with the expected character development to boot. I wouldn’t personally expect any season-defining performances on the part of this adaptation, but this one will certainly not disappoint anyone in need of some fresh new isekai material.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Gaikotsu Kishi-sama, Tadaima Isekai e Odekake-chuu Promotional Videos ▼

Machikado Mazoku 2-Choume | まちカドまぞく 2丁目
The Demon Girl Next Door 2nd Season Top
http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/machikado/
Animation: J.C.Staff Premiere: April 7th, 2022
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:28
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @machikado_staff or #まちカドまぞく

Preview by Zaiden

Yoshida Yuuko (Kohara Konomi) is a newly inducted devil who has been given a mission by her demonic ancestor Lilith (Takahashi Minami) – defeat the Light Clan’s shrine maiden Chiyoda Momo (Kito Akari). Yuuko has no choice in the matter. Lilith has placed a curse on her immediate family, turning them into active hostages that force Yuuko to carry out her bidding in bringing about the demise of the Light Clan. Unfortunately, she’s also extremely weak while Momo and her friend Anri are both magical girls. After experiencing an extremely one-sided defeat, Yuuko has an epiphany – she is able to slowly drain Momo’s powers whenever they are in close proximity with each other. Coming across this realisation, Yuuko conspires to obtain victory by slowly draining Momo’s powers until she can defeat her.

Cute Girls do Cute Things with a magical girl twist.Machikado Mazoku sets out to marry these two popular premises and actually reinvent the wheel through combining them. Those who have seen Season One of Machikado Mazoku will know that it features the classic comedy and slice-of-life routines: there will be ridiculous gags, lighthearted humour, and plenty of adorably cute awkwardness, alongside a hefty dose of slice-of-life shenanigans to help keep things fun. J.C. Staff return to handle the series, reinvoking the expertise of veteran director Hiroaki Sakurai (Kusuo Saiki, Cromartie High School, Milky Holmes) to animate the light novel series written by Izumo Itou. If they can replicate their previous form, or even take it up a notch as we’ve seen with some of their recent sequels, fans of these genres might be in for a serious treat.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Machikado Mazoku 2-Choume Promotional Videos ▼

Mahou Tsukai Reimeiki | 魔法使い黎明期
The Dawn of the Witch Top
https://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/reimeiki/
Animation: Tezuka Productions Premiere: April 7th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:58
Episodes: 12 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @reimeiki_pr or #魔法使い黎明期

Preview by Zaiden

A long time ago, in a fantasy world of magic and swords far far away, a war raged between the Church and Witches. Sounds like a parallel universe take on the European witch hunts and inquisitions, only this time around witches actually exist and pack some serious firepower to strike back – leading to an extended and destructive stand off. Skip forwards five hundred years and all is amicably resolved. Our peacetime setting is the Royal Academy of Magic of the Kingdom of Wenias, where our amnesiac protagonist Sable (Umeda Shuuichirou) is sent by the headmaster to the frontline to fight against anti-magic insurgents. He is accompanied by a group consisting of intriguing personalities – Roux Cristasse (Okasaki Miho); the Witch of the Dawn who seeks out powers and knowledge from the Grimoire of Zero, the academy’s valedictorian Holt (Suzushiro Sayumi), as well as the lizardman, Kudd (Yashiro Taku).

When I see that blonde goth loli with knee socks, I have a suspicion the FBI will be busting down the doors of some weebs out there. Funnily enough, this is a stealth sequel of sorts for a story from years ago – The Grimoire of Zero – the tale of a beastman mercenary defending a mysterious young witch as well as her special grimoire from the Church’s anti-magic forces. I thought that show was quite charming and unique enough to stand above your usual light novel adaptation rabble. The banter dynamic between the gruff (yet kindhearted) Mercenary and Zero’s cool sass really made for a fantastic duo reminiscent of Holo and Lawrence from Spice and Wolf – so I am confident that the same writer will be able to generate similarly engaging relations. With production staff changing hands from White Fox to Tezuka Productions, I’m not so sure we will be getting the same sort of quality as before. However, it’s in the capable hands of Kuwuhara Satoshi (5-toubun no Hanayome, Kanojo mo Kanojo, Adachi to Shimamura), who is actually quite a capable slice of life director. Which is why I’m excited to see the continuation of a fascinating world setting all the same that had me pulled in all those years ago.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden Excitement Level: Average
Mahou Tsukai Reimeiki Promotional Videos ▼

Tiger & Bunny 2 | TIGER & BUNNY 2Top
http://www.tigerandbunny.net/TB2/
Animation: BN Pictures Premiere: April 8th, 2022
Genre: Action, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 00:00
Episodes: 25 Station: Netflix
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @TIGERandBUNNY or #tigerbunny

Preview by Choya

In the not-so-distant future, superpowers are relatively common in people known as “NEXT”. While some have to weigh whether to use their powers for good or evil, a unique organization of NEXT are recruited by TV producers in Stern Bild City to broadcast their crime-fighting. With the help of corporate sponsorship, this futuristic reality TV program takes a procedural crime documentary and transforms it into sports entertainment for the masses. The first season of the episode followed Kotetsu T. Kaburagi (), a veteran hero known as “Wild Tiger” who is paired off with the young, no-nonsense Barnaby Brooks Jr. () in a bid to revive his dwindling popularity. While Season 01 ended with Kotetsu and Barnaby’s bond strengthening for the better in a feel-good ending, this season will deal with the aftermath of the Tiger and Bunny: The Rising when new NEXT are thrown into the mix. Will Kotetsu and Barnaby’s connection be fortified or severed by the new heroes who plan to throw a kibosh on their group dynamic? Find out when Tiger & Bunny 2 springs to action.

There is a lot of cautious optimism in whether Tiger & Bunny 2 will be able to spark the same kind of magic that Season 01 had. It was a terrific anime that ended on such a positive note that it’s hard to imagine adding more and more to the narrative. But I have faith that, at the very least, it should be easy to come up with the idea of Kotetsu and Barnaby having to work within the confines of newer heroes that crop up. It might be neat if they examine the dystopian nature of relying on cast members of a reality television show to act as a private military police operating in tandem with actual law enforcement. Not sure if it’d address that since the show at its simpler times saw their TV show as the only means of combating some of the more ruthless antagonists they’ve had to overcome. But nonetheless, it is still exciting to be able to revisit a lot of the characters given how likable and fun our main NEXT heroes were. It’ll also be awesome to catch up with Kotetsu again and see how things are going with him when the show makes its way onto your TV set soon.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de | 恋は世界征服のあとで
Love After World Domination Top
https://koiseka-anime.com/
Animation: Project No.9 Premiere: April 8th, 2022
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 21:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @koiseka_anime or #恋せか

Preview by Gabie

Star-crossed lovers–a trope tale as old as time, true as it can be–that is the premise behind Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de – Love After World Domination. Simple enough, right? But then add an anime twist to it! The story follows Aikawa Fudou (Kobayashi Yusuke) who is the leader of the hero squadron called Gelato 5 (yes, he is the red power ranger) and his nemesis (who’s also his secret girlfriend) Magahara Desumi (Hasegawa Ikumi), who works as a minion underneath super villain Gecko–whose organization’s goal is world domination and all that villainous jizz.

