I don’t know about the rest of the world but the Spring season of anime occurs during exam season over here which can have a huge effect on a weeb’s anime consumption. Apparently I didn’t want that to stop me though as I set out to watch 22 different shows as they aired. Needless to say that didn’t really happen but I got to most of them in the end. So I’m here to give a run-down of which shows I personally think are worth watching and which shows are not.
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|All anime mentioned in the article (Click to skip to their section)|
|Anne Happy||Flying Witch||Kiznaiver|
|Bakuon!!||“Ace Attorney”||Kuma Miko|
|Beyblade Burst||High School Fleet||Mayoiga|
|Boku no Hero Acadamia||Hundred||Sakamoto desu ga?|
|Bungou Stray Dogs||Joker Game||Tanaka-kun|
Portrayed as Crunchyroll’s poster girls for the season, Anne-Happy promised a concoction of cute misadventures with a cast of unfortunate girls. The show definitely delivers on that front, bringing a range of eccentric characters into uncommon and engaging situations. Studio Silver Link get to show off their beautiful palette along with exceptional comedy once again to bring yet another charming slice of life show to the stage. Fans of Kiniro Mosaic will be pleasantly surprised.
Cute girls on motorbikes, what else could you ask for in a show. In all seriousness though, it’s not perfect. Don’t get me wrong, the show is good and it’s clearly not trying to be the next avant-garde show so I won’t judge it as one. Garnering huge attention from most other studios, TMS try their hand at slotting cute girls into a setting we’re not used to and I like that idea. Well, I like that idea on paper. When executed we got an average show that felt ever so slightly lawsuit worthy for shows like Rolling☆Girls and One Off. It’s essential that you have an interest in motorbikes for you to enjoy the show; as someone that couldn’t tell apart your shock absorbers to your brake disc, it’s clearly not targeted at me. But that’s a big issue, the show has such a specific target audience that most people won’t enjoy the show. If it sounds like your cup of tea you’ll probably love it but don’t get your hopes up.
So this was kind of a wildcard for me, I loved watching the original Beyblade as a kid so I thought I’d give this a try. By the end of the first episode the charm wore off and it’s clear that this was just another bland kids show profiting on a famous brand. I don’t judge the show for it, I didn’t exactly expect greatness but it’s not worth the time. If you want to watch Beyblade for nostalgia, just re-watch the originals, they’re much better.
To me, this gem is the best show to have graced the world of anime in a very long time. Something about titles with Boku in them seem to make them fantastic: Boku Machi, Bokurano,
Boku no pico. Ignore that last one. In all seriousness though, the emotions I felt watching this show surpass most dramatic action shows and I haven’t cared about a protagonist like this since I watched Clannad. The show focuses on a story of an unlikely hero proving to the world that spirit, courage and heart are the mark of a true hero. As an accidental slap in the face to Marvel, our protagonist is physically weak and ‘quirkless’ meaning he (unlike most people) has no super power. After receiving a little help from his idol “All Might”, Izuku proves to the world that he can be the greatest hero of all time. Even if you dislike the superhero concept I feel that this show is worth the watch, I personally find superheroes dull but this show revitalised a spark of admiration within me. The characters are developed effectively and I would be surprised if you didn’t feel a connection with at least one of them.
Thank whoever runs the Crunchyroll twitter account for this one because I knew nothing about this show before they kept posting about it. First of all, this show’s got balls. In one of the first few episodes I counted 4 moments where I thought “Oh my god, they actually did that”. Bungou Stray Dogs is so much darker than I expected: themes of suicide, betrayal and worthlessness are prominent so if you’re not okay with that then I would avoid this one. If you’ve liked the other shows made by the studio Bones then you’ll most likely like this. The characters are well written and the plot is engaging throughout, it’s a show where it’s difficult to predict what happens next. Easily one of my top five for the season and the art-style isn’t cutesy so that means a lot coming from me.
Flying Witch is the most Zen show of the season that proves you don’t need flashy explosions or out of control colours to make magic fun. As a huge fan of countryside settings, the backgrounds and environments are a treat to the eyes which instils a feeling of tranquillity I haven’t experienced in a long time. The show has eccentric off-the-walls characters but they slot surprisingly well into the show’s laid back pacing and ‘conflicts’ within each episode. The supernatural elements aren’t in your face constantly and sometimes an episode will feel like your bog-standard slice of life relaxation (which is great in its own right). However, when the cast is confronted with a harbinger of spring, a backyard full of crows and a pheasant, hilarity ensues and you receive a warm viewing experience you couldn’t get from all human cast. A must watch for slice of life fans!
I was actually kind of excited for this one. Sporting a title longer than the average audience’s attention span, Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari! takes all of the lovable characters from the Phoenix Wright game franchise and butchers the animation in the process. The visuals really are bland, given that the story arcs are identical to that of the games, the only real reason fans of the franchise would watch the show is for the visuals and they stink. Generic and overused shots of cherry blossoms and less than stellar shot composition leaves a lot to be desired, it was cool to see the characters on a big screen but that novelty wears thin. Not to mention the mystery element falls flat as you see the culprit in the act at the start of each arc, a poorly designed show based on a well designed game franchise.
