Spring 2019 Season Preview

Disclaimer: This post will be updated accordingly as more official English titles, release dates, and/or simulcast information gets announced.

You know, I was about to say we’re in for a dry season again but maybe dryness is becoming relative. People online have been counting and it just seems like in general, we’re seeing less anime produced and released in 2019 compared to the past few years. Spring does have more shows than Winter but compare it to previous Springs and you’ll see that the number has decreased in some way. Maybe this will actually a good thing for the anime industry. Lord knows, there’s been too many productions and/or studios that have crashed and burned from the sheer amount of anime that has been mad.

But if not quantity, then we need quality and so far, that latter attribute hasn’t been ubiquitous with 2019’s anime. Winter 2019 isn’t a terrible season but it is an underwhelming one with a lot of shows in the middle and only a few shows truly worth checking out. And as for Spring 2019, it’s looking to be the same deal, just with a larger lineup. As always, I wish for my skepticism to be proven wrong but hope can also only go so far.

Regardless, there’s anime on the horizon so let’s take at look, shall we?

Hype Level Breakdown:

Excited 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.
Optimistic Reserved for anime that probably aren’t going to blow my mind but will still make for solid entertainment.
Mild The show just looks so-so 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.

Fruits Basket

Premieres: April 6 at 1:23 JST Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Studio: TMS Entertainment Source: Manga
Streaming: Funimation Hype Level: Excited – Most Anticipated
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

Words could not describe the look on my face when word broke out that Fruits Basket is receiving a new anime adaptation in 2019. Even this close to the day of premiere, I still can’t believe it. I first read through the entire manga by Natsuki Takaya back in high school and to put it simply it has since become one of my favorite stories of all time. The story, the characters, the themes — I love everything about it. The 2001 anime is good too but it was also in dire need of a continuation and I too became part of the rally for a second season even if the prospect was very bleak at that point. After all these years, we ended up getting a reboot instead but honestly, I’m just happy that we’re getting anything new at all.

At the same time, anime is kind of a wild card in the Spring lineup. For one, this series has a new cast and crew built from scratch. The decision came at Takaya’s request as she was dissatisfied with how the 2001 anime turned out. While that is absolutely her decision to make, it does create some unpredictability. Director Yoshihide Ibata is, far as I can tell, a newcomer in the field. Series composer Taku Kishimoto has done good work before but also has his fair share of duds (my God, he wrote for Hanebado! before this series). The casting seems good across the board but I’ll admit that I wish some of the original seiyuus returned, especially Yui Horie as Tohru. At least Funimation got some of their English cast members back.

Possibly an even bigger area of concern is how long this new anime will be. I’m sure you can trim some fat out of the original 136 manga chapters but even then, I struggle to imagine this story fitting in, say, two cours bare minimum. There is confirmation that Fruits Basket will have multiple seasons but no word of how many seasons or long each season will be. I really hope the staff take their time with this story. Fruits Basket is such a wonderful story that it deserves the best anime adaptation it can possibly receive.

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu
(Beyond of Being Alone)

Premieres: April 6 at 2:25 JST Genre: CGDCT, Comedy, Slice of Life
Studio: C2C Source: 4-koma
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Optimistic
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

A “cute girls doing cute things” anime about a girl overcoming her shyness? Sold.

In all seriousness, Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu caught my attention as the manga it’s based on is by Katsuwo, the same mangaka who created Mitsuboshi Colors. I really enjoyed that series, both in manga and anime forms so another work by the same creative mind is worth checking out. At the very least, this is a safe bet for my seasonal CGDCT quota.

Kimetsu no Yaiba
(Demon Slayer)

Premieres: April 6 at 23:30 JST Genre: Action, Period, Shounen, Supernatural
Studio: ufotable Source: Manga
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Mild
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

Demon Slayer is the next Weekly Shounen Jump title receiving an anime adaptation and considering the reception of The Promised Neverland, it has some pretty big shoes to fill. To be frank, the story largely sounds generic to me. A young boy’s family gets slaughtered and he embarks on a quest for revenge. There is, however, one intriguing plot detail in which the boy’s sister actually survived the onslaught but has become a demon in the process. I can see some potential there.

