Spring 2020 Season Preview

Sorry I haven’t been positing the past few days. I got sick with a runny nose, sore throat, and congestion so I wasn’t in the best mood to blog and I even took a few day off of work (that is until the school closed down due to coronavirus concerns). Honestly, I’m still recovering but it has gotten better and I do need to get this season preview out at the very least (I’m already a few days late).

I’m very curious as to how smoothly Spring 2020 will go, what with the Coronavirus pandemic affecting just about everything in the world. Surprisingly, a huge majority of the shows slated are still set to premiere as planned. There’s only been a couple delays announced so far, the big one being Re:Zero Season 2. Something could still happen as the shows air/stream though so who knows what will happen in the coming weeks. Of course, if something does happen, it’s whatever. Safety and health matter most for anyone and the anime industry is obviously the least of Japan’s concerns.

Anyway, let’s take a look at Spring 2020 and assume for the best..

Tamayomi

Premieres: April 1 at 22:00 JST Streaming: Funimation
Studio: Studio A-CAT Source: Manga

A sports/possible CGDCT anime about two baseball prodigies reuniting in high school. I suppose Cinderella Nine fulfilled the baseball niche already but while I didn’t dislike it, it wasn’t engaging enough for me. Maybe this one will win me over? The show does look a bit cheap (the principal cast also seems entirely new) but it is based on a manga and not a mobile gacha game so the chances for good storytelling is a little bit higher.

Kami no Tou: Tower of God
(Tower of God)

Premieres: April 2 at 0:30 JST Streaming: Crunchyroll
Studio: Telecom Animation Film Source: Manhwa

Crunchyroll has helped finance anime productions before but it appears that they’re starting to be more aggressive with offering original programming now that Funimation has been sweeping up a lot of simulcast licenses. Tower of God is the first offering in their Crunchyroll Originals programming (or second if you count In/Spectre). I actually don’t know a whole lot about the source material other than it’s a South Korean webtoon and a pretty popular one at that. The plot sounds interesting enough though — a young boy adventuring in a mysterious tower that he’s lived in for most of his life.

Kakushigoto

Premieres: April 2 at 22:30 JST Streaming: Funimation
Studio: Ajia-do Source: Manga

Kakushigoto centers around a scenario I’ve always been curious about: an ecchi mangaka trying to raise his child without them finding out what his profession actually is. I suppose Ao-chan Can’t Study! kind of involved this but that was more of a framing device (frankly, the dad in that show sucks). Kakushigoto seems more keen on the parenting so it may be more up my alley.

Shin Sakura Taisen the Animation

Premieres: April 3 at 22:00 JST Streaming: Funimation
Studio: Sanzigen Source: Video Game

An anime adaptation for Sakura Wars, the recent soft-reboot for the cult RPG series of the same name. I would prefer to play the game first but this anime is coming out a few weeks before the game releases in the U.S. so I guess I might as well try it first. The game received pretty positive scores but that might not necessarily speak well of the anime since video games are extremely tough to adapt.

Listeners

Premieres: April 4 at 1:55 JST Streaming: Funimation
Studio: MAPPA Source: Original

An original production by MAPPA set in a world where music has been lost to time. When a young boy discovers a girl with a built-in audio jack, the pair embark on a journey to rediscover the lost medium. I’m not too familiar with the past works of director Hiroaki Ando and main writer Dai Satou but the cast is very star studded with Ayumu Murase and Rie Takahashi playing the two leads.

Arte

Premieres: April 4 at 22:00 JST Streaming: Funimation
Studio: Seven Arcs Source: Manga

By default, any anime set outside of Japanese high school is going to catch my attention and Arte certainly does with its Renaissance-era Italy setting. As for the plot, the show revolves around a girl named Arte who leaves her noble life to become an artist (yeah, her name is a bit on the nose). Reika Yoshida is handling script composition and I really liked her work on Violet Evergarden back in 2018.

Gal to Kyouryuu
(Gal & Dino)

Premieres: April 5 at 1:00 JST Streaming: Funimation
Studio: Kamikaze Douga & Space Neko Company Source: Manga

This show is about a gyaru living with a dinosaur. I can’t not be curious about this.

Yesterday wo Utatte
(Sing “Yesterday” for Me”)

Premieres: April 5 at 1:30 JST Streaming: Crunchyroll
Studio: Doga Kobo Source: Manga

One of two Doga Kobo anime premiering this season though this one seems less their M.O. Sing “Yesterday” for Me is a drama about a struggling college grad meeting two women, one of them being his ex and the other a mysterious woman who owns a pet crow. The manga, which dates back to 1997, concluded with 11 volumes so the anime should be able to cover the whole story within its 18 episode run. This one is definitely a curious show on Spring’s lineup.