This parody rom-com features paparazzi news, life within corporations, fighting, baking and two lovers trying to date amidst a battle of heroes and villains. Studio Project No.9 is the one behind this show based on an ongoing manga of the same name, written by Noda Hiroshi and illustrated by Wakamatsu Takehiro and serialized in Gekkan Shounen Magazine, come tag along Fudou and Desumi as they try their best to make their love work amidst so much chaos!

Watching This: Pancakes, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de Promotional Videos ▼

Date a Live IV | デート・ア・ライブIVTop
https://date-a-live4th-anime.com/
Animation: Geek Toys Premiere: April 8th, 2022
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @date_a_info or #date_a_live

Preview by Pancakes

Buckle up boys and girls, everyone’s favourite (or infamous) harem chaos is back for round four. Date A Live centers on the exploits of the thoroughly ordinary and all-vanilla Itsuka Shidou (Shimazaki Nobunaga), a normal high school kid living the background life until a so-called spacequake devastates his hometown and has him stumble across a mysterious girl. Shidou probably would’ve been fine dropping her off at the local police station – if his little sister Itsuka Kotori (Taketatsu Ayana) didn’t suddenly reveal herself to be commander of the secret organization Ratatoskr and demand Shidou woo said girl. The reason? This girl is a spirit, a being whose powers are capable of mass death and destruction, powers only contained and sealed through love. And now, having conquered the hearts of numerous spirits, Shindou once again sets out to do the same as the otaku Nia and introvert Mukuro enter the harem picture.

The Date A Live series is probably as unabashed as harem shows can ever get. This one is heavily old-school, where action and story exist in part to explain away the harem hijinks and keep the drama going because by hell there’s little to tell if the main man settles on just one girl. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea (as proven over the years), but it certainly knows how to give harem fans everything they want and then some. Although Date A Live’s third season arguably flew the coop with its disjointed plot, condensed development, and divisive ending, the series jumping over to GEEK TOYS this time and rumblings of better emphasis on adaptation faithfulness does suggest those earlier stumbles aren’t indicative of a new trend – however I’d fully wager fan-favourite Kurumi (Sanada Asami) will remain just as elusive as before. In short, Date A Live will do as Date A Live has always done and it’s highly recommended going back and checking out the earlier seasons if you haven’t kept up to date. Otherwise grab a seat, put your legs up, and get ready to see how Shindou saves the world this time around.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Established
Date a Live IV Promotional Videos ▼

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Ultra Romantic | かぐや様は告らせたい-ウルトラロマンティック-
Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 3rd Season Top
https://kaguya.love/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: April 8th, 2022
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @anime_kaguya or #かぐや様

Preview by Miss Simplice

For those new to the series, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai is about two stubborn headed, head over heels fools who won’t take the time to tell one another how they truly feel. Shinomiya Kaguya, our heroine and Shuichin academy’s student council Vice President, has hidden feelings for the student council President Shirogane Miyuki. They spend years by each other’s side trying hard to get the other to reveal the other’s true feelings while concealing their own. It’s no easy task and it often feels like a game of chance, but as perseverant, as they are, they are only human. And humans aren’t flawless which means both Kaguya and Miyuki let, from time to time, their feelings show through their actions. It’s in these moments, the moments shared with their fellow council members Fujiwara Chika and Ishigami Yuu, that offer some of the most comical moments you’ll find in anime to date.

Season three is bound to be full of humor, once again. There weren’t many moments during the first two seasons where I wasn’t laughing out loud or on the edge of my seat. I was invested in watching our protagonists ‘battle’ it out and as invested in supporting characters who made impromptu appearances or comments. What I appreciate most about the series is its short storytelling form. While the sequence of events is linear at a broader level, the individual stories within each episode are so contained that it provides so much flexibility for the writers to play with the script. If you need a little preview or pick me up after season two last aired, give the nine-minute teaser Yu Ishigami Wants to Chat a watch. For new fans, it’s a perfect demonstration of fan-favorite characters and the humor that accompanies their over the top personalities.

Watching This: FJ Freeman, Pancakes, Princess Usagi, Zaiden Excitement Level: High
Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Ultra Romantic Promotional Videos ▼

Dance Dance Danseur | ダンス・ダンス・ダンスールTop
https://danseur-anime.com/
Animation: MAPPA Premiere: April 8th, 2022
Genre: Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:25
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS・TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @danseur_anime or #ダンスール

Preview by Miss Simplice

A young boy and ballet. A simple yet uncommon premise is making its way onto our screens this spring. Junpei Murao is dragged to his sister’s ballet recital as a child. Unimpressed, he falls asleep until a male ballet dancer makes his way onto the stage. He’s blown away by the performance and the sheer demonstration of strength and beauty coming together on stage that he immediately falls in love with the art form. However, after a brief encounter with his peers, he begins to question himself: “What is manly, anyway?” Tragedy strikes and Murao embodies everything it means to be a ‘man’ and leaves behind his passion for ballet. A few years later, he finds himself face to face with the art he loved so much. How will Junpei reconnect with what he once loved so dearly? And how will he reconcile the art and the manliness he’s vowed to embody for the rest of his life?

