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Spring has sprung! I don't think the winter anime season was all that great, but we've got big name shows returning, and new shows to dig into. I'm satisfied with what we've gotten, and what's come back. Something of note this season is that Anime Strike, Amazon's exclusive anime channel, has snagged a few good exclusives, forcing yours truly to purchase a subscription. As a cord cutter, I'm still paying way less for my entertainment than cable subscribers. I just hope that I'm not forced to sign up for yet another anime site in the future.

Returning Favorites

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan S2

There's no way to avoid the return of Attack on Titan, and I don't know why you would want to. Sure, AoT is more driven by its awe-inspiring moments and twists, but there are few who are uninterested in what happens to Eren and the Survey Corps. In the few episodes shown this season, I think my jaw has dropped further down than it did during Season 1. It's so good!

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My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia Season 2

The one-two punch of One Punch Man and My Hero Academia stunned me. It was anime's commentary on superheroes, in two distinct styles. That was a lot of awesome to take in. One Punch will come when it comes, but My Hero Academia is back! The students have survived their first super villain attack, but they still have to prove they have what it takes to be superheroes. The first arc has them competing against each other in a super-powered sports festival.

The Eccentric Family

Eccentric Family

I dearly love The Eccentric Family. The first season was a spectacular story of tanuki and tengu who coexist with humans in modern times. I don't think there is one character who I liked less than the others. Each character has a personality and role to play that feels necessary to the world. The new season introduces a new character, and he's a great addition. He is a tanuki, and tanuki are very powerful in this world. I cannot wait for the conflict- and the fun!

Berserk

Berserk S2

The new Berserk series is an incredible example of something deserving of a second chance. I can understand that people gave up on 2016's Berserk simply because they hate 3D CG, didn't like the poor level of animation, or both. The story is still great, and that's why I want to support the new Berserk for as long as possible.

Runners-up

Sakura Quest

Sakura Quest

Adulting is rough. Sometimes you might find yourself taking jobs that you don't fit with. That's part of Sakura Quest's premise. At first, Koharu Yoshino is in this predicament, where she's being rejected for all the jobs she wants to have. Then she, through error, gets hired to be the queen of a town who want to revitalize their tourism economy. I may watch more of this, but it's hard for me to finish a slice of life show if it doesn't have a strong emotional thrust.

When it's cold outside, we look to anime to warm our hearts. Has this year's anime succeeded in providing good feelings to anime fans? I think it's been a mixed bag, which is usually the case for winter seasons.

I'll Watch it Eventually

Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia has gone from short film to series, but it's a Netflix exclusive overseas. While Japan enjoys the further adventures of three young witches, I'll  have to wait a few months. In the final episode of Space Patrol Luluco, another Studio Trigger joint, the Little Witch series was announced, and it was damn adorable. I hope that the TV show maintains the quality-and cuteness- of the film.

 

Returning Favorites

Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super, being the shounen show that it is, is hard to catch up on, especially if you actually want to watch all the new series. I started from the very beginning, and I really got into it with the Future Trunks arc. It's definitely the high point of the show so far. It feels like the 90s again for me!

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shuinju: Descending Stories

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 2

What can a great show do to top its first excellent season? Nothing, really, but Descending Stories does not lazily coast on the success of its flashback season. I thought that this modern day story would be much lighter hearted, since the focus is on Yotarou, and not on the old master Yakumo. Nope, I'm still crying every episode. Rakugo Shinju still has legs, and I have to watch every episode almost as soon as it comes out. This is an incredibly strong anime.

Ai Mai Mi Surgical Friends

Ai Mai Mi 2

This is the type of anime that even anime fans scratch their head at. It's a short form comedy, and it's entirely bizarre. Go ahead, ask me what it's about...

I DON"T KNOW! Yes, it is about school girls going about their daily life, but it's not a slice-of-life show. Suddenly one of the girls is taken over by a malevolent entity. Someone pisses themselves. One of the girls has a hidden origin where she was really an orphan warrior. There is a talking llama. Why is the new season called Surgical Friends? Again, I have no idea. That title has nothing to do with anything. Just-just go with it.

Ao no Exorcist

Ao no Exorcist - Blue Exorcist Kyoto Arc

New Ao no Exorcist? It took a long time! I did want to see more about this show, and once I had watched a couple episodes, I had felt like I was home again. I rediscovered the worth of Ao no Exorcist, why I got caught up in it the first time around. Ao no Exorcist is like anime's version of Hellboy. It's about a boy with the powers of his father, who also happens to be Satan. Many people lost their lives to the dark lord, and they aren't happy to work with this demon child. In the new season, Rin Okamura is still on unsteady ground with the people he works beside, since they got a grand demonstration of his powers.

