I didn’t actually start watching anime regularly until my freshman year of college, but since then, I’ve been keeping up with each new season, cherry picking the shows the catch my interest. These days, I watch a lot more anime, bordering on too much, but I always like to make time for cool new shows. Here are the shows for the Spring 2016 season that I’m intrigued by. Bear in mind, this isn’t the WHOLE season, just the stuff I’m watching.
My Hero Academia
I have a bad habit when it comes to Shonen anime: whenever a new one gets announced, I decide to read the first couple of chapters of their respective manga to get a feel for it. This usually results in me reading the entire series to date, which is what happened with My Hero Academia. Still, if anything, that’s a testament to it; I’ve always enjoyed the whole “superpower society” premise, and the characters are fun and memorable. Coupled with some high quality animation, I think this will be a pretty good adaptation of a pretty good manga.
Pan de Peace!
I don’t mind admitting it: I’m a sucker for cute girls doing cute things. And I like bread. So, y’know, cute girls doing cute things and bread. That’s pretty much the premise here. It ain’t Shakespeare, but it’s a shortform anime, so I think it’s fine to indulge in.
Three Leaves, Three Colors
Hmm, more cute girls and bread. I’m sensing a pattern here. I’ve seen shows do one-off episodes where rich characters have to be poor for a little while, but I can’t recall one where that’s the central premise. The main girl is extremely awkward, bordering on creepy, but the two friends keep things balanced. The episode felt oddly slow, but the jokes were funny and the girls were cute, so I’ll give it a shot.
Kuma Miko: Bear Meets Girl
It’s always fun to see someone out of their element. Rural folks in city settings, city folks in rural settings, it’s usually good for some quality shenanigans. You’d think having a talking bear would make things a little too weird, but the way show plays it off as a completely normal thing compels you not to question it, and the bear and girl are a delightful duo.
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-
Another season, another “nerd in a fantasy world” show. I’ve been a little burnt out on this premise lately, so I was considering giving this a miss, but throwing in a time loop mechanic makes it just different enough to hold my interest. I like the protagonist for the most part, though his common sense seems to randomly jump sometimes from “way too low” to “way too high”, which is kind of annoying. We’ll see how things play out.
Years of watching Kamen Rider have instilled in me a healthy appreciation for cool bikes. Take that and throw in some cute girl shenanigans, and it’s a surefire way to get my attention. It feels like this is the next in a long line of recent “hobby” anime, which focus on and slightly glorify whatever the hobby in question is. I don’t dislike this, however; it’s a chance to learn some neat tidbits about stuff I don’t usually research, and get some good laughs out of it at the same time.
When I heard this show was supposed to be the new Teekyuu, I naturally expected the same format: rapid-fire, nonsensical humor with very little to do with actual tennis. I was greatly surprised, then, when the show moved a lot slower, and actually showed the characters playing tennis. There’s still nonsensical humor, but it was sandwiched between calm moments. In a regular anime, this would be fine, but as a spin-off of Teekyuu, I’m not sure I like that. I really hope the humor picks up in the next episodes.
Bet you’re getting sick of me talking about cute girls. Same deal as the others, cute girls, cute things, funny jokes, occasional emotional moments. I like slice-of-life anime, leave me alone.
And you thought there is never a girl online?
Boy, gotta love the engrish on that title. I was iffy on this one, because I don’t really like ecchi stuff, but seeing a guy get turned down by a girl in an MMO because she’s actually a dude in real life is too funny to pass up. That being said, I have no idea what kind of show this is actually going to be from the first episode. There wasn’t really much of an established plot, just four high schoolers playing MMOs, two of which are married in game, meet up IRL and… nothing really. I’ll watch for jokes, but I hope a coherent plot appears at some point.
