Welcome to the Spring 2023 anime tournament of tournaments! And oh what a tournament we have for you this time. The bases are loaded with some seriously seasoned veterans like Mix, Kimetsu no Yaiba, Gundam’s Witch from Mercury, and Mahoutsukai no Yome. New and promising players are also here on the team to whet appetites with Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia, Tengoku Daimakyou, and Skip to Loafer – not to mention established Shonen Jump series finally taking to the field like the supernatural sword-fight packed thriller Jigokuraku and Harry Potter meets Boku no Hero Academia, MASHLE. The ace everyone’s eyes should be on this Spring? The fantastic, funny, heartwarming romantic coming of age story of two adorably awkward middle schoolers in Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu (no, this is not a paid advertisement I swear!). Of course, you also need music for the cheer squad (and peanut gallery) and what better options for that than the beautiful melody of violins in Ao no Orchestra and the darker, idol-themed Oshi no Ko. If romance is more your thing though, check out the lovable Tonikaku Kawaii, manga-ka meets match in Otonari ni Ginga, and the melt-your-heart cute grade-schoolers in love comedy Jijou wo Shiranai Tenkousei ga Guigui Kuru.
Which ones will score a home-run? Well, we’ll just have to watch and see! Please give a stadium-shaking cheer for Random Curiosity’s Spring 2023 Preview!
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, Zaiden, and Zephyr) in order to maintain the quality of this preview. We will point out what appeals to us in each series, in the hope it will help you determine if it coincides with your tastes. Our Excitement Levels likewise showcase our visceral gut reactions to what we expect each show to be, so remember to check out the Overall Impressions section at the bottom for a general idea of our seasonal thoughts and opinions.
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 shows being exclusively batch released through Netflix or similar streaming service (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 sub/dub sources for each series. And if we happened to miss something major, don’t hesitate to poke us! 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.
Above all else, however, many thanks are deserving to you, 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, have the desire to donate to our Patreon and Kofi or simply just lurk the site on occasion, it’s your time, attention, and company which keep us going. Honestly without you we wouldn’t be here writing about anime, so here’s to another fun season of it for us to enjoy together!
Technical Note: The schedule below is ordered by the date and time that the shows premiere. The links 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 indicate 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.
Tousouchuu: Great Mission
09:00 Fuji TV (04/02)
Ao no Orchestra
17:00 NHK-E (04/09)
Mobile Suit Gundam: Suisei no Majo Season 2
17:00 MBS・TBS (04/09)
Jijou wo Shiranai Tenkousei ga Guigui Kuru.
22:00 Abema (04/02)
World Dai Star
23:00 TOKYO MX (04/09)
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Katanakaji no Sato-hen
23:15 Fuji TV (04/09)
My Home Hero
23:30 TOKYO MX (04/02)
Tensei Kizoku no Isekai Boukenroku: Jichou wo Shiranai Kamigami no Shito
24:00 TOKYO MX (04/02)
Kanojo ga Koushakutei ni Itta Riyuu
21:30 AT-X (04/10)
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear Punch!
22:00 AT-X (04/03)
Golden Kamuy (2022)
23:00 TOKYO MX (04/03)
Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. 2
23:30 AT-X (04/03)
Dead Mount Death Play
24:00 TOKYO MX (04/10)
Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia
24:00 TV Tokyo (04/10)
Alice Gear Aegis Expansion
25:05 TOKYO MX (04/03)
Kizuna no Allele
25:30 TV Tokyo (04/03)
Skip to Loafer
23:00 TOKYO MX (04/04)
Tokyo Mew Mew New ♡
24:00 TV Tokyo (04/04)
Kubo-san wa Mob o Yurusanai
24:30 TOKYO MX (04/04)
The Marginal Service
25:29 Nippon TV (04/11)
OSHI NO KO
23:00 TOKYO MX (04/12)
Niehime to Kemono no Ou
24:00 TOKYO MX (04/19)
THE iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls: U149
24:00 TV Tokyo (04/05)
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen wo!
25:00 TOKYO MX (04/05)
Kaminaki Sekai no Kamisama Katsudou
25:30 TOKYO MX (04/05)
Mahoutsukai no Yome 2
22:00 TOKYO MX (04/06)
Dr. STONE 3rd Season
22:30 TOKYO MX (04/06)
Watashi no Yuri wa Oshigoto Desu!
22:30 AT-X (04/06)
24:00 TOKYO MX (04/06)
Isekai de Cheat Skill wo Te ni Shita Ore wa
24:30 TOKYO MX (04/06)
Ousama Ranking: Yuuki no Takarabako
24:55 Fuji TV (04/13)
Yuusha ga Shinda!
25:00 TOKYO MX (04/06)
Pocket Monsters (2023)
18:55 TV Tokyo (04/14)
Isekai One Turn Kill Nee-san: Ane Douhan no Isekai Seikatsu Hajimemashita
22:30 Abema (04/07)
22:30 TOKYO MX (04/07)
24:00 TOKYO MX (04/07)
Tonikaku Kawaii 2nd Season
25:05 TOKYO MX (04/07)
BIRDIE WING -Golf Girls’ Story- Season 2
25:23 TV Tokyo (04/07)
Megami no Cafe Terrace
25:25 MBS・TBS (04/07)
Rokudou no Onna-tachi
25:35 TOKYO MX (04/07)
Mahou Shoujo Magical Destroyers
25:55 MBS・TBS (04/07)
26:25 MBS・TBS (04/07)
MIX Season 2
17:30 Yomiuri TV (04/01)
22:00 TOKYO MX (04/01)
23:00 TV Tokyo (04/01)
Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru
24:30 TOKYO MX (04/01)
EDENS ZERO Season 2
24:55 Nippon TV (04/01)
Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu
25:30 TV Asahi (04/01)
Otonari ni Ginga
25:30 TOKYO MX (04/08)
Isekai Shoukan wa Nidome desu
26:00 ABC (04/08)
Success is always bittersweet because it never lasts and none knows it better than Meisei High. After Uesugi Tatsuya’s landmark pitching defined Meisei as champions, the baseball team’s success never reached the same heights again. Many years and re-watches of Meisei’s defining tournament later, a faint glimmer appears on the horizon when the Tachibana step brothers, Touma (Kaji Yuuki) and Souichiro (Uchida Yuuma), join the baseball team as a promising battery. Through sweat, determination, and no small amount of luck, these high schoolers compete against other has-been schools also seeking to re-visit their baseball glory days.
My feelings on Mix are, well, mixed. I’m a huge fan of Adachi Mitsuru’s thoughtful character writing that feels real, especially as her characters mature as the story progresses. Not to mention the edge of your seat game plays. While both those aspects are written into Mix, there’s also this frustration I have that while it’s a continuation of Touch’s legacy, it’s also unrelated to it, featuring characters unconnected to the originals (except for Nishimura, for whatever reason). For a series that plays on a series I hold dear like Touch, I wish there was more of a tie-in with the original characters, kind of like how Major spun off in a new, yet tightly connected direction by focusing on the original characters’ children in Major 2nd. That said, the first season was still a good watch. On the production side of things, most of the staffing is consistent with the first season, except for the director who changed to Kamitani Tomohiro, which could be a plus since some of the directorial choices in the 1st season irked me. All in all, I’m looking forward to a continuation of the Tachibana brothers’ entry in the Meisei annals.
Another outstanding manga being adapted, this time veering far off the romcom lane. The mangaka is Ishiguro Masakazu, a figure truly revered by readers and fellow mangaka alike. His best-known work is Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, but Heavenly Delusion is a massive tonal shift from that one. It’s a dark, deeply weird, and sometimes very graphic (both sexually and in terms of violence) dystopian sci-fi.
Ishiguro is still unspooling his story in the manga, and many mysteries remain. It’s a dense and complicated story spanning multiple timelines and cast, but most central to the story are teenagers Kiruko and Maru, on a journey to find the “Heaven” of the title. The setting is somewhat reminiscent of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou with its alien but beautiful mix of decay and the mundane, but the tone could hardly be more different. Those two kids are a very winning anchor for the story, which is a good thing because that’s desperately needed.
Tengoku Daimakyou is full of sharp edges and not remotely user-friendly. It’s one of the strangest and most disturbing manga I’ve read in years. Yet somehow it seems to have received an incredibly lavish adaptation. I.G. is reliably high-end of course, but the previews here are off the charts fantastic (and the series is apparently far advanced in its production, having been held back at least once). Director Mori Hirotaka isn’t a huge name but the staff is gangbusters – perhaps most notably Art Director Kaneko Yuuji, an absolute legend whose stamp is all over those PVs. I don’t know how Tengoku Daimakyou is going to be received, but if you’re a fan of the classic anime sci-fi of the 90’s and noughties I think you’re going to be blown away by it.
|Tengoku Daimakyou Promotional Videos ▼|
It starts with death. Jigokuraku, or Hell’s Paradise, is set in Edo-period Japan and tells the story of Gabimaru the Hollow (Kobayashi Chiaki), a convict ninja from the mysterious and infamous village of Iwagakure. With a nonchalant attitude Gabimaru delivers the narrative that even though he was betrayed and unfairly accused, he’s bent on dying. It all changes though, when Yamada Asaemon Sagiri (Hanamori Yumiri) from the Yamada clan (bade testers and executioners for the shogunate) steps in. The mirage quickly falls apart, there is nothing nihilistic about Gabimaru, at least not anymore, and it’s all thanks to a short life shared with his beloved wife––whom he believes to be dead. Sagiri––who also wants to overcome her own struggles––then offers Gabimaru a second chance in life: the shogun has created a special pardon opportunity for high rank criminals, any and all past crimes will be forgiven as well as the promise of patronage and protection. The catch? One must travel to “the other side”––a paradise, heaven on earth where the elixir of life can be found. Therein lies the problem, this place where eternal life can be found is also where only death has returned. After learning that his wife still lives, Gabimaru resolves to grasp this opportunity. He will survive and return home to her.
As you maybe have guessed, Jigokuraku is amongst my top ranking favorite manga of all time. With compelling character development, Kaku Yuuji showed us human behavior from different perspectives with a captivating and nuanced storytelling. Gabimaru’s and Sagiri’s relationship as two human beings brought together under the least desirable circumstances was done with such sensibility I found myself taken aback. Birds of a feather flock together, it’s no wonder he was Fujimoto’s assistant during Fire Punch. I find that both authors do an incredible job at portraying real vulnerability and fear stories. I don’t think MAPPA needs any introduction, they’ve conquered their notoriety and have since become synonym with great adaptations and successful runs. Makita Kaori takes the reins as the director for this one, I believe this will probably be their big breakthrough as an anime director. Fun trivia: it was my review for Jigokuraku’s first chapter that got me my position in this blog! Aside from my incredible personality, obviously. *holds a flamethrower*
|Jigokuraku Promotional Videos ▼|
Akane Kinoshita (Minase Inori) learns the hard way that even gamer boyfriends can be unfaithful. When her boyfriend leaves her for a girl he met in-game, she vents her anger on mob monsters. In the process, she has a chance encounter with Akito Yamada (Uchiyama Kouki), a guildmate who appears in the game with an afro and Noh mask. While Yamada is hardly boyfriend material with his blunt, unsociable personality, Akane is moved by his struggles to find romance when he’s been so caught up in maxing out his stats in the game. Will Akane be able to take on the Dark Souls of romance by winning over the heart of Yamada, or will he join his new friends as yet another passing acquaintance?