I love a good show about the classic arts. Ballet is one of the most beautiful live experiences I’ve had the pleasure to witness in my life, so when it was announced that Dance Dance Danseur would be getting its own anime, I was over the moon. Ballet is aesthetically pleasing so the idea of it combined with beautiful MAPPA animation is really exciting. There’s aren’t that many dancing anime series out in the wild but the few that have been released often focus on the idol industry. A recent favourite dancing anime was Ballroom e Youkoso. Much like this one, it showed the experiences of a young man entering the dazzling world of dance but not without its difficulties. While this new show might draw inspiration from Welcome to the Ballroom, this story seems to be rooted in our main character’s painful past. It sets the tone for an anime that will be about more than the competitive life of a dancer, but rather an anime that offers a holistic look at the life of a young man trying to break into what is perceived to be an effeminate industry. In recent years, there has been a growing number of series that pull main characters, women or men, outside of their ‘respective gender’ roles (i.e. Houkaho Teibou Nissh). I do hope this adaptation will do the manga justice and offer a fresh perspective, challenging the existing ideology of what it means to be a ‘man’. This story has a lot of layers. It doesn’t exactly depict what ballet dancers go through but you can be sure that, even if you aren’t a ballet fan, you’ll find something for you in this story about a young boy coming to accept his love for the classic arts. Add this to your watch list if you’d like to sprinkle it with something unique!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Limited
Dance Dance Danseur Promotional Videos ▼

Aoashi | アオアシTop
https://aoashi-pr.com/
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: April 9th, 2022
Genre: Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 18:25
Episodes: 12 Station: NHK-E
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @aoashi_pr or #アオアシ

Preview by Guardian Enzo

It’s been way too long since we’ve had a really good soccer anime (Ginga e Kickoff, I guess). Plenty of mediocre or even decent ones, mind, but given how many terrific soccer manga are out there, anime hasn’t been kind to the genre in recent years. Hopefully that will change with Ao Ashi, a very good manga indeed if not a masterpiece. This is certainly my top pick among this seasons dollop of sports series.

In my mind’s eye there’s kind of a big three of “blue” soccer manga along a continuum from most traditional to most “modern”. Be Blues is at the traditional end and Blue Lock (also getting a 2022 adaptation) at the other, with Ao Ashi in the middle. For my tastes it’s also in the middle in terms of quality – I really love Be Blues (it’s basically the Majorof soccer), but Ao Ashi is a very winning series (nominated for the Manga Taisho in 2017 and winner of the Shogokukan “General Manga” award in 2020) with a likable titular protagonist. He’s a middle schooler from the inaka with big dreams, which are seemingly dashed after he causes the downfall of his team in a big tournament. But if that were the case, we wouldn’t have a story…

Production I.G. being the studio doesn’t seem to hold as much weight as it once did, but you’d certainly take it over most options. There’s not a big-name director or heavyweight staff attached to Ao Ashi but I.G. sort of gives you a baseline beneath which you know you won’t drop. As for series length that’s still unknown, but this is airing on NHK and they almost never do one-cour productions, much less of sports manga. I’d guess two cours for now, and then we’ll see – the manga is very popular if not on the level of something like Haikyuu.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Optimistic
Aoashi Promotional Videos ▼

Spy x Family | Spy x FamilyTop
https://spy-family.net/
Animation: Wit Studio, Clover Works Premiere: April 9th, 2022
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 23:00
Episodes: 12 (split cour) Station: TV TOKYO
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @spyfamily_anime, #SPY_FAMILY, or #スパイファミリー

Preview by Princess Usagi

What happens when an assassin, a spy, and a mind-reader walk into a room? No, this isn’t the beginning of a joke- but the premise of “Spy X Family”. With tensions rising between the nations of Ostania and Westalis, Twilight (Eguchi Takuya), a top Westalian secret agent of many faces, is tasked with adopting one face he hasn’t tried on yet-that of a family man, aka Loid Forger. To spy on an important and almost unreachable Ostanian politician, Twilight must connect with him through sending a child to said politician’s son’s school. Normally, it would be difficult to start a family overnight-but with Anya (Tanezaki Azumi), a mind-reading child in need of a home and Yor (Hayami Saori), an assassin for whom married life is a perfect way to stay undercover, Twilight’s assignment becomes reality. While each holds their secret from the other, they grow to learn that caring for a family goes deeper than mere appearances.

As a huge fan of this manga, I am so excited for this anime adaptation! The series is quite popular in Japan, with a high number of volumes sold and nominated for numerous awards. The story combines James-Bondish espionage drama (except if James Bond were a family man- if you can imagine that), suspense, and humor polished with class. It bodes well that the stellar Wit Studio with its reputation for elegant, high-quality shows (the most recent standout series being Ousama-Ranking) will be partly handling SPY X FAMILY. I have some reservations about Clover Works collaborating on this project, what with their recent works, Yakusoku No Neverland Season 2 and Wonder Egg Priority that train wrecked at the end. The director (Furuhashi Kazuhiro) is also quite talented, having previously worked on classics like Dororo and Rurouni Kenshin. If you are a fan of James Bond and espionage and/or of drama and heartwarming comedy, you should put this show at the top of your watchlist!

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Gabie, Pancakes, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: High
Spy x Family Promotional Videos ▼

Kingdom (2022) | キングダム (2022)Top
https://kingdom-anime.com/
Animation: Studio Pierrot Premiere: April 9th, 2022
Genre: Historical Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: N/A Station: NHK
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @kingdom_animePR or #キングダム

Preview by Guardian Enzo

At this point I think you pretty much know what you’re going to get with Kingdom, and what you’re going to get is very good indeed. The production nightmares seem behind us (Signpost is an offshoot of Pierrot, but things haven’t been distractingly horrible for a good while anyway). Of course some arcs are going to be better than others with a manga this long, but in the anime at least the writing has always maintained a pretty high standard. Hara Yasuhisa has been at this for over 15 years now, and Kingdom has become one of the most popular manga in the world for a reason.

For my tastes Season 3 was probably the best of the series so far. There are individual sections in the first two that match it (though dismal visuals were a looming danger), but S3 was pretty consistently epic from start to finish. It obviously adapted a very major arc, so the story by nature has to chart a new direction from here. I haven’t read enough of the source material to know what’s coming but I trust Hara at this stage – I expect this season to deliver an appealing mix of grand spectacle and personal drama just as the series always seems to.

It’s rare to see a seinen achieve the levels of popularity Kingdom has, but pound for pound it’s the demographic that seems to have the highest batting average in terms of quality anime adaptations. I think action series that straddle the line between seinen and shounen – Hunter X Hunter also springs to mind – often hit it big because they’re filling a niche that fans want to see filled.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo Excitement Level: Established
Kunoichi Tsubaki no Mune no Uchi | くノ一ツバキの胸の内
Inside Tsubaki Kunoichi’s Heart Top
https://kunoichi-tsubaki.com/
Animation: Clover Works Premiere: April 9th, 2022
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @tsubaki_anime or #くノ一ツバキ

Preview by Choya

The Akane Clan is an all-girls ninja collective who isolates from society and adheres to one specific rule that forbids the young kunoichi in training from interacting with men. Kunoichi Tsubaki (Natsuyoshi Yuuko), the leader of the Dog Squad, has plenty of potential as the best trainee in her academy. But her promising future is constantly placed on the line when she starts to experience a strange feeling in her heart when boys and men are brought up. Because she struggles with a secret that she can’t talk about, she has to keep her curiosities under wraps as she has to maneuver through her daily routine without anyone finding out about her secret interest. In this ninja slice-of-life, Tsubaki will have to carefully conceal and suppress her interest to avoid letting her curiosity for men get the better of her.