Haifuri, or High School Fleet as it’s more well known name, was a show I that I honestly didn’t expect much from. I had done no research beforehand and assumed it would be another generic high school slice of life show. I couldn’t have been more wrong. High School Fleet takes the high school to the seas populating a battleship named the Harekaze with a multitude of cute anime girls. Drawing many similarities to KanColle, this show embodies companionship on the seas and is surprisingly engaging in its narrative and action sequences. I do think this show is worth watching; I ended up caring for the cast more than I anticipated and the few comedy sections intertwined with the action help keep the show from growing tedious. Like Bakuon!!, half of its comedy is cute girls doing things you don’t expect cute girls to do but here the writers make an effort to break away from that in their humour from time to time.
Possibly the most generic first episode of an anime I have ever seen, Hundred tries to encompass every trope and slam it together to try and form some super hybrid of action, ecchi, harem, mecha, romance, school, sci-fi anime. Spoilers: It doesn’t work. At the end of every episode I found myself thinking “I really couldn’t care less about what happens next”. The characters are bland showing no potential for development and the premise is something everybody’s seen done before. I wouldn’t mind that if Hundred did something new or did it better but it doesn’t, it’s just forgettable. This show is great if you want to show somebody loads of anime tropes in one show, that’s about it.
Taking place in the year 1937 on the eve of World War II, the story followsma mysterious spy training organization known as the “D Agency”.
Joker Game excels in crafting beautifully detailed settings where you wouldn’t expect beauty. The mise-en-scene and communication through décor in this show aids the viewer in distinguishing an otherwise unfamiliar situation. In an era where every season has to have ten fantasy settings, Joker Game establishes itself in a historically accurate Imperial Japan which I could not be more thankful for. It’s not just for show either, plot twists are available as a result of the time period and cultural background. The conflict in each episode is well thought out and effectively hooks viewers – I would argue to say this show can also be sub-genred as mystery given how clever some of the resolutions are. The cast’s ability to manipulate and psyche out opponents makes each episode unique not to mention the large range of characters present. An excellently written show based in hard facts that is good enough at explaining context that it doesn’t leave viewers behind.
Along with their fifth anniversary show Uchuu Patrol Luluco, Trigger blessed the world with Kiznaiver. Most well known for their animation capabilities, the studio proves once again that they’re not a one trick pony – showcasing clever writing and character development. I can’t praise Mari Okada enough for her scriptwriting, each character clashes perfectly with one another to spark both meaningful and hilarious dialogue. Kiznaiver follows an idea that everybody wants to connect with somebody, where “everybody” is difficult to define. As always, the visual direction is spectacular which when accompanied by such a colourful cast results in a combination of light-hearted and breathtaking scenes. An interesting and fresh idea brought together effectively by exceptional staff.
Kuma Miko, the show that should come with free insulin for every episode and a blindfold for the uncomfortable sequences. The show itself is seen as the comedy slice-of-life show that has more cute moments than jokes so if that’s your thing then you’ll probably love this. Obviously there are episodes that I enjoyed, any episode that refrains from the “the main character is 14 lets sexualise her that’s funny right?” concept was an enjoyable episode. Sadly for me, they were few and far between. Some of the comedy is great, the pacing is good and the timing for some jokes are brilliant. In addition the art is amazing, the countryside backgrounds are incredibly well detailed and show that a lot of care went into them. It’s just a shame that the writers constantly go back to the anime trope of creeping on cute girls, it’s not just something I want to see in a light-hearted comedy show. If you can stomach the creepy parts and see the show for its comedy and premise then you’ll enjoy the show but be warned if that isn’t your thing.
Traditionally known for their comedy shows, Diomedea is now responsible for possibly the most incoherent writing in a mystery show to date. I do appreciate the huge cast this show tried to tackle but there’s a reason 12 episode shows usually focus on a few characters. I rarely ever cared about the characters or the “mystery” if you could even call the inconsistent mess of a plot that. There are times when ‘the monster’ is well animated and those few seconds probably look great as a gifset but it’s not worth trudging through the hours of mind-numbingly boring dialogue and multitude of downright stupid plot twists.
Sakamoto desu ga is a fantastic demonstration of effective comedy in anime that never gets stale or tiresome. Each episode brings at least one new concept to the show whether it be a new piece of information about a recurring character or someone new entirely. The premise of the show is that Sakamoto is cool, but not regular cool. Sakamoto is on a level of stylish previously untouched by human hands and everybody knows it. The show revolves around his daily life and the chemistry between himself and his ever-growing fanbase. The comedic timing is near perfection and is honestly the funniest show I’ve seen since I first watched Nichijou. A solid comedy show that will keep you hooked until the very end, and then you’ll just want more!
Personally my favourite show of the season, Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge takes all of the elements of a successful slice of life show and moulds them together perfectly. I am fully aware that I am biased towards this show as I love everything about this show’s main character but I’m biased for a reason. Every character is well written making them relatable to the audience whilst still being vastly different so that contrasts can be created to result in some fun dynamics. The pacing (albeit slow for some viewers) is perfect for the show’s themes and style, often the funniest jokes are how drawn out a single frame is on screen for, which can only be achieved by the show’s detailed facial expressions to clash with their otherwise simple character designs. The animation isn’t anything special but it works for the show Silver Link is portraying; an easygoing and listless school life.
Verdict: You definitely should watch it