The main appeal of Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru is its light-hearted romance that’s steered towards the gamer crowd. Its charming slow-burn romance opens up greater opportunities for Akane and Yamada to be better acquainted with both their friends and each other. Another big draw is that, because the characters are older, you’re dealing with a cast that is dealing with balancing work with leisure, especially as most of the characters have to make the time to see each other. With video games being their main medium of hanging out, there’s bound to be an interesting intersection between how Akane and Yamada interact in the virtual world and what’d happen if they met in real life. It should be exciting to see how their romance blossoms when Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru levels up this Spring.
|Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi o Suru Promotional Videos ▼|
This upcoming season comes at no shortage of continuations and carryovers. Such is the case of Edens Zero––fans of Shiki (Terashima Takuma) and his troupe can rejoice as the awaited second season after a two-year break! At this point I can’t say I don’t bring this upon myself, but I can’t say I’m not amused at how often I find myself previewing sequels of series of which I have no knowledge about *oni-face* heh. For those unaware, Edens Zero is a fantasy sci-fi adventure that has regularly been called “Fairy Tale’s rip-off”, but also been passionately defended by its fans as being its own authentic ecosystem. The importance of friendships is one of its most important core themes and in the end, it’s about how you relate and/or enjoy the characters’ journeys, plot and world building that matters! I think at this point in our existence it’s hard that authors and creators don’t compost other people’s ideas (in Mashima’s case his own works). So unless it’s a word-for-word plagiarism, I don’t personally see an issue with a story having some resemblance to another.
Also, we can’t deny EZ’s popularity given that episodes 1 and 2 of this upcoming season were previewed at a screening at Shinjuku Wald 9 in Tokyo. Animated by J.C. Staff, this series created and illustrated by Mashima Hiro, hits the screens again under the direction of Ishihara Shinji and Watanabe Toshinori (previously in charge of storyboards in S1). As of this preview’s publication, EZ’s manga is currently ongoing, with serialization in Shuukan Shounen Magazine and a total of 25 printed volumes.
|Edens Zero (2023) Promotional Videos ▼|
Of all the manga adaptations that have come down the pike since I’ve been an anime fan, few have me as excited (and yes, a little emotional) as Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu. I love this series unabashedly and unreservedly. I love everything about it – the art, the sensibility, the humor, the depth and conviction. Middle school romcom is manga’s boom sub-genre of the past half-decade and for me BokuYaba is at the top of the pyramid. I always knew an anime was coming, but to have it finally arriving is a bit surreal.
BokuYaba comes to us from the pen of Sakurai Norio, best known to anime fans as the author of Mitsudomoe. I like that series a lot, but this one blows it out of the water. There’s a strong autobiographical element in that Sakurai projects many of her own neuroses into protagonist Ichikawa Kyoutarou, the undersized seventh-grader at the heart of the story. Kyou will remind some of Tomoko from Watamote (and BokuYaba of that series) but they’re very different. Kyou is a neurotic, plain and simple – a bit of a chuunibyou too when the series starts, but basically a worrier more than anything else. Into his life sweeps popular and imposing classmate Yamada Anna, the heroine of the piece, and nothing is ever the same for either of them.
I’ve waxed poetical about BokuYaba on many occasions (including via YouTube video), and I’m loathe to repeat it all here – I could go on for hours. I’ll just say it subverts expectations relentlessly. Kyoutarou and Anna are not what you think they are at first. Patience is crucial with this series – the early chapters give only a glimpse of what it will become. The characters are all fantastic, especially the leads. And it says something that with Anna being gorgeous and hilarious, a custom-designed breakout star in a medium that worships cute girls, it’s Kyou who wins ever fan poll as favorite character. He’s one of the best male leads in manga, in any genre.
The other crucial element with Boku no Kokoro is that it appears to be receiving a well-considered and thoughtful adaptation. Shin-Ei and director Akagi Hiroaki, both from the superb Karakai Jouzu Takagi-san adaptation, where chosen to adapt it (as indeed I speculated they might be). It has a great staff and the casting seems on-point. This series doesn’t need the significant tweaking Takagi-san did – a smart and faithful retelling is enough to elevate to masterpiece romcom status. I’m over the moon that this wonderful treasure of a series is finally going to be shared with a wider audience.
|Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu Promotional Videos ▼|
The anime series takes place in a future where humanity has been forced to migrate to the Moon due to the effects of Earth’s climate change. This unique storyline incorporates elements of human drama and survival, featuring a diverse setting that blurs the boundaries of countries and eras.
The story follows a group of fugitives who are released into a limited area and must escape before the countdown reaches zero. They are thrust onto a grand stage where they must face off against a relentless hunter and complete a series of harsh missions to achieve their goal. Satoshi Tsukimura, the young game master of “Chronos”, is responsible for the creation of this exciting game. In the lower area of the colony, a boy named Soya Tomura longs to enter the world of “on the run,” and fate leads him to do just that. Along with other challengers, he faces the chasing android and other obstacles in a thrilling survival game, where a large prize awaits the winner. The series is sure to captivate audiences with its innovative storyline, stunning visuals, and intense action.
|Tousouchuu: Great Mission Promotional Videos ▼|
And one more romcom to gild the lily, yet another manga that I’m following too. This one is an elementary school setting, which is a delicate sub-genre to get right, but I think The Clueless Transfer Student is Assertive does. Because these are pre-teens the romance really needs to take a supportive role to the comedy, and that’s very much the case here. These are kids and they act like it, even if two of them are most definitely a couple.
That couple is Akane and Taiyou. She’s an introverted social outcast derisively referred to as “The Reaper”. He’s the new kid who thinks being the reaper is the coolest thing ever, and shines a light into her life. There is a bullying element here, and while it never gets too heavy that element isn’t glossed over either. Much of the humor springs from the fact that Taiyou is basically the world’s biggest chad, and it’s always completely obliviously. Those two are adorable, but my favorite is actually their friend Daichi, the son of a ramen shop family and the funniest kid in the cast.
This series is a charmer altogether and very hard to resist. It’s not a romance manga in the sense of a great teen romance, but if it lacks a certain depth as a consequence, it’s also very authentic to the setting. This is a sub-genre anime has tackled only rarely, but Jijou wo Shiranai Tenkousai ga Guigui Kuru has a chance to be one of the best.
|Jijou o Shiranai Tenkousei ga Guigui Kuru. Promotional Videos ▼|
Tetsuo Tosu, an ordinary salaryman, thought he had a happy and peaceful life with his wife Kasen and daughter Reika until he discovers that his daughter has been physically abused by her boyfriend, Matori Nobuto. Determined to protect his daughter, Tetsuo starts investigating Matori’s background and discovers that he is not only a member of a notorious crime syndicate but also has a history of murdering his former girlfriends. Shocked and terrified at the realization that his daughter is in grave danger, Tetsuo’s anger boils over.
Filled with a sense of justice and fueled by his love for his daughter, Tetsuo takes matters into his own hands and kills Matori in a fit of rage. With the help of his wife, Kasen, Tetsuo successfully disposes of the body and covers their tracks, hoping to keep their family safe and away from the eyes of the law.
However, their plan is far from foolproof. As the members of the syndicate start questioning Matori’s sudden disappearance, Tetsuo and Kasen realize that their actions have put their family in even greater danger. Now, they must work together to stay one step ahead of the syndicate, protect their daughter from harm, and prevent her from getting involved in the situation any further.
As they navigate the dangerous world of crime and corruption, Tetsuo and Kasen must confront their own fears and shortcomings while doing whatever it takes to keep their family together. Will their love and determination be enough to overcome the powerful syndicate, or will they be caught in a web of lies and deceit that threatens to tear them apart? Only time will tell.
|My Home Hero Promotional Videos ▼|
The hero, the saviour: whatever one calls the role, Shiinya Kazuya (Nanjou Yoshino) wanted to be it, and while not getting the opportunity in real life (having ingloriously succumbed to death when saving some girls from an attacker), wound up receiving it in the next. Reborn in a land of swords and magic as aristocratic son Cain von Silford, Kazuya not only retains all his knowledge of Earth, but also is endowed with godly powers. So much so in fact that, no matter the enemy involved, Kazuya-cum-Cain must hide his abilities to ascend the ranks of society and secure the throne he longingly aspires for. No matter how lackluster his first life may have been, one way or another Cain will ensure this one does not go to waste.
If your first thought when looking at Tensei Kizoku is “I’ve seen this before”, don’t worry, you’re not that far off the mark. There have been several isekai now with the whole reborn as an aristocratic noble with crazy abilities shtick, something Tensei Kizoku certainly plays to in both form and function as Cain effectively charms, punches, and walks over all manner of competition to achieve his goals. While said goals – i.e. ruling the kingdom – and the shouta-inspired designs could be considered differentiators to the plentiful competition, make no mistake, this one will be keeping very close to all the ubiquitous isekai tropes and stereotypes we all know and love (and hate). And considering this is yet another adaptation of an ongoing light novel series, yeah, I wouldn’t be expecting miracles here. There’s always room for a surprise or two of course, but until we see just what Tensei Kizoku is made of, this is one isekai I’d keep any expectations in check over.
|Tensei Kizoku no Isekai Boukenroku: Jichou o Shiranai Kamigami no Shito Promotional Videos ▼|
Nothing says quintessential hikkikomori quite like Yuna (Kawase Maki). A fifteen-year old girl who dispenses with school and social life in favour of obsessively playing the VRMMORPG World Fantasy Online, Yuna’s only goal is to live her virtual life to the fullest. Such plans, however, take a turn to the surreal after a game update. Following her daily login post-release not only does Yuna find herself in possession of a one-of-a-kind (and absurdly overpowered) bear outfit, but no ability to log back out. Not a problem for Yuna though; between her gamer skills and bear outfit granting ridiculous abilities and plenty of local friends to see to any social need, making a living in this alternate world could never be easier.
Whatever one can say about isekai, at least it’s not that only the questionable productions are getting adaptations and sequels as Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear shows. The first season back in Fall 2020 was a surprisingly (and charmingly) comfy ride, effectively taking the same laid-back and lighthearted atmosphere of Bofuri, spicing with a bit of Overlord plot premise similarities, and letting the pleasant and good-natured personality of Yuna take care of the rest. Or if you will, moe-flavoured slice of life isekai food done right. With both cast and crew from before back reprising their respective roles and EMT Squared once again doing animation duty I wouldn’t expect many changes, and with plenty of light novel material still to adapt no risk of running out of new things for Yuna to get up to. Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear Punch will naturally be a given watch for any isekai fan, but I’d still recommend giving it a shot if in need of some lighthearted slice of life shenanigans this spring. One way or another you won’t be disappointed.
Editor’s Note: Fully reairing from the start after being postponed in Fall 2022.
Legend comes to life when the fierce ex-soldier, the Immortal Sugimoto (Kobayashi Chikahiro), and fierce Ainu huntress Asirpa (Shiraishi Haruka) pursue gold stolen from her Ainu people. In an epic journey that is part nature survival guide, part foodie heaven, part historical thriller, part glorious strangeness, they meet many wacky allies and face formidable foes. Together once again, Sugimoto and Asirpa continue their hunt for gold in snowy Hokkaido. From the PV, it looks like both old faces are returning with some new ones to meet.