At the very least, we have ufotable animating this series and while ufotable hasn’t been attached to a good show in years, at least they’ll deliver the pretty visuals.

Bokutachi wa Benkyou no Dekinai
(We Never Learn)

Premieres: April 7 at 0:30 JST Genre: Comedy, Harem, Romance
Studio: ARVO Animation & Silver Source: Manga
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Surprise Me
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

Another WSJ anime adaptation. This one features a young guy who has to tutor a harem of classmates struggling at certain subjects…why does this sound so familiar?

Okay, so maybe it is a little coincidental that We Never Learn is premiering after The Quintessential Quintuplets ends. Obviously there are differences, the main ones being that the girls aren’t identical sisters and they’re each exceptional at one subject as opposed to being just okay at them. Still, comparisons are inevitable and while I think Quintuplets is just pretty good, it’s still setting a bar for We Never Learn to reach.

Kono Oto Tomare!

Premieres: April 7 at 1:00 JST Genre: Drama, School
Studio: Platinum Vision Source: Manga
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Mild
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

I’ve heard great things about the Kono Oto Tomare! manga and it’s no surprise that the anime adaptation is gaining some attention. And yet, I find myself struggling to muster excitement for this series. I don’t know, I hear “dramatic anime about music” and for whatever reason, I start to fear that it’ll frustrate me the same way Your Lie in April did (it’s a long story). Still, the koto is not a musical instrument you frequently see represent in anime and I do want to hold onto the hope that the story has been well-received for a reason.

Shoumetsu Toshi

Premieres: April 7 at 23:30 JST Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
Studio: Madhouse Source: Game
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Optimistic
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

Normally, I’m indifferent or passively interested in mobile game adaptations but Shoumetsu Toshi does have an alarmingly intriguing premise. The show follows the sole survivor of a decimated city who decides to accompany a courier as she goes searching for her missing father. That’s actually a solid hook, certainly more so than “nameless man needs to train idols”. Madhouse is animating this series and Kana Hanazawa and Tomokazu Sugita are playing the leads and those are always a pro at least.

Fairy Gone

Premieres: April 8 at 0:00 JST Genre: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural
Studio: P.A. Works Source: Original
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Optimistic
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

I’m always in the mood for a new P.A. Works anime though with or without their name attached, I’d probably still be interested in Fairy Gone based on premise alone. Basically, the show takes place in a world where fairies reside in the bodies of select animals. By removing the organs of these animals and using them for body implants, humanity has been able to produce supersoldiers, resulting in warfare and terrorism. This could either be the coolest premise ever or the dumbest. I’m hoping it’s the former.

Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine

Premieres: April 8 at 1:35 JST Genre: Sports
Studio: TMS Entertainment Source: Game
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Mild
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine is if you basically take Idolmaster‘s idol training mechanic and applied it to baseball. Speaking strictly speaking from business, that’s pure genius. Now this series just needs a good story to back it up. I’m hoping it’ll be in the same vein as Umamusume — nothing extraordinary but competent and fun to sit through. Besides, it’s cute anime girls playing baseball…I know I’d be disappointed if this sucks.

One Punch Man (Season 2)

Premieres: April 10 at 1:35 JST Genre: Action, Comedy, Satire, Seinen
Studio: J.C. Staff Source: Web Manga
Streaming: Hulu Hype Level: Optimistic
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

Do I really need to explain why One Punch Man is on my radar? The first season made huge waves in 2015 and is commonly regarded as one of that year’s finest anime, a stance that I’m inclined to agree with. Mob Psycho 100 is admittedly the better of ONE’s works but even then, One Punch Man is still a creative commentary on the shounen action and superhero genres all while still kicking ass at the same time.

