Though the weather here in Podunk, Arkansas may be just as mercurial as ever, that doesn’t change the fact that spring is, finally, on its way! And you know what that means… A new season of anime! Thanks to shows like Dororo, Kaguya-sama, and The Promised Neverland we’ve had a pretty promising start to the year, but how will 2019, ultimately, compare to 2018 (which shaped up to be an awesome year for anime)? That remains to be seen… But after checking out spring’s shows, I’m certainly feeling positive!
As always, the following list, which contains all of the upcoming anime that piqued my interest, was put together after checking out source material, watching trailers, finding out who’s working on what, looking at promo art, and pouring over synopses and reviews. This type of research isn’t exactly in-depth, it’s all stuff that you can go away and do for yourself, but hopefully I’ve saved you some time and effort by doing it all for you! The reason why I don’t like to do more in-depth research into each upcoming show isn’t laziness, but because I don’t like to spoil shows that I’m about to watch for myself, let alone for other people! As such, the following list is entirely spoiler free! I hope that when it comes to choosing what to watch it comes in handy!
Continuing from Winter 2018/2019
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
I started watching Boruto hoping for more of the characters who I’ve come to love. Whilst it has delivered on that, it has also managed to ruin some of them for me. Take Shino. He was once so cool, but now he’s just some lamebrain who talks to toys in his spare time. Even his pupils laugh at him! Speaking of which, I’m yet to grow fond of any of the kiddos. Boruto may look like Naruto, but he barely resembles him in terms of his best quality: his willingness to spill his own blood, sweat, and tears in the pursuit of his goals. Still, if, like me, you’ve sold your soul to the Naruto franchise, you’ll probably continue to watch Boruto no matter what!
I’m absolutely loving Dororo! One of its protagonists, Hyakkimaru, is mute and expressionless, yet, somehow, still manages to be immensely endearing! Seeing him experience loss, pain, and confusion for the very first time after recovering his senses really brings out my maternal, protective side! On the one hand, you want to cheer for him, regaining what was stolen from him at birth, but, on the other hand, you can’t help but feel like maybe he was better off living in blissful ignorance, unable to hear screams of pain and terror, unable to smell the stench of death, and so on… It’s an interesting dilemma, one that keeps me invested in the show, despite the fact that, as of episode 8, there’s no real conflict.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 5: Golden Wind
Given the quality and popularity of JoJo parts 1-4, Golden Wind had some pretty big boots to fill, but it’s held up remarkably well thus far! I love the dynamic between the individual members of Buccerrati’s gang (this kind of weird love/hate relationship that they’ve all got going on) and its stands are just as imaginative as ever! My favourite is Mista’s Sex Pistols. The six of them can talk, reason, and each has its own distinct personality. But, best of all, their relationship with Mista goes beyond the usual master/servant relationship that we see between stand users and their stands, they’ve a real rapport going with him, which is awesome! All in all, it’s just more JoJo goodness! And now that we’ve finally been introduced to the villain of the piece, the Boss and his King Crimson, things are only looking to get even better!
Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2
During my last “Ty’s Top Picks” back in fall, I mentioned that I was pretty unimpressed with Attack on Titan Season 3’s lack of Titans. I mean, that’s kind of the franchise’s appeal, you know? However, though the wait was long, it proved to be more than worth it… The battle against the Rod Reiss Titan was thrilling, satisfying, and more than a little bit disgusting, proving that the franchise hasn’t lost its ability to entertain with its horrific monsters and beautifully animated action sequences. I’m looking forward to more of the same this spring, as well as finally getting to see more of the world outside the walls.
One Punch Man 2nd Season
If you’ve not yet seen One Punch Man (seriously, what have you been doing these past few years!?) you probably should… Its hugely overpowered yet surprisingly down-to-earth hero, Saitama, is hilarious! His wry sense of humour and deadpan expression just kill me! Not to mention that its fights are out of this world! If, however, you’re part of the elite crowd who have seen it, I won’t waste my time trying to convince you to watch its 2nd season. Like me, you’re probably already hooked! Though I will say this: whilst its 1st season was a pretty nice appetiser, it introduced you to Saitama, his abilities, and some other important characters, I’m hoping that its 2nd is considerably heartier… I’d like to see more world-building, character development, and overarching storyline to be fully satisfied.