The past three seasons were amazing with the third season being my favorite overall in terms of direction and story, so I have high hopes that the fourth season will continue on that trajectory. However, I have hesitations due to significant staffing changes. Golden Kamuy will be moving over to Brain’s Base – which although different from before, is still a solid studio, having had some good shows in the past I enjoyed. A different director, Sugahara Shizutaka, will also be coming on board. I do worry that there will be discontinuity in the quality of the season with a shuffled staff, especially after the good groove it got into last season. I want to stay optimistic that Golden Kamuy will stay, well, golden, but if anything (hopefully), the story will speak for itself regardless of what happens behind the scenes. If you haven’t seen this series yet, there’s still time to binge watch it and if you have already seen it, then let’s eagerly wait for what will hopefully be an epic continuation of the story!
|Golden Kamuy (2022) Promotional Videos ▼|
Mochizuki Touya’s (Fukuhara Katsumi) claim to fame is being an utterly average high school boy – or at least until God happened to electrocute him with lightning by accident. No one ever said God was cruel though, and in His atonement He decides to resurrect Touya in a fantasy world and grant the kid one miss to help with his new life. And Touya’s wish? Bringing his smartphone and all its computerized knowledge along into the great unknown. Sure, internet will be lacking and phone calls to trusted friends will be troublesome, but Touya is very much the forward thinker and knows its data will help him immensely. It’s a big new fantasy world, and Touya intends on learning about it all.
Let’s get the obvious out the way: Isekai wa Smartphone is objectively terrible. This is as pure, unabashed, and over-the-top wish fulfillment as you can get, where superficial plot provides the bare minimum required for harem antics and flaunting ridiculous power levels. You thought SAO’s Kirito was overpowered? You haven’t seen Touya in action yet – or how crazy his harem setup gets. Not kidding: literal polygamy is a go in this one. In short do not expect this season to be doing anything different from the first: Touya will keep winning the day, getting all the girls, and proving why smartphones are incredible pieces of technology. While the switch over to J.C. Staff and move into more action-focused material leaves a lot of room for some nice visual improvements vis a vis the first season, make no mistake, this one isn’t going to be for everyone – but provided you have a love of quirky harem shenanigans, you certainly could do worse.
|Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. 2 Promotional Videos ▼|
When the enigmatic Weiss lifeforms suddenly appear on Earth, humanity is caught off guard. These creatures possess technology and abilities far surpass anything humans have ever seen, making them nearly invincible. Despite their best efforts, human weapons have no effect on the Weiss, and the threat of extinction looms over humanity.
In a desperate bid for survival, humans create a spacecraft called the Shard, built using resources from the moon’s crust, and depart for space. However, even as they leave the terrestrial sphere, the wonders of the Weiss continue to haunt them.
During their long journey through space, humans stumble upon a new energy source – high-dimensional energy. Women in their teens and thirties can only harness this energy, and humans quickly realize that it is the key to breaking through Weiss’s formidable shields. With this knowledge in hand, humans develop a powerful new weapon known as the Alice Gear. This gear utilizes high-dimensional energy and can take down even the most powerful Weiss.
However, only a select few women possess the ability to wield high-dimensional energy, and it takes years of training and practice to master this skill. Despite these challenges, humanity perseveres and eventually gains the means to fight back against Weiss.
Fast forward three centuries later, and the situation has changed significantly. The establishment of the anti-Weiss organization AEGIS, the improved safety measures for Alice Gear, and the decrease in the Weiss population have led to the rise of a new profession – Actress. These women are licensed to use their Alice Gear to exterminate Weiss outside the Shard through AEGIS and its partner companies.
As the new captain of this team of Actresses, your story follows the exploits of these young women as they travel the universe, using their Alice Gear to take down Weiss and save humanity from the remaining threats. Along the way, you will face challenges, make difficult decisions, and forge deep connections with your team members. Through it all, your ultimate goal remains clear – to keep humanity safe from the looming threat of the Weiss.
|Alice Gear Aegis Expansion Promotional Videos ▼|
This is a heartwarming tale of friendship and perseverance. Kizuna AI had burst into the virtual world like a comet, captivating audiences and garnering immense popularity in a remarkably short time. However, after winning the coveted Lapin d’Or award five years in a row, she vanished just as suddenly as she had arrived. Now, several months have passed since her disappearance and a new generation of virtual stars is being trained at ADEN Academy, a prestigious school dedicated to honing the skills of aspiring virtual artists. Among them is a determined young girl named Miracle, who aspires to follow in Kizuna AI’s footsteps and become a virtual artist. As Miracle navigates the challenges of the academy, she’ll encounter a diverse array of talented individuals, each with their own unique aspirations and motivations. Together, they’ll work tirelessly to improve their craft and make their dreams a reality, forming unbreakable bonds along the way. Join Miracle and her friends on their journey toward stardom and witness the power of hard work and camaraderie in the world of virtual artistry!
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As I hammer out these previews, what strikes me is that I keep sounding like I’m talking about a series that should be the top pick of the season. In Skip to Loafer we have yet another adaptation of a much-lauded romcom manga. Unlike the two above I have no direct experience with this one, but it’s hard to find anyone who does who isn’t a fan (including a lot of folks whose opinions I respect).
I obviously have a checkered relationship with P.A. Works these days – frankly they haven’t done much the past several years that’s worked for me. That said, they still produce above-average visuals that occasionally hit transcendent, so it’s really a matter of matching them with the right material. Skip and Loafer is only the studio’s second manga adaptation (after Paripi Koumei), so in that sense it represents a continuation of PAW’s move to a more conventional studio model. Still, I think it’s a little bit off type for them both thematically and visually – not nearly so much as Akiba Maid Sensou obviously, but not a project I necessarily associate with their aesthetic.
That said, it’s another one where the PVs look absolutely fabulous. Kotomi Deai, one of anime’s most established female directors, is handling both direction and series composition here and while I haven’t loved all her work, she’s more than capable of a home run and a good fit for the material. The plot sounds relatively stock – a genki small-town girl goes to high school in Tokyo and befriends a laid-back local boy. But pretty much everyone who knows the manga says this is a fantastic couple, and even the previews give a good sense of a very winning vibe. Another non-sequel with a chance be pretty special.
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Tokyo Mew Mew New follows the adventures of magical girls who gained their powers from being secretly fused with the DNA of endangered animals. The de facto leader Ichigo (Tenma Yuuki) is imbued with the power of an Iriomote Wildcat. Meanwhile, her friends are similarly granted animal powers with Lettuce (Juuni Ryouko) being granted Finless Porpoise abilities, Zakuro (Ishii Momoka) having Gray Wolf DNA, Pudding (Toda Rian) being infused with the DNA of the Golden Lion, and Mint (Hinata Mirai) having the DNA of a Blue Lorikeet. Together, they use their magical abilities to protect the earth against aliens who are fed up with humans and wish to take over their planet.
It’s been very wholesome to see how excited people were to see both the return of Tokyo Mew Mew and the success of its beloved reboot. To see that it’s already getting its second season into gear is heartwarming to watch come to fruition. While some remakes feel like products of their time, it’s nice to see that not only has Tokyo Mew Mew held up very well to the test of time, but that its faithful take on the manga has built up enough momentum to warrant viewers to want more. For those who have kept up with Tokyo Mew Mew, it should be awesome to see how they wind up capturing the remaining parts of the story when it springs into action soon.
|Tokyo Mew Mew New (2023) Promotional Videos ▼|
Editor’s Note: Fully reairing from the start after being postponed in Winter 2022.
Given what it is, I can say I’m somewhat more than modestly interested in Kubo-san wa Mob wo Yurusanai. It’s a romcom with no light novel involvement, the manga seems reasonably well-regarded, and while the director is largely an unknown, Pine Jam is always an interesting and ambitious studio.
This premise – an extremely anonymous high school boy and the girl who refuses to ignore but likes to tease him – reads like a pastiche of trendy romcom tropes. And one riddled with potholes at that. But the general consensus seems to be that it’s not too mean-spirited (I’ll judge that for myself) and has at least some original perspective to offer on the tropes it trades on. In most seasons this series wouldn’t be near the top of the board, but Winter 2023 is obviously not like most seasons.
There’s nothing obviously exceptional in the staff list, but Pine Jam has a reputation as an “artists collective” sort of studio – albeit one where production turmoil has been an occasional problem. The previews for Kubo-san look good, and the overall zeitgeist about the manga is positive enough that my overall expectations for this show are reasonably high. Considering how the first few episodes panned out, I’m comfortable sticking with that assessment.
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Get ready to experience a new chapter in the enchanting tale of the Cinderella Girls! This time, the focus is on a group of hardworking and determined girls who are teaming up with aspiring producers to reach for the stars and become the next big idol sensation. From dazzling costumes to electrifying performances and dashing princes, these young idols have a lot on their plates.
What sets this new series apart is the U149 – the aspiring idols who are under 149 centimeters tall. With the help of their equally petite and inexperienced producer, these little stars are aiming high and working hard to achieve their dreams. As the announcement card suggests, this is a story of growth for both the idols and their producer.
Set in the 346 Pro talent agency, which is home to the Cinderella Project, this game and series chronicle the journey of three girls – Rin Shibuya, Uzuki Shimamura, and Mio Honda – as they navigate their way through the competitive world of idol stardom. Alongside their fellow idols, they must work tirelessly to improve their skills and stand out in the industry.
But this is no easy feat – the competition is fierce, and the stakes are high. Will these little idols and their rookie producer be able to make it to the top and fulfill their dreams of becoming beloved idols? Follow their journey in this captivating anime series, where every twist and turn promises to keep you on the edge of your seat.
A direct spinoff of one of isekai’s best parodies to date, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen wo tells the origins tale of one Megumin (Takahashi Rie) and Yunyun (Toyosaki Aki) as they strive to be the very best of the Crimson Magic Clan. Rivals by day and tentative friends by night, both girls strive to become great and powerful magicians, yet while Yunyun follows the tried and true path for advanced magic, Megumin has other ideas. Explosive ideas. For Megumin the only way to all mighty (read: voluptuous) wizard status is through explosion magic, where any and all problems can be quite literally blown away. No matter how much her instructors have warned her of explosion magic’s otherwise limited potential, Megumin remains committed to her chosen path, because one way or another this girl will become the best magician ever by blowing all her challenges sky high.
Ahh Konosuba, there’s not that many isekai which can rival this franchise in terms of sheer popularity or ingenuity. From well-crafted parodies of characters to hilarious arcs and outcomes this one really made a name for itself and continues being a source of inspiration for many other isekai. While everyone is largely waiting for the third season to finally appear, this spinoff should do plenty to temper any excessive impatience given it’s A: featuring one of the most popular characters in Megumin; and B: telling Megumin’s origin story only touched on in the latest movie. Like Konosuba’s style of comedy? Like Megumin and her love of the bomb? Wished Yunyun did a little more than big breasted comedic relief? You’re going to want to keep both eyes on this one. And hell, even if you don’t I’d still give this spinoff a shot, because if there’s one thing you can say about any Konosuba story it’s that you’re never in for a boring time – EXPLOSION guarantees it.