Digimon Adventure

Premieres: April 5 at 9:00 JST Streaming: Crunchyroll
Studio: Toei Animation Source: Digimon Adventure (1999)

You’d think the Tri movies would be it for milking on Digimon Adventure nostalgia but here we are with a re-imagining of the original show. I view a lot of remakes as unnecessary but this one especially makes me ask “What?” and “Why?”. Maybe the updated setting could be interesting and as someone who grew up with Digimon up until Frontier, I’m curious enough to at least check out the premiere.

Princess Connect! Re:Dive

Premieres: April 7 at 0:30 JST Streaming: Crunchyroll
Studio: CygamesPictures Source: Mobile Game

I really only put Princess Connect! on the radar because Cygames is pretty popular and I was pleasantly surprised by the anime adaptation for Uma Musume. To be frank, the plot sounds super generic — a boy wakes up in a fantasy world with amnesia and meets a bunch of girls. The character designs do look really good though, as is the case with all of Cygames’ properties.

Houkago Teibou Nisshi
(Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater
)

Premieres: April 7 at 22:00 JST Streaming: Funimation
Studio: Doga Kobo Source: Manga

The second Doga Kobo anime for Spring 2020 and the one that’s more their shtick. It’s a CGDCT anime so it’s on the radar as a potential candidate for my seasonal streak. The fishing theme is kind of neat but I have a feeling this will be a largely serviceable or pedestrian experience, as is the case with most of Doga Kobo’s CGDCT anime.

BNA: Brand New Animal

Premieres: April 9 at 0:55 JST Streaming: Jail Netflix
Studio: Trigger Source: Original

Trigger hype still eludes but SSSS.Gridman was pretty good, people seem to like Promare, and nothing can’t be more disappointing than Darling in the FranXX. I can muster some hope for BNA, certainly more than usual. It does have Kazuki Nakashima as series composer and Yoh Yoshinari is a pretty capable director (his direction was not an issue with Little Witch Academia). The plot is also little bit different from Trigger or even Gainax’s past works – a girl mutates into a tanuki-human hybrid and soon discovers a secret society comprised of people like her.

Appare-Ranman!

Premieres: April 10 at 21:30 JST Streaming: Funimation
Studio: P.A. Works Source: Original

A wild west racing anime involving steampunk technology. As always, original properties are the biggest wild cards but it’s P.A. Works animating and you have Evan Call composing the soundtrack. The show will at least look and sound great.

Movies:

  • Princess Principal: Crown Handler | 4/10 (Delayed) – The long-awaited return of one of the best anime of 2017. It’s a bummer to see Ichirou Oukouchi sitting this one out. I think his writing was a big part of why I love Princess Principal. Ayaka Inamura no longer voicing Ange is a shame as well. Still, I’m really happy to see Team White Pigeon in action again and I hope Sentai Filmworks will secure the license for this.
  • Violet Evergarden The Movie | 4/24 (Delayed) – Even though I really like Violet Evergarden, I’m wary of this sequel film as it seems to adapt what I consider to be one of the worst parts of the books. I’m still curious how it’ll be adapted given the anime’s long list of changes, most of which I’ve preferred over the original text. Regardless of the result, this movie (as well as Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll) will still be a bit emotional for me since it’s the one of first KyoAni productions after that horrible arson last year.
  • Given | 5/16 – I’m glad more of Given will be animated. The show is really good but it’s such a slow burn that by the time it ends, there’s clearly more left to be told. We’re apparently going to explore more on the B couple which is fine by me as damn it, I want that ship to sail too.
  • Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight: Rondo Rondo Rondo | 5/29 – I normally ignore compilation films but I’m really curious as to how the format could work for Revue Starlight. That show is so episodic and character-driven that skimming it in 90 minutes sounds awful. The one possible redeeming quality is if Kinema Citrus has the chance to revise some action scenes. As good as they were in the show, you can tell some corners were cut.

OVAs/Specials:

  • Outburst Dreamer Boys | 3/25 – To be honest, I felt Outburst Dreamer Boys lost steam as it went on (the finale is pretty great though). One more episode can’t hurt however. Maybe this will address the one last thread the show left a mystery (though I’m not against it staying unanswered).
  • We Never Learn | 4/3 – I actually still need to watch Season 2 though I am aware that the anime concluded with an original ending. This will likely be some bonus scenario to tide fans over.
  • Room Camp Special Episode | 5/27 – I can’t decide if it’s scummy or not to reserve some of Rin’s screentime as a Blu-ray extra.

Thanks for reading!

This post was last updated on April 6, 2020.

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