It’s easy to be skeptical about this one. Given that the premise is about an isolationist group of young girls who secretly pine for men, it sounds dangerously familiar to the guilty pleasure ecchi ninja comedies of the early 2010s. But this particular story has one secret weapon after the next. Knowing that this is from Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san’s author Yamamoto Souichirou gave me a sigh of relief because if it’s anything like Takagi-san, I can imagine it being a cuter, more innocuous kind of story where the fun comes from the awkwardness Tsubaki has to face as she keeps her one big secret. On top of this, we’re getting more songs from the peggies, which is always a treat no matter the circumstances. When Kunoichi Tsubaki no Mune no Uchi shadow clone jutsu’s its way into spring, I’m cautiously optimistic about it being a surprise hit that nobody would see coming, much like the shinobi of yore.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Average
Kunoichi Tsubaki no Mune no Uchi Promotional Videos ▼

Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san | 可愛いだけじゃない式守さん
Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie Top
https://shikimori-anime.com/
Animation: Doga Kobo Premiere: April 9th, 2022
Genre: School-Life, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:00
Episodes: 12 Station: ABC
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @anime_shikimori or #式守さん

Preview by Choya

On the surface, Shikimori (Oonishi Saori) is cute, sweet, and very fun to be around. Around others, she would appear to be the perfect girlfriend to Izumi (Umeda Shuuichirou), an upbeat, friendly boy who is, unfortunately, unassertive and unlucky. But when Izumi’s bad luck rears its head, something in Shikimori changes; her cool dark side manifests! Her glare sharpens and her reflexes kick in as she regularly rescues Izumi from a number of dangerous situations. Luckily enough for the boy with bad luck, Izumi absolutely loves her confidence, poise, and stern approach towards his mishaps. As they navigate through their everyday high school lives as a couple, Izumi aspires to be as bold and confident as Shikimori while Shikimori hopes to motivate Izumi to be more assertive while strengthening her own personal weaknesses.

2022’s greatest accomplishment so far has been providing anime fans with a de facto seasonal waifu. Last season’s Kitagawa Marin was near inescapable, so Shikimori has some heavy competition. However, if there’s something Shikimori has going for her, it’s that she has a little more edge to her than your standard manic pixie dream waifu who just so happens to have the same exact degenerative hobbies that you do. At the same time, Shikimori seems like a multi-faceted character who isn’t afraid to let her guard down around her boyfriend or shift between her two separate emotional states. Hopefully, it’s able to pick up a positive amount of momentum when it makes its way towards the spring season.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Pancakes, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Optimistic
Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san Promotional Videos ▼

Kono Healer, Mendokusai | このヒーラー, めんどくさい
This Healer’s a Handful Top
https://kono-healer-anime.com/
Animation: Jumondou Premiere: April 10th, 2022
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 21:00
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @kono_healer or #このヒーラー

Preview by Choya

A common problem in fantasy worlds is maxing out only one particular trait in a wide skill set. Karla (Oonishi Aguri) is a cute dark elf cleric who shares this exact problem as the healer for the novice warrior Alvin (Satou Takuya). Yes, her abilities as a healer aren’t too shabby, but because she maxed out her Taunt skills, her gut reaction to any problem is causing emotional damage for the warrior whose wits are sharper than his blade. The investment she made in her Taunt skills causes her to come up with one insult after another as she mocks Alvin for desperately begging for any kind of assistance. Will it be possible for Alvin to put up with Karla’s increasingly mean insults as he puts up with her antics, or will Karla’s insults prove to be more hazardous for the warrior than any of the enemies he’ll have to face along the way?

Fantasy comedies tend to get a bad rep for wanting to have their cake and eat it too. We’ll have a comedic premise that serves no other purpose but to give personality to yet another series of fights against the Demon Lord’s army. But with Kono Healer, Mendokusai, it at least seems more committed to being a comedy given the “water and oil” relationship between Alvin and Karla where they both play off of each other because of their dramatic differences. Where Alvin tries to make it in a difficult world where even his healer Karla is at odds with him. It helps that Karla is adorable, making it all the more difficult to be mad at her for being as smug and destructive as she can be. This season, look forward to finding out if emotional scars are as easy to heal as physical ones.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Kono Healer, Mendokusai Promotional Videos ▼

Kyoukai Senki (2022) | 境界戦機 (2022)
AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline Part 2 Top
https://www.kyoukai-senki.net/
Animation: Sunrise Beyond Premiere: April 11th, 2022
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 24:00
Episodes: 11 Station: TV TOKYO
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @kyoukai_senki or #kk_senki

Preview by Pancakes

In the near-future Japan is a beaten state. Slowly subsumed and broken into several militarized economic zones under the exclusive control of various foreign powers, the islands have become a hot zone of geopolitical rivalry, intrigue, and competition. With AMAIM, humanoid mechas, dominating the field and simplifying the act of occupation, kids like Shiiba Amou (Satou Gen) have known nothing but brutal oppression. At least until they decide to make a stand. After getting caught secretly assembling an AMAIM for the hell of it, Amou winds up joining the Japanese resistance, and together with the autonomous AI Gai seeks to free Japan from its foreign invaders. No war is ever easy, however, and while Amou and his friends have found some success, plenty of road yet remains to travel before Japan can be called free.

It’s honestly difficult not feeling some sorrow for Kyoukai Senki. A brand-new Sunrise mecha franchise (and from the Xebec team to boot), a story which effectively meshes Gundam and Code Geass into one, and some very nifty and unique mecha designs to drool over: it seemingly had everything. At least until those first few episodes. In short execution and derivation really dragged this series’ first season down, with bland characters, annoying mascots (oh the mascots), and blunt forced developments (particularly political ones) affecting an otherwise “normal” mecha story. To Kyoukai Senki’s credit its latter half did start picking up as the intrigue began outweighing the negatives, but it’s frankly anyone’s guess how well the second half here will make up for all the faceplants in the first. Don’t expect much to change opinions this season if the first wasn’t up your alley, but if you’re like me and have stuck around this long it’s certainly worth considering checking out part two to see just where Kyoukai Senki’s developments are all leading to.

