This spring season has been a big deal in the anime community! So many shows are returning. Really hyped anime, some of which are based on popular manga, have finally made their debut. Is the hype worth it? I think we should dig into the spring!
The Netflix Effect
Piano No Mori
Piano no Mori (or just Piano) is the only Netflix exclusive this season. It's about a very young piano virtuoso, I guess. Piano no Mori looks fantastic, at a movie level of quality. I don't know how many months down the line it will come to Netflix. That's alright. I think Piano no Mori is the kind of anime I can afford to wait for anyway.
I Finally Saw It!
So I learned this at the last minute: Aggretsuko is not a spring 2018 anime! It's not even a 2018 anime! It originally debuted in 2016, and found its way to Netflix, where it's been English dubbed.
Sanrio is a weird company. They have Hello Kitty and her animal pals, who sell a whole slew of merchandise. Then Sanrio allows shows like Sanrio Boys to be made. That's not the oddest thing they've let happen. Aggretsuko is their latest project, but it's for sure not for kids. If you've ever had a desk job, a greuling full time position that is unfulfilling, then you know where Aggretsuko is coming from. This is a workplace comedy, but with adorable animals as people! One of our adorable characters is Retsuko, a female red panda who takes out her frustrations by screaming death metal into a karaoke mic in the bathroom. Yep, this is adorable Sanrio! I hope no one is fooled by the cuteness of the character art; don't skip over this on Netflix.
Amanchu actually came back for another season! My heart grows 20 sizes whenever I watch the show. Something is different this time, and that's my only criticism of Amanchu! Advance. This season is weird, because it's supposed to be about Futabi ("Teko") getting an advanced scuba diving license- AND (possibly) advancing her relationship with Hikari ("Pikari"). The second season has far more episodes about vivid dream worlds than actual character interaction. I hope that the last few episodes carry the relationship between these characters further.
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia continues to prove why it has gained such an incredible following. You have the excellent action, the drama, and the long-term consequences that heroes like Deku have to live with when fighting villains. If you have ever claimed to love superheroes, but you don't watch MHA, I have to tell you, you are only hurting yourself by not watching it.
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
We're back to the foodgasams! Shokugeki no Soma had a moment (about half a season) where they were doing things a little different. We've gone away from the beloved shokugeki. It's coming back, because, um, it's in the name of the show, so not to worry. I think that the battle we're headed towards is going to be incredibly fun to watch.
It has been a long, long while since I've watched Steins;Gate. The last show in the Science Adventure series I watched was Occultic;Nine, and that is definitely not a show of the same quality as Steins. Steins;Gate 0 takes place after the end of the original anime, so newbies will be confused if starting off with this series. Steins; Gate 0 makes me feel the same emotions as it did in those last few episodes, where Okabe Rintaro was desperately trying to fix a bad future.
Full Metal Panic
I don't think it's fair for me to call this a returning favorite, because I haven't watched all of Full Metal Panic. I liked the FMP I have seen, so it's kind of a favorite? Anyway, the new Full Metal Panic is so good! The action is great, but if you're a true fan, and not a fake-ass loser who didn't watch FMP when I had the chance, you already know what the quality level of Full Metal Panic should be.
Fooly Cooly has not one but two seasons for you; I don't know how you feel, but I never expected to see more FLCL in my lifetime.The first season up is FLCL Progressive, and the third season will be FLCL Alternative. Progressive takes place after the original FLCL. We have a completely new set of characters, but one old character definitely makes her presence known. Crazy beings are still popping out of peoples' heads, people are still getting hit by vehicles at high speed (and somehow living) and there's still a giant iron. What's not the same is how Hidomi figures into this story, and how the horn on her head changes her.
Cutey Honey Universe
Cutey Honey is still fighting evil! I guess there's no better time for Go Nagai's Cutey Honey to have a new anime, because Devilman: Crybaby was a hit on Netflix. Cutey Honey makes my cut because of its brand of humor. It's dirty, but also silly. Cutey Honey is a very episodic show that is tonally shifted from the dark, wild Devilman.