So why then am I labeling this show under “Optimistic” as opposed to “Excited”? Truth be told, production hasn’t exactly gone smoothly. Director Shingo Natsume got replaced by newcomer Chikara Sakurai and Studio Madhouse got replaced by J.C. Staff. It’s a huge shame as I think Natsume’s direction and his freelanced crew’s animation contributed greatly to Season 1’s success. I wish the new blood the best of luck but this change of hands feels slimy, something done by the production committee so that they can cheaply produce a hotly anticipated anime. I imagine ONE’s writing will still take front and center but it wouldn’t surprise me if something Season 2 feels like a downgrade.

Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san

Premieres: April 10 at 22:30 JST Genre: Comedy, Romance, Supernatural
Studio: Doga Koba Source: Manga
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Mild
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san comes across to me as a Doga Koba’s response to Kyoani’s Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. Similar to Maiddragon, we have a corporate employee who discovers he now has a supernatural housekeeper. In this case, it’s a fox girl who may or may not be legal depending on what official age the writers give her. Hopefully, the similarities begin and end there and I’ll admit that the promos look charming enough.

Kenja no Mago

Premieres: April 10 at 23:30 JST Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai
Studio: Silver Link Source: Light Novel
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Surprise Me
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

A new isekai anime so take a guess what its plot is and take a guess how “excited” I am. And yes, the Kenja no Mago light novels have been positively received but let’s face it, the same has been said about a dozen isekai properties before it. As always, I hope to be proven wrong though I fear that, as always, this will likely be a drop for me.

Carole & Tuesday

Premieres: April 11 at 0:55 JST Genre: Drama, Music
Studio: Bones Source: Original
Streaming: Netflix Hype Level: Excited
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

Carole & Tuesday is looking to be quite an event as it is both studio Bones’ 20th anniversary project but also a new production co-directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. The show even kind of looks like a hodgepodge of Watanabe’s previous works. It takes place in the future on Mars (Cowboy Bebop), follows two female leads from two different walks of life (Mitchiko & Hatchin), and is themed around music (Kids on the Slope). I can picture these elements mixing well together into something distinctive. Hell, it’s not like Watanabe hasn’t been doing that kind of routine throughout his career. 

The trailer certainly looks mighty promising. Bones’ visuals look gorgeous and darn it, I already want the full version of the OP. If I really had to pick an area to be skeptical over though, it’d maybe be the writing. No real disrespect to series composer Aya Watanabe but Carole & Tuesday is, from my understanding, her debut in the field and she’s only done animation work in the past. Some skepticism is simply warranted for the time being though props to her if she can knock things out of the park.  

Sarazanmai

Premieres: April 12 at 0:55 JST Genre: Supernatural
Studio: MAPPA x Lapintrack Source: Original
Streaming: TBD Hype Level: Mild
Official Website Anime News Network MyAnimeList Wikipedia

Apart from a single episode of Mawaru Penguindrum, I have somehow yet to extensively see the works of Kunihiko Ikuhara. All I’ve been told is that he has a knack for the weird and I can see that from the synopsis of his latest project, Sarazanmai. Three middle schoolers encounter a kappa who turns them into kappas and then they must confront zombies…uh, what? The art, however, could be even stranger. Someone please tell me this show isn’t actually going to have live-action backgrounds as the PVs suggest. Regardless, this seems to be on people’s radars so I guess I should put it on mine too.