I don't know how long it will take me to catch up with this season, but every episode I have seen has been a pleasure.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shufuku wo! (Konosuba)

Konosuba

I've seen many "stuck in a fantasy world" anime in just the last 5 years, but Konosuba has a twist, just like Re: Zero does. Konosuba's twist is that it's a comedy rather than a serious shounen action series. Also, the lead character is somewhat despicable. He is our protagonist, but Kauma's not exactly a hero. Konosuba is absolutely hilarious. I liken it to Seinfeld or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, where these characters act unlike how you expect rational people to behave. On top of that, they have their quirks and shortcomings. It makes for a pleasant watch, especially if you're watching as many serious, heartbreaking shows as I do.

The Runners-up

Gabriel Dropout

It's nearly the end of 2016, and we're nearing the end of another anime season. I feel that anime should end strong towards the end of the year, but it didn't happen this time. This was a strong year for anime, just not ending on a high note. So what's the last season of the year have to offer us?

Returning Favorites

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

jojo-diamond-2

The bizarre don't stop, and I'll never stop watching! The battles of Josuke Higashikata and his friends vs a serial murder continues to put me on the edge of my chair. When it's not surprising me with crazy plot points, it cracks me up with weird and outright funny moments.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans

gundamibo2

Even more orphans for your viewing pleasure! While the show's focus has shifted a bit onto new Human Debris kids, it still maintains the quality of the first season. I absolutely miss the OP and ED songs from the original season, but Mika and the gang are still here. You aren't ever sure if everyone's going to make it through the conflict, especially with how many losses Tekkadan have taken. I haven't been excited about a Gundam show in more than a decade, and I wonder if another Gundam will be as special to me as this one has been.

Bungo Stray Dogs

bungo

Bungo Stray Dogs started its return with a pivot from the tone it had initially, before returning to the present timeline's story. It was unexpected and very welcome to have this flashback arc, which takes it self a lot more seriously than the present timeline's gang. I'm not one of the people who hated the comedic shifts in tone, but I didn't think Stray Dogs had the ability to keep a straight face for so long.

I Finally Watched...

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

It's no secret that One Piece is a massive phenomenon over in Japan and within the worldwide anime community. Over 800 manga chapters, 770 episodes, a dozen films, theme park attractions, and even stage adaptations have kept the adventures of

It's time to go back to school, and there's no more time for vacation. Summer is at an end! I hope you've had time for anime, between going to the pool or visiting your relatives. Even if you haven't, I have some anime you might want to catch up on.

Returning Favorites

The Heroic Legend of Arslan

Heroic Legend of Arslan Dust Storm Dance

Arslan is no less heroic in the new season. I love The Heroic Legend of Arslan, but its one problem is that Arslan and his forces are too superior to their enemies. I'm glad that there are some new surprises in the plot to keep the show fresh.

Food Wars! Shokugeki no SomaFood Wars season 2

Foodgasms are back! Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma continues its tournament arc, and its as weird and wacky as ever. Where else are you going to get a JoJo's Bizarre Adventure-meets-food reference? Speaking of JoJos...

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

JoJo's Diamond 2

The 4th JoJo's team is back, and crazy stuff continues to happen in a small town. I loved the Jotaro Kujo era, but Josuke and his allies come close to beating them. Shocking, funny, and...bizarre, Diamond is Unbreakable is still appointment television.

Runners-up

DAYS

DAYS

I'm glad that I try sports anime out. DAYS is the story of a high school student who isn't a gifted athlete, but he has the heart to persevere. I'm a sucker for these kinds of stories, whether they're sports-related or not. I liked the first episode, but I haven't included this in my rotation of anime.

Servamp

Servamp

At first, I was very interested in Servamp. It felt a little fresh, creating a world where humans and vampires have a unique relationship. Then I gradually felt like Servamp was going nowhere. There are times when I watch a show and I realize that the action may have been an afterthought, and the primary genre is something else. Anime News Network only calls it an action show, but My Anime List has josei (young women) as one of its categories. I think Servamp's real purpose is to allow girls to watch a bunch of vampire guys deal with their drama.

Amanchu!

amanchu

I don't know what it is that attracts me about Amanchu! Maybe it's the laid back pace, or the peppy, positive Hikari. Whatever it is, it has led me to catch up to the most recent episode. Amanchu! is not for everyone. I can see people getting tired of Hikari saying "Peu peu peu!" all the time. If you have a bucket list, and you want to check "watched an anime about diving" off it, then you should watch this show regardless.