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It’s always hard growing up in the shadow of successful parents, and no more so than in the case of Urabe Yukito (Enoki Junya). The child of cult leaders and the heir to the cult itself, Yukito’s entire life revolves around devotion to the mysterious and enigmatic goddess Mitama (Kitou Akari). Yet such stature isn’t enough to keep Yukito alive. Sacrificed during a ritual gone wrong, Yukito finds himself whisked away to a different world where religion doesn’t exist and life and death just to happen to be under the exclusive purview of the state. Not really an issue for a kid with bad brush with religion, but when he decides to stand up for a new friend who wound up on the literal chopping block, Yukito gets the surprise of his life as Mitama herself shows up to rescue them. For this former cult heir, life is about to get truly weird.
What’s that phrase, another day, another isekai? Yeah, we’re pretty much in well-trodden territory at this point, and Kamikatsu won’t be making any great leaps into the unknown. Outside of somewhat novel (and funny) setup and the cult trappings this one very much follows in the vein of similar comedy-centric isekai: Yukito gets into trouble courtesy of Mitama, shenanigans and funny moments had, and we’re off to the next bit of plot progression. It’s pretty much Shinchou Yuusha flipped on its head, which means expect plenty of humour and lots of crazy developments. Staff and studio are nothing to really write home about, but should Kamikatsu play well to its source material, keep the production values decent, and avoid the ubiquitous adaptation hatchet job, this is one show isekai fans may do well to keep an eye on.
|Kaminaki Sekai no Kamisama Katsudou Promotional Videos ▼|
At the end of her rope, ostracized since birth for her ability to channel the supernatural, Hatori Chise (Tanezaki Atsumi) sells herself to a skull-faced mage, Elias Ainsworth (Takeuchi Ryota), who brings her into his home as his trainee and future bride. In her new home, she learns how to use her valuable powers and begins to free herself from her past with the companionship of the faerie folk and under the tutelage of Elias, who harbors dark secrets of his own. Elias and Chise set out on a new path to educate themselves about the mysteries of magic and humankind.
As someone who grew up reading and hearing about European folklore from my uncle, this series drew me in with the authentic way it incorporated European magic and folklore, like the modeling of Elias after the Welsh Mari Lwyd, the selkie housekeeper, and references to ancient Celtic rituals. While there was a studio change from the brilliant Wit Studio to Studio Kafka and a new director, Terasawa Kazuaki, I’m not worried about it causing any stylistic disruptions, judging from the recent OVA. In fact, Mahoutsukai no Yome has the distinction of being the first series undertaken by the new Studio Kafka, which was created with this series in mind. I personally am looking forward to seeing Studio Kafka flex their creative muscles in bringing this world of fairies and lore to life!
|Mahou Tsukai no Yome Season 2 Promotional Videos ▼|
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Hime Shiraki (Ogura Yui) is a very promising student who has the grades, the reputation, and the charm to captivate the entire student body. She dreams of taking her reputation all the way to the top by becoming a beloved trophy wife to a billionaire. But then one day, she makes a big whoopsie by landing right on top of Mikoshiba Mai (Tamura Yukari), the manager of Café Liebe who is now unable to work effectively because Hime injured her arm. In the process, Hime is chosen to replace Mai as the manager of the cafe, which boasts an all-girls academy theme to it. While all of the girls come to appreciate Hime, there is one exception; a girl who can’t shake off her irrational hatred for her. Hime is terrified at the possibility that she has seen past her facade, considering that it reminds her of a troubling event in her past. Will Hime be able to integrate effectively into the cafe, or will she pull away to focus on her own personal ambitions for living life on Easy Street?
From the start, the big elephant in the room would be its status as a girls’ love series. Based on the tone of the series, it has a fun kind of charm to it where it leans into the odd couple dynamics between the manipulative yet cheeky Hime and the no-nonsense Mai. I know with girls’ love that’s been adapted for TV anime, it can be difficult because so much of it tries to dance around the status of the girls’ relationships and define their love through heavy subtext. My biggest fear about this would be if its GL elements are more along the lines of window dressing for the cafe they run than a genuine exploration of relationships among women. To its credit, however, the manga takes a further look at the girls as they reflect on what their co-workers mean to them on a romantic level. It also has a fun kind of charm to it considering how Hime sounds like a hilarious protagonist who is gleefully shameless about her overall goals and constantly stumbles as she tries to stay in character. For those who want a fluffy yet hectic experience with their workplace drama, Watashi no Yuri wa Oshigoto Desu! sounds like a great place to start.
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“Perception Art” – a revolutionary form of digital art that immerses the audience into a breathtaking world of colors and illusions – has taken the world by storm over the past decade.
Kazuya Yamanashi and Jun Tsuzuki, childhood friends, and aspiring artists, have enrolled in the prestigious Eisen High School with dreams of mastering this new art form. Kazuya, son of the famous founders of Perception Art, has another reason for attending Eisen: to reunite with his childhood friend Kyo Takise, whose family’s influential status in the art world makes him a rising star in the field of Perception Art.
But Kyo has been avoiding Kazuya and Jun for years, haunted by a past incident that left him with emotional scars. As the three friends reunite, they are thrown into a whirlwind of emotions and questions about the nature of art, perception, and the colors of the world around them.
Against this backdrop, Opus Colors emerges as an upcoming original Japanese anime television series created by Rin Hinata. Produced by NBC Universal Entertainment Japan and animated by C-Station, the series promises to capture the breathtaking beauty and emotional depth of Perception Art, with Shunsuke Tada directing and Sayaka Harada writing the story. Asami Watanabe designs the characters, while Ken Arai composes the music that will transport audiences into the vibrant and immersive world of Opus Colors.
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Bullied, berated, and wholly looked down upon: young Tenjou Yuuya (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) has not had it easy in life. Taking an extended leave of absence to escape the torment of school, Yuuya winds up at paternal grandfather’s residence, and with it winds up changing his life in the most unexpected way. After cleaning the house, Yuuya stumbles across a heretofore unknown room, a room containing many items Yuuya’s grandfather acquired while travelling, and a room also containing a door. A door leading to an alternate world. Discovering a land of monsters, magic, and girls aplenty, it doesn’t take Yuuya long to realize he can bring back to Earth whatever he desires from this place, something which quickly gets the gears turning. What happens when you apply overpowered magical artifacts to the daily school grind? Yuuya is about to find out.
The one thing which comes to mind when first looking at Iseleve is the Chronicles of Narnia. Sure sure, it’s the usual isekai premise and all that, but random kid stumbling across fantasyland in a veritable closet? Oh yeah, C. S. Lewis is having a field day up in heaven right now. Alright, tongue in cheek aside, you can firmly expect the usual isekai shenanigans from Iseleve. Yuuya will get crazy powerful in body and mind, he’ll meet and woo all the girls around, and by god completely deal with any and all threats with in time for the post credits ecchi scene. Hell it should say something when the defining feature is Iseleve straddling both the real world and its fantasy world, meaning double the harem and twice the MC wish fulfillment, because you’re damn right that’s a thing in this one (I’m not even kidding, the kid gets two harems). In short don’t be expecting masterpiece quality or major genre ingenuity here, but if you’re need of some simple isekai flavoured popcorn entertainment this spring you certainly need look no further than this.
|Isekai de Cheat Skill o Te ni Shita Ore wa, Genjitsu Sekai o mo Musou Suru: Level Up wa Jinsei o Kaeta Promotional Videos ▼|
Once upon a time the Demon Lord used to invade the human realm, until the hero Shion Bladearts successfully locked him away. Travelling to the far north and sealing off Hell’s Gate, the Demon Lord’s portal to the mortal realm, Shion’s actions brought long-lived peace – but not permanent peace. Thanks to faltering magic Hell’s Gate seal is failing, permitting demonic invasion once again. To protect against it common folk like farmer Touka Scott (Toki Shunichi) prepare their own defenses even while Shion sets forth once again to seal the gate. Or at least Shion was until falling into one of Touka’s traps. And dying. Luckily, however, the necromancer Anri Haynesworth (Taketatsu Ayana) was around at the time, and with a bit of convincing (and coercion) forced Touka’s soul into Shion’s corpse to keep the quest for demon sealing going strong. Add on Touka’s childhood friend joining the party to stay close to her secret crush and one can rest easy knowing the perfect party is at hand to save the world.
Comedy and fantasy are a little like peanut butter and jam: you personally may not really like either or both together, but there’s no denying they do go well together, and in this regard Yuusha ga Shina has it made. If not immediately apparent this one is a through and through comedy, taking a ludicrous premise, adding on some hilarious character caricatures and archetypes, and blending it all together with lots of slapstick, plenty of parody, and a healthy topping of ecchi harem antics. The parts I read were an absolute riot, which themselves were only made better knowing this series also ventures a good bit into legitimate action and sensible plot progression down the line. Provided the censoring is kept to a minimum (make no mistake, this is an ecchi series) and any source material hacking and sawing is mitigated, Yuusha ga Shinda is definitely one show any lover of fantasy and comedy should keep on their spring radar.
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The average isekai protagonist usually has it made. Wicked powers? The adoration of all girls human, beast, and demon beside? Maybe the tender loving care of the divine above? They get it all and then some. Except Ikusaba Asahi (Sakakihara Yuuki). Whisked off to alternate world central after yet another unfortunate real-life experience, Asahi’s dreams of having it all quickly deflate when he finds out his new talents are, well, frankly pathetic. All is not lost though; Asahi, for all his weakness, has an over-obsessed sister in Ikusaba Maya (Shiraishi Haruka) out for his love, and she not only found a way to the world he now inhabits, but also comes equipped with powers that would make God blush. Not at all the future (or company) Asahi had in mind, but one way or another he’s going to have to make a living with an overpowered bro-con sister in tow.
Just when you think isekai has run out of premise ideas, here comes another to smack you back into shape. One Turn Kill Neesan’s synopsis after all tells the tale: take one part isekai, mix in some sisterly ara aras, spice with conventional fantasy slice of life, and darling you have yourself a drink. Or if you will, the flip version of Okaa-san Online where MILF gets replaced by big sister and video game world is switched out for legitimate fantasy universe. While incredible story and incredible production values are definitely not going to be the name of the game here (studio Gekkou for one is basically a no-name), with a lighthearted, comedic setting and a good chunk of manga source material to work with there’s a lot of room to get something fun, especially if this adaptation can avoid the usual pitfalls. Don’t anticipate One Turn Kill Neesan making serious waves, but keep this one close at hand this spring if needing a bit of laidback isekai adventuring.
|Isekai One Turn Kill Nee-san: Ane Douhan no Isekai Seikatsu Hajimemashita Promotional Videos ▼|
I’ve always thought that if a non-human species were to take over earth, it would be cats (not that I would complain, cat-lover that I am). For all their fuzzy cuteness, they make no (fish) bones about who’s really in charge (hint: it’s not you or me). However, in the universe of Kawaisugi Crisis, it is not the cats, but extraterrestrial beings, including Liza Luna (Hanamori Yumiri), who are seeking to take over, or rather, crush the earth. Happily for the earthlings, the aliens decide there’s too much fun to be had on earth to simply obliterate it, so they hold off on doomsday. After happening upon a cat café during one of her land surveys, Liza Luna is completely taken in by the charm of cats.
From the preview, this series looks to be one of those relaxing cute pet shows that might make for a relaxing watch after a long, hard day’s work. I’m a tough customer when it comes to comedy, so whether it works or not boils down to how fresh they can make it without falling back on the same tropes each week. If you’re looking for some comedy and adore cute animals, definitely give this series a try-it could end up being the cat’s meow.
