Spring 2018 Season Preview

Another season of anime is arriving real soon…and I absolutely do not feel prepared for it. April’s simply going to be the toughest month for my practicum so I’ll likely be very busy and very exhausted. I’ll try but don’t be surprised if I’m not blogging much.

I’m also going into this season a bit blindly. I like doing some extra research by taking a gander at the source materials of some of the upcoming anime but I didn’t have time for that stuff this time around. Admittedly, this will make the influx of premieres a potentially surprising experience but I frankly just prefer going in with more informed predictions. On the bright side, Spring 2018 looks like it has variety going for it. It doesn’t look homogeneously cutesy like Winter 2018 wound up being.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Hype Level Breakdown: 

  • High – Anime that I really want to watch right now but alas, I must wait for it to air on TV. The one show that stands out the most, even in this group also gets “Most Anticipated” added to its hype level.
  • Mild – The show just looks pretty good or fairly average to me for one reason or another though I’m nevertheless still interested in it.
  • Surprise Me – The show frankly looks bad to me or I’m just very skeptical about it. It’s still attracting a modicum of attention or the premise still got my attention so I gave it a spot on the preview.

Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai
(Tada Never Falls in Love)

Premieres: April 5 at 21:00 JST Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
Studio: Dogo Kobo Source: Original
Streaming: HIDIVE Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

When it comes to original properties, any optimism is going to sound speculative at best. Still, I’m very hopeful for Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai since it has Mitsu Yamazaki and Yoshiko Nakamura as director and writer. Both of them were in the same jobs for Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun respectively which I freaking adore (one of my favorite anime of 2014). And while I wish for a second season of that show, I’m curious to see what the same crew is currently working on. I also think a romance anime involving an international transfer student sounds neat and the PVs do look very nice.

Comic Girls

Premieres: April 5 at 23:30 JST Genre: CGDCT, Comedy, Slice of Life
Studio: Nexus Source: 4-koma Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll Hype Level: Surprise Me
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimelist | Wikipedia

After stuff like Princess PrincipalGirls’ Last Tour, and Yorimoi, the CGDCT genre bar has been very high now. I’m sure Comic Girls will make for some lightweight entertainment but I admit that it’s hard to muster enthusiasm for a show simply about four mangakas living together. Still, I continue to watch at least one CGDCT anime every season so why stop now?

Hinamatsuri

Premieres: April 6 at 21:00 JST Genre: Comedy, Seinen, Slice of Life
Studio: feel. Source: Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

This looks quirky enough. A Yakuza member stumbles upon a strange little girl with psychic powers and hijinks naturally ensue. From what I can tell, the manga’s really well received and the PV showed the kind of dry humor I tend to like. I’d say there’s potential for a noteworthy entry in this season’s lineup.

Boku no Hero Academia (Season 3)
(My Hero Academia (Season 3))

Premieres: April 7 at 17:30 JST Genre: Action, Shounen, Superhero
Studio: Bones Source: Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation Hype Level: High – Most Anticipated
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANNMyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I suppose this is a very safe bet to make but it’s true: I’m super excited for another season of My Hero Academia. Season 1 was solid and Season 2 was even better, pushing the narrative and setting in a more complex and thrilling direction. Things are progressing so nicely that I’d have to be a massive skeptic to think this show will jump the shark on me. I’ve also heard that this season will be two cours so here’s hoping for a fun and eventful Spring and Summer.

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online

Premieres: April 8 at 0:00 JST Genre: Action, Fantasy, Military, Sci-Fi
Studio: 3Hz Source: Light Novel
Streaming: Crunchyroll Hype Level: Surprise Me
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

After Princess Principal, I’ll try any new show 3Hz will throw at me though I do wish that it wasn’t a Sword Art Online anime that they’re working on next. I admit it: I don’t really like this franchise. I thought Season 1 showed promise and then squandered it completely with it a godawful ending to its first arc and completely garbage second half. Still, maybe having a few different creative minds will make Alternative something I’ll enjoy.