Watching This: Pancakes Excitement Level: Average
Kyoukai Senki (2022) Promotional Videos ▼

Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan o Erande Iraremasen (2022) | 本好きの下剋上 司書になるためには手段を選んでいられません (2022)
Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3Top
http://booklove-anime.jp/
Animation: Ajia-dou Premiere: April 11th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:29
Episodes: 12 Station: Yomiuri TV
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @anime_booklove or #本好きの下剋上

Preview by Zaiden

Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen—or Ascendance of a Bookworm as it’s known in English—follows the journey of Mein (Iguchi Yuka) and her insane passion to recreate her favorite object in the world: books. However, after being reincarnated in a fantasy-like world as a young child to a family with a less-than-stellar financial status, it was near impossible to even find something resembling a book. Not one to let obstacles stop her, with a little bit of luck Mein was able to recall all of her memories as an adult during her time as Motosu Urano in a world just like ours, the first season began with Main’s various failures and successes at creating paper as her first step in accessing books and spreading their joys among the populace. In the second season, after being able to create something resembling paper, Mein moves onto the next step – creating a way to press ink into said paper. Along the way, while we get a close look at the medieval fantasy world Mein lives in and the wonderful communities she’s involved in, it comes with a side offering of aristocratic and religious headaches too. Mein’s endeavours to bring literacy rates and books to the wider populace won’t be a straightforward task. But heart unwavering, it’s hard not to root for her as she ploughs unceasingly towards her ultimate goal.

To be completely honest, I haven’t been watching much anime as of late. But one show I most certainly will be watching next season will be the third instalment of Honzuki no Gekokujou. Isekais with a female protagonist that aren’t about some reincarnated villainess are quite rare. Mein’s feverishly bookish quirks make her stand out, and her female perspective as well as approaches to resolving problems are a breath of fresh air. And while she is born into a body that contains a huge amount of magical energy, this is actually a huge problem that could end up killing her. If memory serves me correct, Mein successfully transforms the Church’s travesty of an orphanage – where children were not clothed and starving to death – into the fundamental cornerstone of her industrial plans to bring the printing technologies into this world. However, with church politics flaring up in an exceedingly ugly way, how exactly can she navigate her past malicious influences? I will probably write a post to help refresh some memories. But if you have never experienced the franchise before, I would encourage anybody to try three episodes of this wonderful premise.

Watching This: Pancakes, Zaiden Excitement Level: Optimistic
Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan o Erande Iraremasen (2022) Promotional Videos ▼

Summer Time Render | サマータイムレンダTop
https://summertime-anime.com/
Animation: OLM Premiere: April 14th, 2022
Genre: Drama, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:00
Episodes: 25 Station: TOKYO MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @summertime_PR or #サマータイムレンダ

Preview by Guardian Enzo

There are plenty of reasons to be intrigued by Summertime Render – interesting premise, wonderful PV, two cours for a finished manga. But the headline is certainly Watanabe Ayumu. Anytime one of the deans of anime direction both TV and theatrical is attached, you pay attention. There are limits to what a director can do with adapted material – Watanabe’s flair wasn’t enough to mask Komi Can’t Communicate’s ginormous flaws, for example. But he’s one of the best, and when he’s at the helm of a quirky property like this, it’s of considerable interest to me.

Summertime Render is the story of a young man who as an orphaned child lived with two sisters, one of whom drowned under mysterious (to him) circumstances. There are apparently some supernatural elements to this but it seems to be mainly a mystery and character drama. The source manga is quite well-regarded if not unreservedly beloved, for what that’s worth. 13 volumes for 25 episodes sounds about doable, and my hope is that Watanabe agreed to direct because he finds the material to be sufficiently interesting.

The staff and cast are very experienced (though I could do without yet another lead role for the eponymous Hanae Natsuki), and OLM is a studio capable of very solid production values if they have the time and budget. Did they? I guess we’ll find out soon enough, but Watanabe’s presence suggests this is a project that was given some priority. Largely an unknown for me, but certainly one of the more compelling prospects this season.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, FJ Freeman, Princess Usagi, Zaiden Excitement Level: High
Summer Time Render Promotional Videos ▼

Kakkou no Iinazuke | カッコウの許嫁
A Couple of Cuckoos Top
https://cuckoos-anime.com/
Animation: Shin-Ei Animation Premiere: April 23rd, 2022
Genre: Comedy, Romance Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:30
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Asahi
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @cuckoo_anime or #カッコウの許嫁

Preview by Choya

Umino Nagi (Ishikawa Kaito) is a second-year overachiever at Meguro River Academy high school who was switched at birth. He was just about to meet his wealthy birth parents, but when he stumbles across the brash social media celebrity Amano Erika (Kitou Akari), she takes it upon herself to designate Nagi as her fake boyfriend to avoid an arranged marriage. But when he makes it to his dinner meet-up, his parents decided to resolve the hospital switch by having him marry the daughter his birth parents raised. The only problem is that the child they raised winds up being none other than Amano Erika. With Nagi being pushed away from his true crush to marry into his own family and Erika being pushed to marry her parent’s son and forced to transfer into his school, things are about to get messier for a couple of cuckoos like these guys!

Known by some as A Couple of Cuckoos, this series has quite the reputation as the first volume flew off of shelves with ease when it came out. It’s easy to see why since it streamlines many of the tropes that appear in currently popular romantic comedies like Nisekoi and Go-Toubun no Hanayome. In fact, it’s hard not to compare the synopsis to Nisekoi’s since they both carry over the idea of working within the confines of an arranged marriage between two mismatched teens. But while some might see this as chasing popular trends, the best way to think about it is getting more out of the initial concept, considering how mangaka Yoshikawa Miki accomplished this much with the fun, quirky Yamada-kun to Nananin no Majo. With this in mind, I have a good feeling about Kakkou no Iinazuke being a nice, stand-out rom-com when it arrives this spring.

Watching This: Guardian Enzo, Princess Usagi Excitement Level: Optimistic
Kakkou no Iinazuke Promotional Videos ▼

Joshikousei to Mahou no Note | 女子高生と魔法のノート
High School Girl and the Magic Notebook Top
https://mahou-no-note.wakasa.jp/
Animation: Noovo Premiere: N/A
Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): N/A
Episodes: N/A Station: N/A
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @mahounonote or #女子高生と魔法のノート

Preview by Choya

Yuzuki Shidou is a second-year high school student who spends her days listlessly trying to find things to do. On top of that, she’s constantly pushed to the brink by her parents, who always tell her that she only needs to concern herself with studying. One day, a fairy named Buruburu suddenly appears before her, throwing a wrench in her daily life. As Buruburu teaches her how to find and fulfill her dreams, Shidou is also instilled with valuable information to help make others around her happy. Follow Shidou in this CG anime as she not only regains her confidence and helps those around her, but also finds hints towards a road map leading to a prosperous, happy future.