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In MASHLE, magic rules the world. It dominates so much of the hierarchy of the world that someone powerless like Mash Burnedead (Kobayashi Chiaki) is considered to be an unwanted threat to the gene pool. While society wishes for him to be purged, he lives in secrecy in the forest as he trains his body and builds his muscles so that he could crack the code and surpass magic itself. But once his identity has been exposed, Mash seeks an overall goal of becoming a Divine Visionary, a being so powerful and untouchable that society would have to begrudgingly accept his existence as one that surpasses even their own. To regain the peace he once had, Mash must enroll in the prestigious Easton Magic Academy and topple some of the most powerful and elite magicians in the realm. Even without magic, the very skill he’d need to survive Easton, Mash must rely on the power of his own brawn to overcome magic with muscles.
This is one of Shonen Jump’s latest darlings as a magical battle manga that captures the youthful spirit of fighting back against an unjust society. The story can be described as Black Clover set in a wizard academy with Saitama as its protagonist, but it looks like it shares the same appeal as Ao no Exorcist in its focus on watching an outcast have to mingle with a privileged in-crowd to achieve acceptance and peace. Recent WSJ productions have been a mixed bag lately with an even blend of refreshingly original stories and shonen that wear their influences on their sleeves. From the looks of MASHLE, much of its value rests in how it blends its influences into a newer experience. Mash’s personal interest in muscle-building and weight training should add some comical charm to his journey to surpass magic, so I can see it being a great time nonetheless.
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They say love hits you out of the blue-never more true than for Yuzaki Nasa (Enoki Junya) who, distracted by the appearance of the pretty, mysterious Tsukasa (Kitou Akari), is hit by a truck. Tsukasa rescues him and the two are married before they even go on a first date. Thus begins their adorable, honeymoon-love in day-to-day life as they learn more about each other.
I am so excited that Tonikawa is back for another season! Tsukasa and Yuzaki are one of my favorite anime couples-it is adorable and heartwarming to watch them sweetly and awkwardly go about their lives, figuring out relationshipping. While the marriage at first sight thing might seem like a dubious premise, the story pulls it off in the endearing, genuine way in which the two respond to each other (even if it is unbelievable in how long it is taking for things to heat up between them, if you know what I mean). Ikehata Hiroshi who did a wonderful job directing the first season, is thankfully back again for the sequel. Seven Arcs is also returning at the helm for the second season, as is the rest of the staff- a good sign production quality wise. While I’m not terribly familiar with the manga, I can say that based on the previous season and OVAs, this promises to be a stellar addition to the spring 2023 roster.
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Eve (Kitou Akari), a non-conventional golfer from the European state of Nafrece, aims to use her crude yet effective style to make money from unsanctioned golf games. With the dream of securing a future for her adopted family and their bar, Eve has her goals set toward fortune and glory. However, one obstacle stands in her way; a Japanese golf prodigy named Amawashi Aoi (Seto Asami). After losing a 1-hole match against her, Eve grows a newfound purpose in challenging Aoi once again with a new goal of beating her in a full 18-hole match. Eve’s infatuation with Aoi is mutually shared as Aoi now finds herself enamored by Eve’s determination and her spitfire attitude. In the process of seeking out a passionate rivalry with each other, they find themselves in a lengthier conflict as Eve is forced to battle challenges thrown at her by the Nafrece mafia while Aoi is pushed towards a broader golfing career by her mother and assistant. Will their differences strengthen their resolve to be on each others’ levels, or will they persevere by their own merits as fearsome behemoths in the golf world?
BIRDIE WING’s first season was a sleeper hit when it came out last Spring. With a few bigger-name properties coming out around the same time, the biggest selling point for the first season was its wild, chaotic take on the game of golf. Whereas the normal sport is a quiet game of lining up the ball, reading the wind, checking your drivers, and hoping for the best, BIRDIE WING depicts golf as a cerebral experience that pushes the limits of what the human body can endure. Less PGA, more PangYa. In addition to its addictively fiery spirit, it also captured many hearts with how it depicted Eve and Aoi’s relationship. While some anime dance around its girls’ love influence as if it’s ashamed to be considered yuri, BIRDIE WING at the very least played with the idea that Eve and Aoi have a reasonably convincing passion for one another. Whether the anime will be able to commit to its free-spirited take on golf and homoerotic tension, however, will be tested as the second season soars over divots and ponds this Spring.
|Birdie Wing: Golf Girls` Story (2023) Promotional Videos ▼|
Hayato Kasukabe (Mizunaka Masaaki) returns to his grandmother’s home in Miura, Kanagawa after finding out that she had recently passed away. Once he finds out that she was the owner of a rundown cafe, Familia, he initially believes it’d be good to sell the cafe and pocket a decent amount, especially since he had just passed exams for the University of Tokyo. However, his own past circumstances as an orphan had made him immediately empathetic of the five women who have been working at the cafe and bonded with his grandmother enough to consider them part of her family. Knowing and understanding his grandmother’s love and warmth, he finds himself unable to turn the other way when her found family is still trying their hardest to keep the lights on for her sake. Of course, this won’t be without its hitches, considering that reopening the cafe means that he’ll have to contend with five rambunctious women who wind up pushing Hayato to his limits.
Its blend of comical cafe antics and intense family drama might wind up giving you a double take when you notice it is a creation of Koji Seo, the mangaka behind Suzuka and Fuuka. They have some good notoriety to them as dramatic romcoms, though with the latter, it became more infamous for both its inclusion of a killer truck and its omission from the anime adaptation. At the moment, Megami no Café Terrace is in its earlier phases so much of the discussion is on how memorable Hayato is as a harem protagonist who is intelligent and has personal autonomy with his life choices. It’s been nice to see how the harem genre as a whole has been thinking more carefully about developing its protagonists, especially since Hayato appears to reflect more on his interactions with the people around him and never forgets the importance of the bonds he’s cultivated with friends and loved ones. It’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out when it serves its first guests this Spring.
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“The girls that appear in this anime are delinquents. Please, do not under any circumstances, imitate anything they do. Don’t do it, man, I’m serious, it’s a bad idea!” With a heavy heart, this is a notion Tousuke Rokudou (Satou Gen) must accept as he is attending Aomori High, a school full of delinquents. He’s often bullied due to his incompatibility but finds a small group of outcasts to align himself with. While he wishes for a better school life, his life is turned upside down when his late grandfather sends over a scroll containing a family heirloom that engraves a strange mark on his forehead. He believes that this power will make him stronger until he finds out that the scroll’s effects do something completely different; they make him irresistible to the delinquent girls at school. When the strongest person in the school, Himawari Ranna (Uesaka Sumire) winds up falling in love with him, it kickstarts Tousuke’s quest to seek peace in an otherwise unruly school.
Tonally, Rokudou no Onna-tachi has a very fascinating vibe to it as it takes on a fun, retro aesthetic to tell a tale of the happenstances and drama that Tousuke is thrown into now that he’s a magnet for delinquent girls. There’s also the added fantasy of having tough girls fall in love with you, but from the looks of things, Tousuke’s dilemma falls solely on achieving normalcy rather than finding love. In the process, Tousuke’s love charm winds up humanizing many of the girls who initially appear to be outright hostile considering how he’ll often need to help them out to show them he’s more interested in their happiness than their affection. I have a feeling that this anime is going to pleasantly surprise many of its viewers and wind up being a sleeper hit in a season packed with heavy hitters and future franchises. Look forward to Rokudou no Onna-tachi when it comes to looking for a fight this Spring.
|Rokudou no Onna-tachi Promotional Videos ▼|
By the late aughts, Japan is trapped in a dystopian takeover as otaku culture has been obliterated by a mysterious organization known as “SSC”. Under their authority, 2D content has been prohibited by law and public expression is restricted. However, their totalitarian regime is challenged by a trio of magical girls, Anarchy (Fairouz Ai), Blue (Aimi Terakawa), and Pink (Kurosawa Tomoyo). They are a group of girls who have been banded together by Otaku King (Furukawa Makoto), a young revolutionary who loves otaku culture and wishes to revitalize it for a new generation. Together, they challenge the SSC to create a new vision for the nation where you are free to embrace your personal fascinations.
On the surface, Mahou Shoujo Magical Destroyers sounds like your standard high-concept anime that tackles otaku fan culture as if it is the pantheon of discourse that needs to be preserved in the face of old-timey cultural outrage. But whereas something like Shimoneta and Akiba’s Trip were influenced by cultural consumption of otaku media as a whole, Mahou Shoujo Magical Destroyers was born from the imagination of self-described “anti-otaku” artist Jun Inagara. Inagawa is an artist who is known for blurring the boundaries between various subcultures to create exhibits dedicated to scribbled manga-style characters, often inspired by magical girls and various aspects of youth culture, including skating, hip-hop, and streetwear. Inagawa has provided illustrations for Adidas, AWGE, Smokepurpp, and Juice WRLD, but Mahou Shoujo Magical Destroyers has the added distinction of being based on an art project from 2019 and is directly involved with the story and original character designs. It should be neat to see if this artistry influences the anime for the better considering that high art is usually influenced by TV anime, but isn’t often directly tied to the creation of TV anime. Whether this works for or against the anime will be in the eye of the beholder as the anime makes its grand debut soon.
As the local shrine maiden for the Takamimi Shrine, young Koganei Koita (Ozaki Yuka) doesn’t have it easy. Sure, taking care of the shrine itself and handling visitors is easy enough considering the job, it’s just one local resident who proves to be a hassle. You see, Takamimi Shrine plays host to Elda (Koshimizu Ami), a venerable elf summoned to Earth some 400 years prior who now plays at being the shrine’s deity. And who also happens to be one hell of an otaku. Games, snack food, select NEET merchandise of choice, it matters not: lay it before Elda and she’ll see to those wishes of visiting shrine patrons. And if Koita and friends have trouble keeping up with the shenanigans, well that just means they have to try harder.
Well boys and girls, say hello to your seasonal slice-of-life comedy. To say Edomae Elf would be wearing its intentions on its sleeve is a bit of an understatement, because as synopsis shows this one is very much going to be all about cheeky comedy, lighthearted scenes, and plenty of relaxation material. In a sense it can be thought of as the more wholesome version of Himouto! Umaru-chan or Gabriel Dropout, where slapstick is exchanged for cutesy shenanigans and the theme of corrupting the perfect and innocent gets exchanged for more simplistic inclinations – i.e. elves get bored too. Is it going to be a season topper? Most likely not, but you definitely don’t need to look further than Edomae Elf if your spring schedule is lacking in a bit of laidback, lighthearted fun.
|Edomae Elf Promotional Videos ▼|
Kuga Ichirou (Yashiro Taku) is struggling to support his two youngest siblings as a mangaka whose father left a small inheritance behind upon his death. He’s close to reaching his breaking point as responsibilities and deadlines pile up on him and his previous two assistants had left him behind to pursue their own dreams. It felt like the weight of the world was on his back until he met Shiori Goshiki (Wakui Yuu), a beautiful and eerily competent woman who applies to become his new assistant. Kuga finds her abilities and looks to be otherworldly to him, but that’s not without good reason since Shiori is actually an extraterrestrial being in hiding. On top of being out-of-this-world, Kuga is further stunned when she suddenly declares that they will be engaged and set to marry soon. How will Kuga handle all of the chaos that his new fiance brings to the table?