Magical Girl Ore
Magical girl shows seem constantly fodder for parody. You would think that there's nowhere else to go. No, Magical Girl Ore knows where to go. Ore plays with every facet of magical girl life, from the mascots to the beautiful transformations, to the romantic entanglements. Magical Girl Ore is the fun show I pop in on every now and then, when I don't have much else to watch.
Space Battleship Tiramisu
Oh man, the laughs I've had with this sci-fi comedy. This is not like any mecha show you've ever seen. I'm not lying to you! Space Battleship Tiramisu, if you couldn't tell from the title, is not focused on space battles or real drama. Pilot Subaru Ichinose is more concerned with himself and his own comfort than with saving the universe, and that's alright with me.
Tsuredure Children totally hit the right notes in its first season, and I feel like Crossing Time is hitting a few of those same notes. The cast changes from episode to episode, and the relationships aren't always romantic ones. One episode had a same sex love interest, another had a brother and sister, and yet another had a teacher and student. It's a quick burst of comedy that I enjoy quite a bit.
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for an Otaku
After falling in love with Recovery of an MMO Junkie, Wotakoi seems like the adult romantic comedy tailor-made to replace it. I think MMO Junkie is the better anime, but Wotakoi has its moments. Wotakoi does not feel the same as MMO Junkie. The first episode focuses on Narumi, who comes to work at the same place her old school buddy. Wotakoi focuses on the group more than Narumi.
Gegege no Kitaro
Gegege no Kitaro has been revived many times over the decades. It's a super old story, and yet, I haven't seen a Kitaro anime until now. I thought Kitaro would be a horror comedy, but there is a lot of fighting in the show. It feels a bit like Pokemon in that respect. I think Kitaro should get peeked at by anyone who is into kid-friendly anime. Its characters and world a unique and interesting.
The Best Anime of Spring 2018
Lupin III, Part V
Lupin the Third is still around, and it's still really, really good. Isn't it weird when a series that's been around for decades tackles new issues, like...the internet? Lupin is on the internet, and that is weird. It's Lupin and the gang vs cryptocurrency and stuff like that. Can he handle that? Well, he is Lupin. There's nothing he can't steal.
Hell yeah, Megalobox! Are you rooting for the Junk Dog? The style on exhibit by Megalobox is delicious. The 80s and 90s aesthetic is what Megalobox is going for. I don't think any show this season looks like it. So Megalobox is a futuristic take on Ashita no Joe, the old boxing series. These are two different Joes, but at the core, they are still the same. The new Joe is a scrappy fighter who needs to learn to be a more disciplined fighter in order to make it up in the ranks. The futuristic angle to Megalobox is that most fighters wear Gear, technology which enhances their fighting ability. I don't care about most sports anime, but I love a fight, and I love an underdog.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Nueue These
This is a space war sci-fi, but not like Gundam, or Macross. Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Nueue These is a retelling of the original Legend of the Galactic Heroes, which I (and I think most current anime fans) have never seen. Legend switches perspectives from one side of the galactic war to another, and fills in a lot of details concerning the galactic empire and the forces who resist them. I think people who enjoy war stories will enjoy Legend more than sci-fi fans will.
When I saw the covers for the Golden Kamuy manga, I thought "Man, this must be serious. I guess this is why this series is so popular" When I got to watch the anime, I finally learned what Golden Kamuy is about- and it's not just a serious narrative.
With each episode of Hinamatsuri, I think I like this comedy more and more. Not only is it funny, but there is a heart there that I didn't expect. I didn't expect, for instance, to be thinking about the plight of the homeless. Isn't this supposed to be about a kid with strange powers entering another world? This is strange to call a spoiler, but I'm spoiling the fact that there are a few episodes where Hinna's supernatural abilities aren't used at all. It's just dumb or absurd humor, or a little drama. Hey, that's completely fine! Hinamatsuri can do as it wishes, because it's doing a fine job.
So I think that's all I have to say about the spring. I always feel like I'm completely forgetting an anime that I liked or loved. I've listed quite a lot of shows regardless. You can contact me here with any anime you enjoyed in the spring.