There isn’t too much that can be said about Joshikousei to Mahou no Note aside from some polite optimism. It aspires to be on the same level as many of the quality CG you’d see in the Resident Evil animated movies, but on the smaller scale of a short slice-of-life book adaptation. That alone should be an interesting draw-in since CG is usually used to capture more intense premises than spreading happiness and yearning for the future through the power of a cutesy dream fairy. With only a scant idea of what the story would entail and who is involved beyond being one of the first major projects of CG studio Noovo and originating from a book series written by Kyoto Kakutani, the president of the Kyoto-based health supplement company Wakasa Seikatsu, we can only hope that Joshikousei to Mahou no Note will be a pleasing, feel-good experience when it arrives in the spring.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Limited
Onipan! | おにぱん!Top
https://onipan.com/
Animation: Wit Studio Premiere: N/A
Genre: Comedy Airtime (GMT+9): N/A
Episodes: N/A Station: N/A
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (JP)
Join the conversation @tv_anime_onipan or #おにぱん

Preview by Choya

We’ve finally reached a point where humans and Japanese oni can peacefully coexist. Isn’t that exciting!? Well, hold onto your pantsu, because things are never that easy. There’s still a stigma attached to oni that can’t be easily erased through times of peace. That’s why three oni girls will take it upon themselves to transform into humans through the help of magical underpants. As humans, the demon girls transfer into a normal Tokyo school where they strive to set the record straight on the misconstrued image people have of oni. Sometimes, they jump headfirst into school events; other times, they become idols. But most importantly, they place themselves in the spotlight to revitalize their hometown and show humans that oni have come a long way from the times when they were at their most fearsome.

Wit Studio has quite a unique show on their hands with this anime about oni girls interacting with humans in a world where they live in harmony to some extent. While the “pantsu” aspects will likely influence whether you think this is worthwhile or not, I have a sense of cautious optimism about any original anime out there. From the looks of it, I’d imagine much of the content will be a hodge-podge of many tropes that you might’ve seen in other cutesy “save our town” anime such as forming a local idol group or setting up for a culture festival. But while we’re often dealing with podunk rural towns with one regional delight in these kinds of stories, it’s fascinating to see one about a group of oni who are trying to dispel any misconstrued notions of what oni are up to in a world where there is still coexistence between them and humans. It feels like a neater objective for cute girls to do cute things for the sake of combating prejudice.

Watching This: No one yet Excitement Level: Niche
Onipan! Promotional Videos ▼


Short Series List

Technical Note: As of the Winter 2016 Preview onward, short one-cour series that are being broadcast with irregular duration times (under the 24 minute per episode norm) have been separated from the main preview into their own section. This is to account for the increasing number of short series and to allow for ease of viewing for those who have a preference for one type of series over another. While the list should be complete, there are short series that have been announced very close to the start of a season, in which case they may not have made it onto the list.

Air Date Title Haiku: by Passerby
04/02 Jantama Pong
じゃんたま PONG☆
https://mahjongsoul-pong.jp/
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Mahjong Soul in shorts
Will it be five minutes for
One hand of mahjong?
04/02 Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki 4th Season
八十亀ちゃんかんさつにっき 4さつめ
https://yatogame.nagoya/
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Nagoya culture
Sustained three hours of shorts.
What’s a season more?
April 2022 KAGINADO 2nd Season
かぎなど シーズン2
https://kaginado.com/
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia
Key understands that
Chibi kawaii nonsense
Is anime’s soul.

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. For the most up to date North American theatrical release schedule, please visit Fathom Events or Funimation Films. BD/DVD movie releases are included in this list. This list is likely incomplete and will be updated as more titles surface (usually by the next season’s preview). If you notice anything missing or incorrect, please feel free to comment below or send me a quick tweet/DM @ZephyrRC.

Release Date Title Notes
03/10 BanG Dream! 5th Anniversary Animation: CiRCLE Thanks Party!
ガルパ5周年記念アニメ
https://anniv-bang-dream.bushimo.jp/5th/anime/
Episode 1 of 2.
03/10 Kotaro Lives Alone Kotarou wa Hitorigurashi | コタローは1人暮らし
https://kotaro-anime.com/
Netflix Release.
03/10 The Ancient Magus’ Bride OVA
The Boy from the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm

Mahoutsukai no Yome: Nishi no Shounen to Seiran no Kishi
魔法使いの嫁 西の少年と青嵐の騎士
https://magus-bride.jp/wildhunt/
Bundled w/ LE manga Vol. 17. OVA 2 of 3.
03/16 Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2 OVA
Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu OVA
無職転生 ~異世界行ったら本気だす~ OVA
https://mushokutensei.jp/
Unaired Episode.
Bundled w/ BD Vol. 4.
03/17 BanG Dream! 5th Anniversary Animation: CiRCLE Thanks Party!
ガルパ5周年記念アニメ
https://anniv-bang-dream.bushimo.jp/5th/anime/
Episode 2 of 2.
03/22 The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún OVA
Totsukuni no Shoujo OVA | とつくにの少女 OVA
https://www.totsukuni.com/
Bundled w/ LE side story manga.
03/23 Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou 2nd Season OVA
ありふれた職業で世界最強 2nd Season OVA
https://arifureta.com/blu-ray/blu-ray-2324/
Unaired Episode.
Bundled w/ BD Vol. 1.
03/23 Non Non Biyori Nonstop: Bukatsu wo Ganbatta | のんのんびより りめんばー OVA
https://nonnontv.com/tvanime/
Episode 13. Bundled w/ LE spin off manga Non Non Biyori Remember volume.
03/28 Thermae Romae Novae | テルマエ・ロマエ ノヴァエ
https://www.netflix.com/title/81264354
Netflix Release.
03/29 Princess Principal: Crown Handler Chapter 2
プリンセス・プリンシパル Crown Handler
https://pripri-anime.jp/
Chapter 2 of 6.
BD/DVD Release.
03/29 Princess Principal OVA: Revealing Reviews
完全新作OVA「Revealing Reviews」
https://pripri-anime.jp/
Bundled w/ Crown Handler Chapter 2 BD/DVD.
03/30 Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya – Licht Nameless Girl
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya: Licht – Namae no Nai Shoujo
劇場版 Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ
http://anime.prisma-illya.jp/movie/3/
BD/DVD Release.
03/30 Ryouma! The Prince of Tennis Shinsei Movie: Tennis no Ouji-sama
リョーマ!The Prince of Tennis 新生劇場版テニスの王子様
https://gaga.ne.jp/RYOMA_MOVIE/
BD/DVD Release.
03/30 Strike the Blood Final | ストライク・ザ・ブラッドFINAL
http://www.strike-the-blood.com/final/
BD/DVD Release.
Episode 1 and 2 of 4.
04/14 ULTRAMAN Season 2
https://anime.heros-ultraman.com/
Netflix Release.
04/20 Belle | Ryuu to Sobakasu no Hime | 竜とそばかすの姫
https://ryu-to-sobakasu-no-hime.jp/
BD/DVD Release.
04/22 Free! Movie 4: The Final Stroke Part 1
Gekijouban Free! The Final Stroke Zenpen | 劇場版 Free!-the Final Stroke-
http://fs.iwatobi-sc.com/
BD/DVD Release.
04/27 DAKAICHI -I’m being harassed by the sexiest man of the year- Movie
Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu. Movie: Spain-hen
劇場版 抱かれたい男1位に脅されています。~スペイン編~
https://dakaretai-1st.com/
BD/DVD Release.
04/27 Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko | Gyokou no Nikuko-chan | 漁港の肉子ちゃん
https://29kochanmovie.com/
BD/DVD Release.
04/27 Kiniro Mosaic Movie: Thank You!! | 劇場版きんいろモザイク Thank you!!
http://www.kinmosa.com/
BD/DVD Release.
04/27 Moriarty the Patriot OVA -Recollection of Yuri-
Yuukoku no Moriarty: Yuri no Tsuioku OVA | 憂国のモリアーティ OVA
https://moriarty-anime.com/ova
BD/DVD Release.
05/17 New Battle Vixens
Shin Ikkitousen | 真・一騎当千
http://www.ikkitousen.com/
BD/DVD Release.
05/25 The Seven Deadly Sins Movie 2: Cursed by Light
Nanatsu no Taizai Movie 2: Hikari ni Norowareshi Mono-tachi
劇場版 七つの大罪 光に呪われし者たち
https://eiga.7-taizai.net/
BD/DVD Release. Originally released on Netflix (2021).
May 2022 Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2
Koukaku Kidoutai: SAC_2045 Season 2 | 攻殻機動隊 SAC_2045 シーズン2
https://www.ghostintheshell-sac2045.jp/
Netflix Release.
06/29 Strike the Blood Final (a.k.a. Fifth or V) | ストライク・ザ・ブラッドFINAL
http://www.strike-the-blood.com/final/
BD/DVD Release.
Episode 3 and 4 of 4.