Otonari ni Ginga is mangaka Gido Amagakure’s second series to be adapted with the first being Sweetness and Lightning. From this alone, this sounds like it’ll be promising considering how Sweetness and Lightning managed to depict a cute wholesome story about raising an adopted child after the loss of the main character’s spouse. While Kuga shares that MC’s struggle of dealing with the aftermath of tragedy, its supernatural elements with Shiori’s eccentric mysticism should help steer the tone back around to a light-hearted comedy. I can see this particular story being more committed to how Kuga sees his relationships and the heartbreak that can occur before establishing a found family. It should make for a wholesome romance anime when it makes its way into our hearts soon.
|Otonari ni Ginga Promotional Videos ▼|
Suzaki Setsu (Toki Shunichi) certainly has lived an interesting life. Given an all expenses paid isekai adventure of a lifetime, Setsu wound up saving his alternate world in heroic fashion, only for his supportive king to decide he had too much isekai fun for one man (read: grew too powerful) and thus forced Setsu to the return to the real world. As a baby. Quite the turn of events for one of Truck-kun’s noble descendants, and now after growing back up again to a proper introverted teenager all Setsu wants to do is find a way back to that alternate world once again. No matter Setsu’s efforts he cannot figure out how to revert – that is until both he and his entire class find themselves back in that same world courtesy of a second summoning. With five years having elapsed since he left Setsu is not only about to find out how much things have changed, but just how much this world has stayed the same.
Well, we’ve had isekai and reverse isekai, guess it was a matter time before we got the full 360 isekai experience. Not even a slight against Isekai Shoukan wa Nidome desu; when you’re looking for an edge doubling down in veritable recursive fashion is a legitimate idea, particularly when going the comedic route which yes, this one is doing. In effect it’s pretty much Arifureta without the dreary seriousness, where Setsu’s prior experiences colour his more recent desires, and a whole host of characters with knowledge of him give lots of opportunity for nostalgia-fuelled comedy and other lighthearted isekai shenanigans. In short don’t be expecting a lot from this one, and given a middling crew is accompanying a fairly underwhelming production house in Studio Elle I wouldn’t make any bets on serious surprises. Nevertheless it is an adaptation of a completed light novel series, so provided Isekai Shoukan wa Nidome desu doesn’t butcher its material too bad, it could be worth keeping an eye on to satiate any potential isekai hunger pangs.
|Isekai Shoukan wa Nidome Desu Promotional Videos ▼|
I think it’s safe to say we’ve been no strangers to the classical music themed anime throughout our anime careers, and while those might not be nearly as popular as isekai, we can no longer say it’s an obscure genre. At first glance, the premise for Ao no Orchestra seems pretty straightforward: Aono Hajime (Chiba Shouya) is the son of an internationally renowned violinist who carries with him many awards from his childhood to middle-school days when he used to live and breathe for his own violin. However after a bitter divorce between his parents, the boy renounces his practice and ventures into his high school years with no real ambition or passion. An accident at P.E. puts him in the infirmary where he’s woken up by Ritsuko Akine’s (Kakuma Ai) violin playing. That’s how we come to learn about the school’s Orchestra Club. From this point onwards the story of this jaded talented youth and this passionate tsundere aspiring violinist comes to start!
Winner of the 68th Shogakukan Manga Awards for best shounen manga, alongside Yofukashi no Uta, Ao no Orchestra is currently in its 10th volume with serialization on Ura Sunday magazine. Created, illustrated and written by Akui Makoto, the anime adaptation counts with screen writing by Kakihara Yuuko (Orange, Sakamichi no Apollon), music by Kosemura Akira (founder of Schole Records), directing by Kishi Seiji (Asobi Asobase, Tsuki ga Kirei) and Nippon Animation. With such a talented cast and Nippon Animation’s penchant for picking stories with a lot of heart and beautiful messaging, this one seems like a worthy series to give it a try.
|Ao no Orchestra Promotional Videos ▼|
In the year A.S. (Ad Stella) 112 humanity has conquered the depths of space. Private industry dominates the solar system, built on the backs of corporations willing to take the risk – and reap the rewards – over what space has to offer. The Beneritt Group is one such company, dominating the mobile suit industry, and also operating the Asitcassia School of Technology. It’s a school young introvert Suletta Mercury (Ichinose Kana) transfers into, but dreams of a rambunctious school life quickly turn south after social ostracization, corporate competition, and the secretive objectives of her mother Prospera come to the fore. And now, after having saved the life of her betrothed Miorine (Lynn) from certain death at the hands of hired mercenaries, school and its simplicities are set to be the least of Suletta’s worries.
Although undeniably starting slow and taking a different direction than most Gundam series, Witch from Mercury certainly made its first season an explosive affair. Besides playing to the more generic, Valvrave-esque side of Sunrise with its plot and Utena influences, Witch from Mercury featured plenty of the psychological struggles, internecine political conflicts, and over the top characters one expects from all Gundam series. I doubt few would say this ranks among the best series the franchise has to offer (quite a few contenders on that front), but as a new take on the usual mecha shenanigans and intro to Gundam for new viewers it definitely ranks up there and deserves all the hype and praise (and panning) associated with it – and that’s before touching on the first season’s emphatic cliffhanger throwing the door wide open to more. Pretty much if you’re not already best keep an eye on this one this spring, because if there’s one thing Gundams are good at it’s stuffing their second halves chock full of chaos. Considering just how much crazy Witch from Mercury held back in its first season, I dare say this one will be eager to make up for lost time.
|Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo (2023) Promotional Videos ▼|
World Dai Star is a new mixed-media project that promises to take the world by storm. This exciting venture, created by Egg Firm and Bandai Namco Filmworks, with original character designs by Mika Pikazo, is set in a world where Dai Star performers have exploded in popularity on a global scale. The story revolves around the dream of Kokona Ootori, a determined 16-year-old who aspires to become a World Dai Star. To pursue her ambition, Kokona auditions for the prestigious Sirius theatrical troupe.
The project boasts of an anime television series set to premiere in April 2023, which is sure to captivate audiences with its engaging storyline and stunning animation. The project also includes the mobile game World Dai Star: Yume no Stellarium, set to be released in the Summer of 2023. Fans of the project can look forward to immersing themselves in this fascinating world, exploring its rich characters and complex themes.
With the talent of Takahiro behind the project, World Dai Star is poised to take the anime and gaming world by storm. The project promises to offer something for everyone, combining elements of drama, music, and adventure. Fans can look forward to experiencing the journey of Kokona and her fellow Dai Star performers as they strive to reach the pinnacle of success. As the project nears its release, the excitement and anticipation continue to build, leaving fans eager to witness this innovative new world of Dai Star performers.
|World Dai Star Promotional Videos ▼|
Kamado Tanjirou (Hanae Natsuki) has reasonably integrated into the Hashira, an elite group of demon slayers, to help him find the cure for the demonic energy surging through his sister Nezuko (Kito Akari). In the aftermath of his fight in the Entertainment District, Tanjiro’s sword is in a state of disarray and needs to be repaired by the fearsome blacksmith who helped craft it. Along the way, he is forced to step toe-to-toe with a number of demons as he’s aided by the Mist Pillar, Muichiro Tokito (Kawanishi Kengo) and the Love Pillar, Mitsuri Kanroji (Hanazawa Kana). Exactly how much will Tanjiro be able to learn about himself and his own abilities if he’s entrapped in the heat of battle?
The Swordsmith Village arc is a pretty solid arc for fleshing out a good chunk of the Hashira. What you’d be looking forward to is gaining more insight into Muichiro and Mitsuri as their motivations, pasts, and goals are revealed in the upcoming arc. Many have also been clamoring for a certain hot springs scene to remain animated in all of its full glory, but rest assured, it will not be one of the scenes that Ufotable will have to avoid their taxes to flesh out. The main speculation about this arc will be exactly how much they will be able to commit to its notoriety as an action spectacle. It’s a relatively mild breather arc in comparison to the Entertainment District arc and the one that follows, so it should at least be a good opportunity to catch up with the rest of the Hashira as Tanjiro becomes better acquainted with all of his teammates.
|Kimetsu no Yaiba: Katanakaji no Sato Hen Promotional Videos ▼|
They say, “Manifest and you shall have it!” and today I’m here to collect. The Reason Why Raeliana Ended up at the Duke’s Mansion is a manhwa I had the pleasure of accompanying from its release throughout its completion. Park Eunha was just your average high school graduate. Tired from overexerting herself in her studies and disheartened at the various university applications she sent in, she gets pushed off a rooftop by a stranger after the first glimpse of hope for her future––only to wake up in a strange and foreign land. Inhabiting now the body of Raeliana McMillian (Miyamoto Yume), the daughter of a successful oil merchant who was granted the title of Baron. With loving parents and a sweet little sister, she finds herself surrounded of comforts, wealth and no real equivalent pressures to her previous life. It sounds perfect, only this world she now finds herself in, is the world of a novel and Raeliana is a minor character––a plot device really––to get the MC to return home in “The Case of the Murdered Friend.” Yes, Raeliana is the friend who gets murdered. With zero intentions of dying young again, Raeli strategizes her survival plan, which may or may not involve a sham engagement with a certain cold-hearted Duke Noah Wynknight (Umehara Yuuichirou).
Studio Typhoon Graphics (One Room, Sengoku Night Blood) and director Yamamoto Junichi (Anemone, Otona no Bouguya-san series) take the reins of this project. With original story by Milcha and original character design by Whale, I felt like the team has done justice to the work (or so it seems in the PVs). Now all that’s left to do is that good old re-read, add this to my weekly watch list and manifest my two favorite manhwa to be picked up for adaptations: please gods of anime adaptation, please pick up Villains Are Destined to Die and Roxana next!
|Kanojo ga Koushaku-tei ni Itta Riyuu Promotional Videos ▼|
In another time in another place, the showdown of all time is occurring. The necromancer Corpse God (Sakakihara Yuuki), a being of untold power, is facing off against the legendary hero Calamity Crusher, the one chosen by the Church to bring Corpse God to heel. It’s a battle Corpse God inevitably does not win, and yet it’s one he doesn’t quite lose either, thanks to a hidden trick up his sleeve: reincarnation magic. Flinging himself mind and soul across spacetime, Corpse God winds up awakening in the modern world in the body of teenager (and recently murdered) Shinoyama Polka. Polka is not at all the fallen kinsman Corpse God hoped to land within, but with the desire for a peaceful life first and foremost in his mind he’ll make these wholly unexpected circumstances work to his advantage – no matter how many threats real-world and other cross his way.