Lost Song

Premieres: April 8 at 1:30 JST Genre: Fantasy, Music
Studio: Dwango, LIDENFILMS Source: Original
Streaming: Netflix Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I haven’t had the time to check out Netflix’s recent anime acquisitions (other than Violet Evergarden) though I hope I’ll be able to check out Lost Song. I don’t know much about this show though I like the character designs and the fantasy aesthetic so I’ll give it a shot. I highly doubt this’ll get a U.S. simulcast though since this is Netflix we’re talking about.

Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katri no Nazotoki File

Premieres: April 8 at 8:30 JST Genre: Comedy, Children’s TV, Mystery
Studio: LIDEN FILMS Source: Video Game
Streaming: N/A Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I really wish I had the time to play the Layton games but hopefully, this anime adaptation will suffice for the time being. I honestly can’t believe it’s taken this long for a Layton anime and even then, it’s about Layton’s daughter Katrielle and not the gentleman himself. A odd choice (especially because I still can’t believe Layton has a daughter) but I think this could still be fun. Kana Hanazawa as Katrielle is a nice bonus.

Piano no Mori
(Forest of Piano)

Premieres: April 9 at 0:10 JST Genre: Drama, Music, Seinen
Studio: Fukishima Gainax Source: Manga
Streaming: Netflix Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I’ve heard very good things about the Piano no Mori manga and there’s something whimsical about two boys stumbling upon a piano in a forest. The only thing that I’m wary of is perhaps the choice of studio. Fukushima Gainax is a pretty new studio or studio branch from my understanding. And while the manga might be strong enough to work as an anime in general, I fear that there are some untested waters here.

Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen
(Food Wars! The Third Plate (2nd Cour))

Premieres: April 9 as 0:30 JST Genre: Ecchi, School, Shounen
Studio: J.C. Staff Source: Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll Hype Level: Mild
External Links:  Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I’m not as thrilled about more Food Wars! like I was back in the Fall. Frankly, I feel like this anime took a step backwards in introducing a very cartoony antagonist and as a result, made the central conflict a lot dumber. The cast remains as endearing as ever, however, and I will admit that there was some solid character development in the first cour of The Third Plate. I really want to know how these characters will grow later arcs and for what’s it worth, I’m still committed to seeing how this story ends.

Golden Kamuy

Premieres: April 9 at 23:00 JST Genre: Adventure, Historical, Seinen
Studio: Geno Studio Source: Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

Kind of on the same boat as Piano no Mori, I’ve heard great things about the Golden Kamuy manga but I didn’t have time to read a little bit of it. It’s rare to see a historical action-adventure anime though so this show does have the atypical appeal going for it. I think the staff especially makes this show look promising; particularly series composer Noboru Takagi of Baccano! fame.

Steins;Gate 0

Premieres: April 12 at 1:00 JST Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Studio: White Fox Source: Visual Novel
Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I’m not really sure how I feel about a sequel to Steins;Gate. The original show is one of my favorite anime of the early 2010s but the thing is that it ended perfectly. The finale was conclusive and satisfying and I felt so content with it that I don’t need to see more. And yes, I am aware that Steins;Gate 0 follows one of the bad endings of the visual novel but that detail alone really shows what kind of liberties needs to be taken to justify a sequel to this story. Regardless, out of sheer affinity towards the original show, I’ll give this one a fair trial.

Hisone to Maso-tan
(Dragon Pilot: Hisone & Masotan)

Premieres: April 13 at 0:00 JST Genre: Fantasy, Military
Studio: Bones Source: Original
Streaming: Netflix Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

This screams to me as a CGDCT anime version of How to Train your Dragon…and that actually sounds a lot of fun now that I write it down. Also going for Hisone to Maso-tan is studio Bones’ involvement. Bones is one of the best studios out there so it’s nice to see them attached to an original property for once. Boku no Hero Academia Season 3 is probably all I need from this studio in Spring but I’d be down for two solid shows from them.

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
(Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku)

Premieres: April 13 at 0:55 JST Genre: Comedy, Romance
Studio: A-1 Pictures Source: Manga
Streaming: Amazon Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

Well, it isn’t the first time Noitamina aired a show about otakus and it probably won’t be the last. I’m not expecting another Saekano out of this (you can’t top Megumi Katou, damn it) but I think it’s neat to see an anime focus on adult otakus for once (and in a workplace no less). Provided that it’s respectful of the hobbies it depicts and it’s genuinely funny, I think we’re in for a treat.


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