Overall Impressions


 

The Spring Season is often one of the high points of the anime year but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be in full bloom this year. Luckily, it’s not an entirely bare season with a lot of noteworthy sequels and a few fresh adaptations. If anything, a less packed season allows the spring gems to shine brighter and leaves time to find a new favorite you might have otherwise left out of the queue in a busier season. And on that note to help in deciding what shows might be worth a watch, I now present our traditional Excitement Levels! If you are someone like me with a packed schedule and need to make some tough choices about how many shows you can fit into a week, the Excitement Levels can be a useful guide in which shows to keep at the top of your “hope to watch” list based on our preliminary examination of each show’s staff, seiyuu, and source material. Failing that, it’ll give you another reason to laugh when we get hyped up about a show that ends up crash landing on its face down the stretch.

As usual, these levels were arrived at by our totally not shady (and now updated) “Excitement Council” of Zephyr, Guardian Enzo, and Pancakes. While we’ve gone to great lengths to consider multiple viewpoints and not get swept away by our own proclivities, these aren’t predictions, and shouldn’t be taken as such. Take these with the appropriate amount of Himalayan pink salt.

Note: Lists are sorted in alphabetical order.

 

The Rundown:

High excitement shows are the ones we’re truly pumped about. These are the shows we want to watch the most, and which we think have a good chance of being exemplars of their kind — or at least come close. Shows in this category might be sequels to excellent anime, adaptations of highly regarded source material, projects with stellar pedigrees, or even originals that just light up our minds. They don’t have to be perfect, but they do have to feel like something special. If you consider yourself a casual fan who only gets your toes wet every season, then these are the shows we feel you should most keep an eye on.

Optimistic shows are ones that we’re hopeful will be really good, and which we have good reasons to think they might be. The underpinnings of these are generally strong, with a lot to suggest in each of them, but with one or two elements that give us pause and keep our enthusiasm from boiling over. They still have most of the makings of very strong series, though, and many stellar anime will arise from this category. If you’ve exhausted all the High shows, or want to delve deeper into your favored genres, check out these as well.

Average excitement shows look middle-of-the-road to us. They could be good or they could be bad, but they don’t provide much immediate indication that they’ll be amazing in retrospect. This is often the case with shows that are firmly ensconced in their genres’ tropes, or which overly rely on some of anime’s overused plot devices. It can also apply to shows that seem deeply flawed, with elements that could make them amazing, but with so many potential possibilites that we’re not getting hyped up. 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. Personal taste comes heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

Limited excitement shows are ones that we simply aren’t all that excited about. They often don’t seem to be striving for much, and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fanservice. Other times they’re doing the same thing we’ve seen a thousand times, with few mitigating signs that they’ll rise above their tropes. That doesn’t mean they’re the bottom of the barrel and shouldn’t get any consideration, but simply that they’re not doing a lot to suggest themselves. Keep in mind what kind of show they are, though, and you might find something you enjoy amid this cohort.

Niche shows break away from the norm by being slower-paced, featuring less explored material, being 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.

Established shows are any series that has aired for more than 40 episodes or has been previewed three or more times. This can include anything from never-ending shounen and decade-spanning dramas to that quirky comedy that keeps getting renewed season after season. The only commonality is that they’ve aired a lot of episodes, and that they’re the kind of show that most viewers will want to catch up on all the previous content before watching the new. Spin-offs and remakes don’t automatically qualify, since they’re considered new series.

34 Comments

    1. Well, they didn’t properly look up info on a number of these I imagine. Another example is they completely got the two new girls in DAL IV backwards, which should have been easy to get right; Nia is the otaku and Mukuro is the introvert.

      Shinji103
      1. You’d be surprised how much research and reading we put into this, particularly given the limited time we have to actually prepare it. Doesn’t mean we won’t miss stuff though; there’s always errors for something of this size.

        In Date A Live’s case that mistake definitely came more from writing on autopilot than failing to look up any info. I’m up to date with DAL, but the sheer number of previews can make editing a nuisance – far too easy to miss such mistakes when sifting through a post of this size. Either case, fixed!