Buckle up boys and girls, we have a fun one on our hands. While ostensibly an isekai, Dead Mount Death Play is best thought of in the vein of say Hataraku Maou-sama or similar fantasy creatures meet earthly experiences – i.e. all about Corpse God-as-Polka learning the ropes of the real world, doing battle to keep a laidback life, and dealing with quite a few otherworldly transplants after his hide. The big thing, however, will be the feel and atmosphere: similar to Chainsaw Man this one gets unhinged in a rush, with characters, their motivations, and overall developments often whiplashing in only the way a true mystery thriller could. Plus considering DMDP is the brainchild of Durarara’s and Baccano’s author Narita Ryohgo should give a very good idea of just what style of story to expect. Although there’s some production concerns with GEEK TOYS pulling animation duty alongside middling staff, provided DMDP keeps its adaptation slow and methodical this is one show for any anime fan to definitely keep on their spring radar.
|Dead Mount Death Play Promotional Videos ▼|
BokuYaba is my clear top pick this season, but from there it gets a little harder, as the schedule is fat with adaptations I could easily slot in second. Out of that group I’ll start with Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia (Insomniacs After School). It’s another romance series in a season absolutely bursting with good ones. This is another manga I absolutely love – it’s gorgeous, heartfelt, cheeky, and inventive. It’s hard to imagine anyone getting anything original out of a high school romance manga at this point, but Insomniacs never feels less than totally fresh.
As you’d expect, the story here is about insomniacs – a boy named Ganta and a girl named Isaki. Neither can sleep at night, each for their own reasons. What brings them together is the school’s defunct astronomy club (specifically the abandoned – well, mostly – observatory). Isaki and Ganta each have their secrets, but they find a soulmate in the other. The astronomy plays a secondary role at the beginning, but becomes more important as the narrative progresses.
Lidenfilms has definitely been on the upswing recently – not to mention becoming something of an insomnia specialist – and the previews for this show are pretty gorgeous. And they need to be – the art is one of the big draws with the manga, and an adaptation that doesn’t show that off would be doing Insomniacs a disservice. Director Ikeda Yuuki is largely untested in that role, which is one of the few cautionary notes here. If the staff and studio is up to the challenge, Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia has a chance to be truly great, though all the caveats about one-cour adaptations off ongoing manga apply.
|Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia Promotional Videos ▼|
The Marginal Service involves a detective agency that takes it upon itself to help thwart off menacing goons and supernatural entities. In the year 20XX, there is an onslaught of chaos erupting around town, and it’s up to a ragtag crew of buff men, sharp women, and mascot animals to defeat them with the power of violence. It wears its Super Sentai influence on its sleeve but also manages to throw in plenty of campy humor and hot-blooded intensity to its action as The Marginal Service gets its guns cocked and loaded this Spring.
This is one of those shows that’s hard to describe because they just want the promotional material to speak for itself. If it were any other anime, it’d be easier to dissect if it was an auteur piece where I could relate it to past stories that the staff was involved with. But with an unassuming cast and studio, we must look into what advertising suggests this will be about. And that’s when you find out that the one big selling point this show has is definitely that poster. No, not the new one where everyone’s got their action poses out; the OTHER one. The poster where we get tasteful nudes of all of the men in the anime. Because of this particular piece of promo material, any speculation on the plot is bound to be cast aside in favor of the extreme thirst that’d come from seeing buff dudes with only a thin bit of warning tape covering their unmentionables. Whether it factors into anything and their nudity comes into play during the show is purely speculation at this point considering how little has come out about this anime as of early March. But with a roster of well-known VAs and reliable staff members, I’m curious to see how this anime pans out when it exposes itself this Spring.
|The Marginal Service Promotional Videos ▼|
Beneath the satin and smiles lies a dark side to the idol industry, which Dr. Amemiya Gou discovers when his favorite idol, Hoshino Ai (Takahashi Rie), shows up pregnant at his hospital. The good doctor, determined to protect his celebrity crush, dies for Love and unexpectedly re-incarnates as Ai’s child, Aquamarine (Ootsuka Takeo)-an Oedipus complex waiting to happen. As her cuddly child, Aquamarine/Gou makes it his mission to cheer on his mother as she struggles to regain her footing in the life-sucking idol industry.
With the trend in shows that sugarcoat an industry that brutally exploits young girls, it is unusual to see a series that touches on its slimy underbelly. I find the doctor going goo goo eyed over an underage girl, then born as her child who defends her happiness uncomfortable, depending on whether the series takes it into sparkling, happy “do your best” territory or seriously explores the toll the industry’s dark side takes on idols. The scriptwriter, Tanaka Jin looks capable to take on an idol series, having previously written for Love Live!. Both he and the studio, Doga Kobo, previously worked together on for Yesterday wo Utatte, a serious coming of age story which I quite enjoyed-promising for another decent collaboration for this series. If you’re curious about a twist on the popular idol genre, check this series out!
|Oshi no Ko Promotional Videos ▼|
The young Prince Bojji (Hinata Minami) isn’t the most beloved prince of his kingdom. Deaf and mute, Bojji is constantly derided as foolish and weak, picking up the moniker ‘Useless Prince’ for his lack of strength and presence. Yet for all Bojji lacks in stature he easily makes up in heart. Stumbling across the shadow creature Kage (Murase Ayumu) one day, Bojji and the shadow form an unlikely friendship thanks to Kage not paying much attention to Bojji’s shortcomings. It’s enough to kickstart Bojji on the path to rulership, where he sets out determined to conquer his fears and insecurities no matter what may come his way. One way or another, Bojji will fulfill his dream of being the best king he can be.
Ousama Ranking was an amazing treat back when it aired in fall 2021, effectively taking the Emperor’s New Clothes and turning it into a wonderfully charming story of adventure, personal struggle, and coming of age. While admittedly dropping off in its later half due to some questionable midseason developments, this was a show deserving of all its accolades, so to know we’re getting more material certainly isn’t problematic, even if some caveats do exist. For starters this season will be an anime original, and a side-story to boot; anyone’s guess if it’ll happen during or after the events of the first season (money is on the former given the skipped material), but don’t anticipate a lot of story advancement. Likewise is the length – a single cour of 8-12 episodes is most likely here so don’t expect a lot of new material to sink your teeth into. At least the good news is that Wit returns to produce so the cheery animation and artwork can be expected to carry on apace. It’s anyone’s guess right now just how well this side-story will compare to the original, but without a doubt Ousama Ranking: Yuuki no Takarabako is one show worthy of everyone’s attention to this season.
|Ousama Ranking: Yuuki no Takarabako Promotional Videos ▼|
Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey through the vast world of Pokémon in the latest installment of the beloved Pokémon series! Introducing Riko and Roy, the two young protagonists who are about to take the Pokémon universe by storm in a brand new adventure that promises to be nothing short of epic.
Pokémon the Series: Pocket Monsters (2023) marks the ninth chapter in the celebrated Pokémon franchise, and it’s not just any ordinary continuation. This time around, the entire world of Pokémon is at your fingertips, featuring all the regions from the main-series games, including the upcoming Generation IX games Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. With such a diverse range of locales, the series is set to offer an unparalleled exploration experience that will leave fans of the franchise yearning for more.
While the show’s Japanese name shares a moniker with the original Pokémon series as well as the 2019 series, it features a unique storyline centered around the two exciting protagonists, Riko and Roy. As they journey through the world of Pokémon, they’ll encounter countless challenges and meet new characters, all while forging unforgettable memories and learning valuable life lessons along the way.
Though it remains to be seen whether this new series is linked to the era of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu, one thing is certain – this is a new chapter in the Pokémon franchise that is sure to capture the hearts of both new and old fans alike. So grab your Pokéballs, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the world of Pokémon like never before!
|Pocket Monsters (2023) Promotional Videos ▼|
Over a century has past since mankind and beastkind fought their last war and established a lasting peace. A peace born through sacrifice. Every year a young female is chosen to be eaten by the King of Beasts (Hino Satoshi), a tradition which has carried on uninterrupted since the war, and a tradition the 15 year-old girl Sariphi (Hanazawa Kana) must now participate in. Yet Sariphi is not like the previous sacrifices. Lack of fear, optimism, some might say idealism: Sariphi is wholly different from the rest, enough so that the Beast King decides to let her wander his kingdom and learn more about her before the fateful night. Little does the king know, however, that his decision has set the stage for the greatest upheaval the world has witnessed.
Alright, let’s get the obvious out the way: yes, Niehime to Kemono no Ou is basically Beauty and the Beast writ anew, and yes, it most definitely is a furry themed show – though don’t let that be the only thing you take away from it. This one is a surprisingly pleasant romance at heart, letting the innocence and naivety of Sariphi meld with the more down to earth expectations of the Beast King and his people and play up a story that’s as optimistic as it is idealistic. It’s basically Mahoutsukai no Yome if it decided to replace its MC with Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho’s Mercenary, so anyone looking for a nice bit of introspective fantasy will easily be at home here. The jury is naturally out for just how good it will be, but with a completed manga story to work with and a very suitable studio in J.C. Staff this is one show I firmly recommend any fantasy and romance fan keep a watch out for this spring.
|Niehime to Kemono no Ou Promotional Videos ▼|
|03/21||Yomawari Neko | 夜廻り猫
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi
|03/22||Sore Shikanai Wakenai Deshou | それしか ないわけ ないでしょう
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia
|04/01||Chibi Godzilla no Gyakushuu | ちびゴジラの逆襲
AniDB,ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList
|04/03||Bosanimal | ぼさにまる
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList
|04/08||Gunma-chan Season 2 | ぐんまちゃん シーズン2
AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, Syoboi
|04/13||Den Den no Denno Densha | でんでんの電脳電車
|03/08||Evangelion: 3.0 (-46h)
Bundled w/ 3.0+1.0 BD Release.
|03/08||EVANGELION:3.0+1.11 THRICE UPON A TIME
|03/15||Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Movie: Maji Love ST☆RISH Tours
劇場版 うたの☆プリンスさまっ♪ マジLOVEスターリッシュツアーズ
|03/24||Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita! Precious Friends
Wataten! An Angel Flew Down to Me
|03/29||Inu ni Nattara Suki na Hito ni Hirowareta. OVA
My Life as Inukai-san’s Dog OVA
|Bundled w/ LE BD Volume 1.|
|March 2023||Moshi Meta: Moshi Joshikousei ga Metaverse de Miko ni Nattara
|Young Animator’s Training Project 2023|
|Young Animator’s Training Project 2023|
|March 2023||Tsuru ga Mau Yoru ni | 鶴が舞う夜に
|Young Animator’s Training Project 2023|
|March 2023||Wander Burabura Bakkamu
|Young Animator’s Training Project 2023|
|04/05||Free! The Final Stroke: Part 2
劇場版Free!-the Final Stroke- 後編
|04/06||Ensemble Stars!! Tsuioku Selection Element
|YouTube Web Release.|
|04/16||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby – Road to the Top
ウマ娘 プリティーダービー Road to the Top
|YouTube Web Release.|
|04/27||Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Kan OVA
|Bundled w/ Switch/PS4 Game.|
|05/10||Azur Lane: Queen’s Orders | アズールレーン Queen’s Orders
Episode 1 of 2.
|05/24||Sword Art Online: Progressive Movie – Kuraki Yuuyami no Scherzo
劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -プログレッシブ- 冥き夕闇のスケルツォ
Sword Art Online the Movie: Progressive – Scherzo of Deep Night
|05/26||Tenchi Muyou! GXP: Paradise Shidou-hen
|BD Volume 1 Release.|
|06/14||ONE PIECE FILM: RED
|06/30||Tenchi Muyou! GXP: Paradise Shidou-hen
|BD Volume 2 Release.|
As is convention now for those who aren’t Patreon supporters make sure to read this post’s excerpt – the preview will be freely available for everyone this Thursday!
