And it’s that time once again. Here’s a quick rundown of the spring anime season is bringing us in the sf world. As always, click through to the official sites to check out more promos and art…


Ace-Attorney

Ace Attorney

The premise: A brilliant lawyer and his occult assistant make sure justice is done in the courtroom.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Video game adaptations usually suck. But this seems like it could be one of the lucky ones, with the source games having a strong story element and a certain kind of weirdness that could translate well to anime. But video game adaptations usually suck.

Premiere: April 2

Beyblade-Burst

Beyblade Burst

The premise: Kids have battles with magic spinning tops.

Derivative factor: Latest installment of big franchise

The buzz: A great big “Huh!”. Many of today’s anime fans watched the original Beyblade as kids and are mildly interested for the nostalgia factor.

Premiere: April 4

Big-Order

Big Order

The premise: Kids have powers granted by fairies according to the wishes they make. One of them happens to have wished for the world to be destroyed.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: It kind of sounds like a previously adapted story from the same author, which had a mixed reception at the time.

Premiere: April 15

Bungo

Bungō Stray Dogs (Stray Dog Literati)

The premise: Famous historical Japanese authors are reimagined as superpowered crimefighters.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: One of the more anticipated shows of the season, with popular source material and good-looking previews.

Premiere: April 6

Endride

Endride

The premise: A teenager is transported by a magic crystal to a land beneath the surface of the earth, where he helps a captive prince fight for his throne.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Few people are sure what to make of this, but the art looks cool.

Premiere: April 2

Flying-Witch

Flying Witch

The premise: A teenage witch and her cat move to the countryside to live with her cousin.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Looks like it’ll be a very pleasant, low-key slice-of-life story.

Premiere: April 9

Haifuri

Haifuri

The premise: Two teenage schoolgirls go about their everyday life while training to be aquatic police 100 years after a burst of tectonic activity has submerged most of the land on Earth.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: If it really is just a slice-of-life show, it’s in danger of letting an interesting setting go to waste.

Premiere: April 9

JoJo-Diamond

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable

The premise: Weird psychic powers are popping up all over a town in Japan, and some of those power users must investigate.

Derivative factor: Continuation of manga adaptation

The buzz: For all that the previous series of JoJo have lived up to the title, connoisseurs of the manga insist that this story arc is where things finally get properly bizarre. With it in the hands of the same studio that has made the previous well-loved series, there’s a sense that nothing can go wrong.

Premiere: April 1

Kagewani-Shou

Kagewani -II-

The premise: More short horror tales about monsters in modern-day Japan, presumably picking up from the first Kagewani.

Derivative factor: Sequel

The buzz: There is no logical reason for this renewal, but the small number of people who watched the first series are rather stoked that this is happening.

Premiere: April 1

Kiznaiver

Kiznaiver

The premise: A high school student is recruited into a system intended to promote world peace where the wounds one person takes are shared with all the others.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Not a lot of information to go on, but it’s the studio behind Kill la Kill and the writer from a bajillion successful series, so it will probably turn out okay.

Premiere: April 9

Kabaneri

Kōtetsujō no Kabaneri (Zombies of the Armored Fortress)

The premise: In an alternate steampunk world, zombies roam the landscape and humans hide in fortresses, travelling on armored trains.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Say hello to the fansub hit of the season! Reuniting the director and studio behind the massive hit Attack on Titan has interest running high. Unfortunately, Amazon Video has snapped up exclusive streaming rights, despite only being able to stream to five countries, and of course it doesn’t offer free streaming in any of them. This will likely lead to a similar situation as with Knights of Sidonia vanishing into Netflix– many longtime fans will revert to old habits and go to unlicensed streams, and many more will just ignore it.

Premiere: April 7

Kuma-Miko

Kuma Miko: Girl Meets Bear

The premise: A miko (shrine maiden) living in the countryside wants to go to school the big city, but the shrine’s bear guardian insists on testing her before she is allowed to go.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: This looks adorable and harmless.

Premiere: April 3

Kuromukuro

Kuromukuro (Blackened Corpse)

The premise: An ancient artifact uncovered during a dam project enables a leap forward in mecha technology. Also a samurai is revived from suspended animation.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Mecha + samurai = huh? Coming from a studio which has specialized in more slice-of-life shows recently, this is truly an unknown quantity.

Premiere: April 7

Mayoiga

Mayoiga (Doubters)

The premise: 30 young people charter a bus to travel to a legendary utopian village, only to find it abandoned.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Hard to tell, but 30 characters is an awful lot to juggle, so expect something dark with a high body count.

Premiere: April 1

Academia

My Hero Academia

The premise: In the near future, 80% of the human race has superpowers. One middle school student in the unlucky 20% is determined to train as a superhero regardless.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: This is an adaptation of a super-popular shōnen manga series, which makes the question of whether it’s good or not kind of pointless. It could be another Hunter x Hunter, or it could be another World Trigger, but regardless, it’ll sell a ton of DVDs.

Premiere: April 3

Onigiri

Onigiri (Ogre-Killing)

The premise: An RPG setting features ogres versus some kind of dark forces.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: I mentioned earlier that video game adaptations usually suck? There’s nothing here to provide hope that this will be one of the lucky ones.

Premiere: April 6

Sailor-Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal: Death Busters Arc

The premise: Sailor Moon and additional friends continue to fight evil forces. The production and distribution of the show has undergone major changes since the end of the earlier series.

Derivative factor: Continuing re-adaptation of manga

The buzz: Everyone hated those CGI transformation sequences, so yay! Plus English speakers will finally get to see a version that admits that Sailors Uranus and Neptune are girlfriends, not “cousins” like the dub of the 1990s series insisted they were.

Premiere: April 4

Cerberus

Seisen Cerberus: Ryūkoku no Fatalité (The Cerberus Crusade: Destiny of the Dragon’s Mark)

The premise: A young man whose parents were killed by a dragon sets out with his faithful retainer and a magic sword to slay the dragon.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: All together now: Video game adaptations usually suck.

Premiere: April 4

Luluco

Space Patrol Luluco

The premise: A middle-school girl leads a totally normal life until the day she meets an alien transfer student who will become her first crush.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: This is one of those short-episode series, so don’t expect a whole lot of depth, but it looks like it might be cute and fun.

Premiere: April 1

Twin-Star

Twin Star Exorcists

The premise: Rival child exorcists who are prophesied to marry are forced to work together to rescue the friend of one of them from an evil fantasy realm.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Meh. Many people are unhappy with other recent adaptations out of the same studio, but it should be commercially successful if nothing else.

Premiere: April 6


And there will be a few series popping up again after hiatuses:


There is a lot to be excited about here. I’m among those eagerly awaiting another JoJo, another Kagewani, and the return of Concrete Revolutio. Out of the completely new shows, I think I’m most looking forward to seeing how Mayoiga and Haifuri play out. How about you?

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