        1. The attitude of some people. I for one appreciate the previews and the corrections when the writers have the time to make them. I feel happy when Discord emails to inform me that something is up. 🙂

          afre
  1. Excited for Spy x Family, I’ve been more into manga than anime lately (just difficult to sit down and watch multiple episodes of a new show), but this is a beloved manga for me that I think will translate well to anime. Also happy for the next Honzuki installment, even if I might not watch it soon – I love Myne and the world she’s in is done so well, it’s a weekly routine of mine to read about her exploits.

    For new shows, I’ve got my eyes on Kakkou no Iinazuke and Summer time Render since they seem promising, and 2 series is really about my limit.

    Juzi
  2. Sequels
    Date a Live
    Kaguya-sama
    Love Live Nijigasaki
    Magia Record
    Machikado Mazoku

    Definitely watching
    Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road
    Tomodachi Game (Surprised about this one. It’s one of my favorite manga yet I had no idea it was getting adapted)

    Interested
    Aharen-san wa Hakarenai
    Healer Girl

    Give it an episode
    Kunoichi Tsubaki no Mune no Uchi
    Yuusha Yamemasu
    RPG Fudousan
    Shachiku-san wa Youjo Yuurei ni Iyasaretai
    Summer Time Render

    Arche
  3. RIP my free time…
    between Bookworm Ascedance, Shield Hero, Komi-san, and Love is War
    I am sure to have my week full.
    And then there is the new shows, like Skeleton Knight being good version of Ainz, Quitting Heroics having hero join the opposite side and Troublesome Healer dispensing some WORST aid… And then there is Spy X Family brand of espionage thriller, Couple of cuckoos for some romance shenanigans, Summertime Render for some mystery and drama, and Shikimori challenging the waifu scene by being more than just a cute girl…

    ewok40k
  4. Bookworm S3 at last! Not that there doesn’t also seem to be some other good stuff too, but Bookworm is what I’ve been waiting for the most.

    And Zaiden, Myne may not be a reincarnated villainess, but as we’ll see, she’s not everyone’s best buddy! Which is why I worry about how they’ll end this somewhat shorter (and maybe final) season as apparently it will complete part 2 of the LNs. If you’re familiar with those then you’ll know what I mean.

    Angelus
  5. Ya Boy Kongming, I’m Quitting Heroing, and Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie are my definite watches. Trapped in a Dating Sim and Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall may come later, but I won’t make any promises. Onipan sounds like it gives off major underpants gnomes vibes: we don’t know HOW special underwear will eliminate racism, but we DO know that step 3 is profit.

    PokeNirvash
  6. It’s tucked away with nary a mention in the ONA section, but don’t sleep on Thermae Romae Novae.

    The long-awaited full, definitive adaptation of the excellent source manga (the previous anime was short, incomplete and by a inexperienced studio).

    If it does the source material justice, will be my bet for sleeper hit this season.

    lebleu
  7. “The series is quite popular in Japan” (on Spy x Family)

    Not only Japan: even though it had no “anime buff”, Spy x Family is one of the best selling Manga (which nowadays means one of best selling comics too) in the USA for quite a while now. I imagine the sales will explode after the anime starts.

    Nayrael
  8. Machikado Mazoku 2-Choume is my top pick for new season returning shows. The first season was a really well-written magical girl/demon mildly yuri comedy that just got deeper and funnier with every episode. Great to see a new season back. Also Ascendance of a Book Worm and Shield Hero. As for the new shows, the proof of the pudding is in the viewing…

    DP
  9. This is quite the line-up for the season. Some shows look really interesting. I don’t usually comment on previews, but after some news, I figured I would share something here.

    The source is in the link below, but it seems that Crunchyroll will end its ad-supported streaming service starting with this new upcoming season. I never thought about it, but it appears that people anticipated such a move with the Sony/Crunchyroll buyout and the integration of Funimation into their fold.

    This is sad to hear about so suddenly. As a free member, Crunchyroll was one of the places where I could watch new anime shows. To hear that it all will come to an end soon makes me feel like there’s no place for me to go anymore, like I lost a place that was comforting and dear to me (well, maybe not that melodramatic). There’s really not that many places to watch anime for free. From what I heard, this doesn’t apply to older shows. Hopefully, I can still have a free account and watch older shows. That, if true, is some small comfort during this time.

    It is disappointing that I won’t be able to watch new shows after this without paying for it. It kind of feels like the end of a journey, one that was suddenly cut off due to lack of funds and not on my end. If all of this holds true, I guess the only way for me to watch new shows is to buy them on Blu-Ray. That might be an interesting thing to ponder, knowing nothing about a show except the previews and buying it on Blu-Ray. It will certainly change the way I approach things. Regardless, all I can do is hope for the best about what is to come.

    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2022-03-26/crunchyroll-to-halt-ad-supported-streaming-starting-with-spring-2022-season/.184038

    Anonymous
  10. Well, it’s much better than what we had for the winter season, though that’s a low bar to clear.

    Very excited for Spy x Family, and I hope Tiger & Bunny 2 does not disappoint either.

    Aizen
  11. ya’ll – I don’t think peeps here are taking Kotaro Lives Alone seriously. I was mindlessly clicking through my Netlix account when I came across the series. I half expected it to be similar to Barakamon or simply a slice of life-lovely-dovey kind of atmosphere. Bruh was I so wrong. I never cried this hard, not even binging through all of Violet Evergarden (both TV and movies) or save my eyes from severe chafing and burning from the constant waterfalls and wiping. I was a mess. And to see that this series not taken seriously oversea is a bit disheartening.

    I am intending to pick up S2 of Shield Bro as my journey with the light novel started in 2014-2015 by various underground translators like Baka-Tsuki, Bakahou, and mostly Yoraikun. This novel series brought me out into the webnovel/ light novel cult and delivered excitement to my life.

    The last one would be Spy x Family as it was been recommended to me by so many of my acquaintances who loved the manga series. I just hope the series does it justice enough for me to start reading it too.

    Bakanekokun
  12. A fairly solid/interesting season. Looking forward to Summertime Render most I guess, since I’ve read many other manga these anime are based on, or they are sequels to stories I have already checked out. Of course, I expect Kaguya and Komi to be super-popular.

    On a side note, calling Taiga a lolicon-type heroine just because she is short (or did you expect a short Japanese high school girl to have big breasts? Uzaki isn’t representative…) was a bit odd. I don’t believe Toradora sexualized Taiga or emphasized her body not being curvy, did it? Unless I’m misremembering, it’s a pure love romance story between high school kids. Also, the line “When I see that blonde goth loli with knee socks, I have a suspicion the FBI will be busting down the doors of some weebs out there.” made me cringe a bit… I wish people wouldn’t use the word “weeb” when framing the appeal of character elements in anime, when they’re talking about stories that target a domestic Japanese audience.

    Player

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