Um, That Dr. Stone summary sound like a spoiler for a future season.
little spoiler or big spoiler? I’m unfamiliar with the series, so I had to pull from different sources and ended up with a mixed bag. If it’s tremendous – maybe I could find some time to change it. Thanks anyway.
IIRC no spoilers there, most of it is refresher from earlier seasons. Would’ve bonked FJ otherwise lol.
Well it might be a spoiler for the actual season.
Uhm no, that is huge spoilers. None of that has even happened yet.
It pretty much describes things we don’t even know can happen, let alone that it happened.
agree. i watched previous season a long time ago, but dont remember anything from description in the preview…
Hmm given the feedback (and some belated catch up on my end) I’ll spoiler it for the moment and see if either FJ or myself can fix it.
Thanks a lot for these previews! They look like a lot of work and they are very helpful in deciding which shows to pick up for the new season.
Thanks for enjoying them, and really glad they’re of assistance!
And oh yeah, these are a lot of work, but being able to split it up over a month or so helps 😛
I have only one word:
anidb has this info free don’t join the Patreon it’s a scam
Of course it is, clearly we don’t collect info from ANN, MAL, LiveChart, AllCinema, and various sites dedicated to the previewed series too, make the seasonal schedule with the listing info Syoboi and MOONPHASE provide, and top it off with writing showing our impressions of what the show might be about. Or, you know, still provide this preview for free a few days after releasing to our Patreon supporters.
Yes, definitely a scam 😂
It’s nice that the wait for non-Patreons is a little shorter this time around. (That and I’ve been playing HoloCure a lot.)
Will still take a look at LiveChart to pick my poison for this season (haven’t been watching Joey’s season preview videos lately), but I guess I can make my watch list tomorrow.
Thank you for your hard work (including keeping the comments section civilized).
OK… Let’s effing go…
– Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen wo! – The origin story of the cute and funny (*wink*) Megumin is finally in animated form. Should be enough to tide me over until KonoSuba gets a proper season 3.
– Ultraman Final – One of the few shows that convinced me that 3D CG in anime is getting a lot better. Also warmed up to the series’ premise of Ultramen basically being human-sized, but still no less badass (including main protagonist Shinjiro Hayata). Loved the previous season’s introduction to new Ultramen who would later join the team (and Ayane Sakura as Maya, an alien princess who turns out to be a reluctant pawn of a greater antagonist).
Carryovers from last season:
– Vinland Saga Season 2 – TBH, while the Game of Thrones-y subplot about King Canute’s plan to take over Ketil’s farm is pretty intriguing, I’m more interested in seeing if Leif finally reunites with (the actual) Thorfinn after meeting Ketil.
– KanColle: Itsuka Ano Umi de – Took this long for an eight-episode series, huh? Also, Musashi given worse than the “Shouhou treatment” (read: “sunk” offscreen)…goddamnit. On a different note, Ken Narita (Jeremiah Gottwald, the new Bright Noa) as the actual Admiral? Very nice, even if it feels like the iron’s gone cold on this series.
– NieR:Automata Ver1.1a – Came for the 2Booty, stayed for the philosophical, existential questions about the human experience as seen through the eyes of androids and machine lifeforms (and actually gorgeous animation from A-1). COVID-19 do be wreaking havoc on the anime’s production, though.
– Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha II(?) – Another anime affected by COVID-19 delays… Any more and I might just lose the plot completely.
– Nijiyon Animation Specials (via LiveChart) – Damn, it’s close to the end of March already… Thank you, Tomori Kusunoki. o7
Obligatory sequel/movie/OVA watch:
– Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. 2 – This isekai series got a second season? Seriously though, is the isekai trend still iron-hot at this point? Judging by the amount of isekai anime adaptations being churned out this season, I guess it still is. Genre’s getting bloated though.
– Azur Lane: Queen’s Orders – Over at the other (Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio), other (Hai-Furi), other (Azur Lane) moe warship series…
– Oregairu Kan OVA
Maybe give it 3 episodes?:
– Oshi no Ko – Wonder if this series will raise some (uncomfortable) questions about the nature of parasocial relationships in the idol fandom? (And to a similar extent, the VTuber fandom as well.) God knows I’ve been pondering about this on occasion.
– Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi o Suru – Wonder if this rom-com will be more serious in tone than 2017’s Gamers!? Akane(?) be looking like Marin Kitagawa’s twin, though.
Late-breaking pickups as season progresses (or good word-of-mouth circulates about a show or two). Would love some recent updates on Winter 2023 shows delayed by the ‘Rona, however.
Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha II to restart airing in July:
I know it’s force majeure (though it’s also possible it’s simply production-related), but what a waste of a season. On a somewhat related note, on a long standby for new episodes of NieR:Automata Ver1.1a…
“Final Phase” of Trigun: Stampede teased (sort of confirming Choya’s mention of an upcoming film back in episode 09):
My optimist side hopes that Studio Orange makes Trigun: Stampede‘s final phase a good one. But my cynical side senses they’ve rushed through existing source content too quickly–or maybe the manga feels longer. And is it a film, or another season? Wait-and-see it is.
And some good news for Re:Zero fans:
=== Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen o! ===
For some reason this title is giving me Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu vibes (The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan) but besides that I wanted to say the shenanigans continued.
My question: does Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen o! need to be a comedy? The main story was funny enough. I am curious how this would fare compared to Konosuba’s main story. Since Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu was absolutely different from Suzumiya Haruhi.
Well, they have different connections to their main stories: Yuki-chan is an alternate timeline, but Explosion! is a direct prequel to KonoSuba.
Considering what we’ve seen of their personalities, I don’t see how a story populated with nothing but Crimson Mages could be anything but a comedy.
Well, the producer could take a more serious route with a Crimson Mage story.
I don’t foresee it happening. Konosuba by nature is a comedy, and while there may be serious moments, it’s never going to be front and centre. Particularly when this is Megumin we’re talking about lol.
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear
Cinderella Girls U149
My Home Hero
Alice Gear Aegis
Oshi no Ko
Watashi no Yuri wa Oshigoto Desu
Give it an episode
World Dai Star
Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia
It will be a heavy season, I see 🙂
This season ran me ragged so it seems strange to hope for fewer watchable shows this time around, but there it is.
Tengoku Daimakyou looks like a must watch, 150 octane nightmare fuel by the look of the PV. Oshi no Ko too if I can get used to the eyes and of course EXPLOSION!!!! The rest I’ll take as they come, I guess.
Tengoku Damiakyou is an odd one. It’s very dark and nightmarish in some ways, but tonally it plays like a comedy sometimes. I was unsure how well that would translate to anime, but Production I.G. seems to be totally invested and pulling out all the stops.
Thanks for the preview! As usual, it’s very informative. For example, I came into this season without knowing that Niehime to Kemono no Ou was getting an adaptation. I liked it when I was reading the manga, so I’ll keep an eye out.
Also, looking forward to more Gundam after last season’s cliffhanger.
I must say I’m surprised about the summary for Oshi no Ko, though. No mention that the original source’s writer is none other than Aka Akasaka, of Kaguya: Love Is War fame. That was one of the main selling points of the manga back in the day.
Indeed. Akasaka Aka is a genius, and he created the Oshi no Ko original together with the talented creator of Kuzu no Honkai.
Hoshi no Ko’s first episode is 90 minutes for a reason. Remember the Urobutcher’s (in)famous quote that he wanted to create something sweet and wholesome for a change? Here we go again…
wow this season is stacked.
feels like season of the romcoms though.. look like they will be mostly good but so many
You guys still have the best season previews around, both comprehensive and insightful in the summaries. Big thanks for all the efforts.
A question – any chance the members of RC (whoever is available/willing) could do a end of season debrief/discussion/chat on thoughts and impressions of the series of the prior season? One for the Youtube channel perhaps, if not in written format
Thanks very much, kind of you to say so.
And thank you for enjoying them! It’s honestly everyone who reads them which keeps us doing them in the first place.
Regarding the question that’s actually not a bad idea. I’ve had some thoughts about it before, just a matter of what format and how many of us can get involved. Something else for us to consider, albeit more seriously given this season is ridiculous haha
Absolutely disagree! While the Anime did not go into many of the LN/WN’s
darker details, I liked the characters and story’s progression. I kinda see it as
an underappreciated gem. But everyone gets their opinion …
Moving on …
Some pleasant surprise sequels for me include:
Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. 2
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear Punch!
Mahoutsukai no Yome Season 2
… and YES, there is a God —
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen o!
Dr. Stone: New World
A bunch of other new series imma gonna check out including:
Isekai One Turn Kill Nee-san: Ane Douhan no Isekai Seikatsu Hajimemashita
Isekai de Cheat Skill o Te ni Shita Ore wa, Genjitsu Sekai o mo Musou Suru: Level Up wa Jinsei o Kaeta
Looks to be a pretty decent isekai season (there are a lot of isekais).
Hopefully, there won’t be any pauses in any of the titles like we’ve
had in the winter 2023 season. Like I wonder if (e.g.) Bofuri will finish
its slated episode count of 12 episodes …
Is there a reason FJ’s summaries don’t have the editorial/commentary bit at the bottom?
As a longtime RC reader (10+ years), a big draw of RC’s season previews is the insight offered by the author’s impressions at the bottom of each summary (on staff involved, source material, personal thoughts, etc), beyond only stating the plot summary. I see all the other preview summaries include this, but FJ’s don’t.
Hoping this is not a trend and will be rectified for future previews?
No worries it’s a one-off. Time constraints forced some compromises this preview – next one won’t have the same issue!
Thanks for the reply. Appreciate you guys’ time and work in putting these out.
Add another great movie announcement:
=== YAMADA-KUN TO LV999 NO KOI WO SURU ===
I just watched the first episode that came out yesterday today, and immediately; I fell in love with the story. Yamada, and Akane are a funny pair. Being hooked on the very first episode of a new Anime isn’t normal for me. I haven’t ended up like this since the 90s. I blame Buddy Daddies, Daddies Buddy—hmm, Two Daddies? (¬˾¬) for breaking down my stoic heart. I am psyched about how Akane will manage Yamada’s A-sexual behavior.
By the sponging to break boredom, I somehow binge through Kuma Kuma due to a recommendation from a friend which then Crunchy “recommended” By the Grace of God. Then somehow all these isekai (Isekai Shoukan), isekai (Isekai de Cheat), isekai (Isekai wa Smartphone) that even my spare one brain cell was like wtf, I need some substance…. Cause DAYUM, it is starting to feel like I wasn’t watching three different series. I did kinda trek out into the theaters and splurge to watch the Demon Slayer “movie,” so can’t wait for the new season for some hardcore Unlimited Budget Work fight scenes. Novel fan of Mahoutsukai no Yome. And I have been hearing rumblings about Kanojo ga Koushaku-tei ni Itta Riyuu from the manwha followers. My Home Hero looks grit from y’all’s synopsis. Jigokuraku has been advertised heavily on my social media platforms. And I am saving Vinland to future binge.
Ranking of Kings Season 2 coming out the 13TH OF APRIL, not the 14th of April! YOU LIED!!!
Or we simply screwed up in reading and reporting the premiere time when we last checked because Western sources and Japanese sources use different scheduling. Clearly though we were out to deceive 😂
Thank you for putting this together as always!
Kinda confused as to why the Furi series is at the list since it didn’t had to re-run like some other series from last season nor is a sequel,
It’s just still in the mid of its air no?