Fruits Basket (2019)
Fruits Basket has long been one of my all-time favourite manga series. It uses its cast of flawed, broken, yet insanely lovable characters to explore some pretty meaty themes, including grief, acceptance, and forgiveness, and features more than enough twists and turns to keep you entertained. Whilst its 2001 anime adaptation was… okay… it failed to adapt the entire manga, wrapping itself up at a point where its source material had yet to really hit its stride. The upcoming reboot, however, promises to adapt the entirety of Natsuki Takaya’s much-loved manga. Not just that, but the creator herself will actually be overseeing the project, ensuring that it adheres to her vision for it. Exciting stuff.
Carole & Tuesday
I hadn’t heard of Carole & Tuesday (C&T) until very recently, though I’m not sure why, as it’s really got a lot going for it! Its director, Shinichiro Watanabe, who spearheaded Terror in Resonance, Samurai Champloo, and Cowboy Bebop (all masterpieces), is quite possibly one of the best directors in the business. And whilst C&T may be quite different to all of the above anime in terms of its genre, Kids on the Slope (another excellent show) demonstrates that he’s more than capable of directing a less action-packed, music-oriented show. Its premise: two women, who couldn’t be less alike, bonding over a shared love of music, also gives me some serious NANA vibes!
An anime with no dialogue whatsoever? How interesting! Whilst TV shows have managed to pull off dialogue-free segments or episodes before (who remembers that thoroughly terrifying episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the voice-stealing Gentlemen?), I don’t believe that any have been able to accomplish such a feat for an entire series. It is this uniqueness that prompts me to give Joshi Kausei a try. Of course, a unique gimmick doesn’t guarantee that it will be any good, that will depend largely on the skill of those involved in the project. Joshi Kausei’s director, the man responsible for the critically panned anime, King’s Game, doesn’t have a fantastic track record, but, who knows, a chill, slice-of-life anime like this might just be his calling!
Kimetsu no Yaiba
The Fate franchise might be as dull as dishwater (at least in my opinion), but, thanks to ufotable, at least it looks good! That’s what first drew me to Kimetsu no Yaiba. Like most any other anime handled by ufotable, it looks great! I really like the jagged line work incorporated into its character designs and its PV featured some pretty impressive animation – I think we’re in for some awesome fight scenes! I’m also extremely interested in a Shounen Jump (SJ) adaptation led by a brother/sister duo. Most SJ adaptations are friendship-focused, with the occasional romance thrown in for good measure, so I’m excited to see a different type of relationship, with an entirely different dynamic, play out onscreen!
In need of a good laugh? Check out Sarazanmai’s synopsis! I practically live for weird stuff like this! This anime is about a trio of youngsters sent on an impossible, ludicrous quest, with adorable mascot characters in tow. This, combined with its colourful art style and sexually ambiguous villains gave me some serious Mawaru Penguindrum vibes! It came as no surprise then to learn that the director of Penguindrum, Kunihiko Ikuhara, is also directing this (equally strange) show. The fact that it’s an original anime, is being produced by MAPPA (one of my favourite studios), and is airing during the Noitamina timeslot (which is known for airing groundbreaking, innovative shows) are just more ticks in a box for me!
Sequels aside, I was a bit worried about this season! 14-year-olds trying to get pregnant, girls being named after orgies, 800-year-old fox lolis giving their masters “special service”… It seemed as if anime had really out anime-d itself this time! But, dig a little deeper, and there are some really promising standalone shows thrown into the mix. As is often the case, I’m sure that I overlooked a few of them (I must admit, I still switch off at the word “isekai”), but I’m still feeling pretty confident in my choices. Which of spring’s lineup are you most looking forward to?