Space Patrol Luluco
This is probably the biggest eye-catcher of the season for me, which is mildly amusing because it’s a shortform anime. Everything I love about Trigger (which is to say Kill la Kill) is here: cartoony characters, exaggerated reactions, and excessive explosions. I rewatched the first episode several times just for the scene where Luluco transforms into a giant pistol, Megatron-style. This show is definitely going to be a lot of fun.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable
I only got on the JoJo bandwagon a few years ago, but it’s been a wild ride all the way through. I’ve been excited about Part 4’s anime adaptation because this is the first time any animated JoJo thing has gone beyond Part 3, games notwithstanding. I feel like the production budget is down a bit from Stardust Crusaders, though that could just be the abundance of pastel colors in Morioh town compared to Egypt and such confusing my senses. Backgrounds aside, though, it’s still the same old bizarre JoJo, and I’m excited for more rapid-fire punching.
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto
Oh man, this guy. Let me tell you about Sakamoto. This guy, in his first episode alone, has already secured himself in the running for coolest anime guy ever. You just gotta keep watching just to see what unbelievably cool thing he’ll do next. Bullies throw his desk away? He sits on the windowsill. A bee flies into the classroom? He swordfights it with his drafting compass. And the ladies love it. It’s a comedy show, and it is funny, but sometimes I’m just so awed by Sakamoto’s coolness that I forget to laugh.
You know when a game you like gets an anime adaptation, and even though you’ve already played the whole game, you still watch it just to see how they show everything happening? Yeah, that’s what’s going on here. The animation is decent, but Ace Attorney seems to be suffering from similar problems to Dangan Ronpa’s anime; a lot of the back and forth is cut out to meet time limitations. Some of the first game’s later cases go on a LONG time, and I’m worried that some good bits will have to be cut out to keep things streamlined. Hopefully, they’ll prove me wrong.
I was originally going to pass on this one, because I’m really squicked out by the whole bleeding wrists thing (and I thought the name was kind of dumb), but after checking out the first episode on a whim, the premise was so intriguing that I had to put it on my list. Also, as I mentioned with Space Patrol Luluco, I love Trigger’s animation style, which this show had plenty of, albeit not nearly as cartoony. As long as they don’t play the bloody wrist card too much, this could be a good one.
There’s a term 4chan uses for shows like this: “comfy”. A show in which there’s no real conflict or problems, just some relatively pleasant characters in relaxing situations. Think Non Non Biyori. In case my affinity for slice-of-life anime didn’t tip you off, I like comfy shows. As much as I appreciate a good narrative, sometimes it’s nice to just have a show where nothing really happens. The scene with the screaming and twitching mandrake was kind of weird, but it was amusingly weird. Really, if I had to make any complaints with Flying Witch, it’s that the animation seemed kind of off in places, like the character movement wasn’t quite matching up with the dialogue. I’m sure they’ll fix that, though.
Why did I even put this here, it’s One Piece. It’s over 700 goddamn episodes and counting. If you haven’t been watching it, you’re probably not gonna start now.
Korosensei is another competitor in my aforementioned running for coolest anime guy ever. Like, I genuinely wish I had a teacher as good as him growing up, I love this guy. The anime has skipped a few of the good filler chapters, which is a shame, but all the important stuff is here, and they’ve done a bang-up job of staying true to the manga. Speaking of which, the manga actually ended recently. The last chapter almost made me cry. That’s how good it is.
This show is an enigma if I’ve ever seen one. The plot makes almost no goddamn sense, but something keeps me from dropping it. Maybe it’s the abundance of cool superpowered characters. Maybe it’s the well-animated fight scenes. Maybe it’s the hope that by the end I’ll have actually figured out what the hell happened. It’s… good? I think?
Growing up with Ranma ½ and Inuyasha, I’m always happy to praise the works of Rumiko Takahashi. RIN-NE carries on the trademark style of her past works, with fun, well-designed characters, bizarre situations, confusing romances, and an unusual surplus of funny faces. It’s a very “anime” anime, if that makes sense.
Boy, that was a lot of words. Anyways, I’ll be writing another thing at the end of the season with my final thoughts on each of these shows (assuming I stay with all of them to the end).