Short Series:

  • Senryuu Shoujo (Senryuu Girl)4/6 | Optimistic –  An ex-delinquent befriends a shy girl who communicates with a type of haikus called senryuu. This sounds too adorable.
  • Midara na Ao-chan wa Benkyou ga Dekinai (Ao-chan Can’t Study!) | 4/6 | Surprise Me – Saw a pretty middling reception towards the manga but I’m far too curious about this girl trying to get into a good university but can’t because she keeps having perverted thoughts. What the hell is wrong with me? 
  • Joshi Kausei | 4/6 | Surprise Me – A very basic CGDCT series but apparently without dialogue…could work for a five minute show?
  • Nobunaga-sensei no Osanazuma | 4/6 | Surprise Me – Oda Nobunaga’s wife gets sent to our time, mistakes a guy as Nobunaga, and tries to bang him. Truly a work of art in the making.
  • Nande Koko ni Sensei ga!? | 4/8 | Surprise Me – Some poor fellow gets caught up in perverted situations with his teacher. I can only assume this one climbed the popularity ranks because people are salty over how grounded Domestic Girlfriend turned out to be.

What I’ll Be Covering for the Blog:

  • Carole & Tuesday
  • Dororo (2019) [Carry-Over]
  • Fruits Basket (2019)

For the past three seasons, I usually experiment and then create a concrete blogging lineup but in light of how Winter has gone for me and my own life, it’s making more sense to hedge my bets now. I’m also trying to just settle on three shows…but knowing myself, I will keep the door open for one or two more shows. And finally, this set up is subject to change.

Anyway, that’s all, folks! What about you? What upcoming anime are you most interested in? What shows did I not include that you think I should consider? Let me know in the comments!


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6 thoughts on “Spring 2019 Season Preview

  1. I had no idea the Hitoribocchi anime was by the same mangka as ‘Mitsuboshi Colors’! That’s made my hype for that show skyrocket now!

    The show I’m most excited for is ‘Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO’. I know nothing about it but any show based on a visual novel always jumps to the top of my list, some of the most consistently entertaining and ridiculous anime are based on VN’s plus the fact its going to be 26 episodes caught my attention too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did see Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO when looking up the Spring lineup but it didn’t seem particularly noteworthy at the time. I’m also the opposite of you in that visual novel adaptations usually make me skeptical these days. They rarely, if ever, adapt around the nonlinear nature of their source materials and the ridiculousness is super hit or miss for me. That said, I’ll probably give this new one a shot since I like trying everything.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just posted my anticipation list earlier today if you want to check it out…

    Senryuu Shoujo (Senryuu Girl) – huh, I missed that one. But I study haiku, so my enthusiasm in…limited. Haiku is VERY difficult to translate and doesn’t lend itself to fast/simple/basic subtitle style common in the West. Senryu is probably a little easier as it’s not usually quite as refined, but still they somtimes rely on some rather subtle points of the Japanese language.

    Joshi Kausei – is available in the Crunchyroll manga reader if you want a quick taste of what the show is likely to be like. (I’ve been reading it for years.) CGDCT with an occasional touch of mild fanservice pretty much sums it up though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just got around to reading your post. 🙂 Left a comment too.

      I didn’t even consider the possible language barrier with Senryuu Girl until you brought it up. I’m hoping it won’t be an obstacle. I was able to enjoy Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu just fine and that also involved something with a lot of cultural and language roots.

      Honestly, I forgot the Crunchyroll manga reader exists lol. Maybe I’ll give Joshi Kausei a quick read through in advance. I used to try and read manga in advance before the anime airs but I kind of stopped doing that since it takes up more free time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joshi Kausei reads quickly as there’s not really much of a plot. (It’s basically a gag manga.) It takes me about two minutes or less to read a chapter. (Which is why I suspect the anime will be a short.) I find the Crunchyroll manga app to be much easier to use than the web based reader, but that’s just me.

        Senryuu Girl could just be me being over-sensitive because of my background/experience with Japanese poetry. I’m going to give it a chance and try not to be too picky.

        Like

  3. Carol & Tuesday looks phenomenal, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. Of course the new Fruits Basket is going to have to be a must watch as well as I’m a big fan of the franchise. The other ones look interesting, I’ll have to look them up a bit more. Thanks for sharing!! 😃😃

    Liked by 1 person

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