What to Watch: Spring Anime Preview

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Thank you for taking the time to read this humble otaku’s very first article here.  My name is Kevin, but I’ll just mush up all three of my names into an awkward sounding new pen name.  This is my very first article here on Critical Blast - which means I’ll be the one to try and hold down the anime fort.  Wish me luck!

With the winter season winding down, let’s get down to what everyone is talking about: new (and returning) anime!

It shouldn’t be hard to find something to watch this April as it’s packed with returning favorites and brand new shows alike.  The anime industry is ready to bring back a lot of familiar faces, while still giving us plenty of new series to remind us just how impossible it is to keep up with everything.

Starting with something that is near and dear to the hearts of many anime fans - something that many of us grew up with - it’s the return of “Fruits Basket”!  For those who are unfamiliar, this will be the second adaptation based off the manga by Natsuki Takaya, which debuted in 1999.  This popular reverse harem first debuted as an anime in July 2001.

You can bet there’s going to be a lot of attention on this one.  Tohru Honda is one of the most beloved protagonists in anime and manga, especially in the West.  I’ve seen Laura Bailey getting a con hug once before because of her role as Tohru, but I’m confident it’s happened PLENTY of times.  It doesn’t happen very often, but there’s a certain magical feeling when we see our childhood favorite heroes and heroines reuniting when we’re adults.

The Sohma brothers are back, and so is their family curse of turning into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac upon making physical contact with someone of the opposite sex.  For me personally, this was an odd twist that didn’t make sense to me at first glance as a younger viewer.  After finding out its true nature, it’s now a lot more charming to see the story give us some humor in the curse, rather than making some off-color jokes about not being able to get laid.

Another returning favorite is the massively popular “Attack on Titan”.  The series continues to “feed” off the success of its bloody combination of giant man-eating zombies, dark ages espionage, and religious cults.  Can you believe it’s already been six years since the breach of Wall Maria?

After Part 2 of Season 3 went on hiatus, fans have been eager for more.  Unlike a lot of manga, this was a story made for television and movies, and just catching up on the source material isn’t enough.  Just like Sasha trying to satisfy her hunger by eating as much as possible (are Titans just mindless Sashas?) we want to quench our thirst for destruction!  Bring on the carnage!

“One Punch Man” is also coming back, albeit there will be a change in studios: J.C. Staff is now taking over the reins from Madhouse.  But what difference does that make, really?  As long as this show maintains the indomitable fighting spirit that our Saitama and the rest of our heroes boasted in the first season, I’m still very much onboard.

“Bungo Stray Dogs” Season 3 is right around the corner and is often overshadowed by all of the superhero hype in anime.  Even I’m guilty of not checking it out yet for myself - remember that part about it being impossible to keep up with everything?  Too many shows!  Still, while there are some things I’ve been putting off in favor of the more mainstream anime, it seems like I can’t ignore BSD anymore.  Especially if I plan on writing articles covering anime!

And then we have Isekai Quartet.  “Overlord”, “KonoSuba”, “Re:Zero”, and “Saga of Tanya the Evil” are all packed together in a chibi-style comedy reminiscent of “Attack on Titan Junior High”, or better yet, Type-Moon’s “Carnival Phantasm”.  It’s good to know that these anime don’t always have to take themselves too seriously, which is something that live-action series simply can’t do.  I can honestly say I have watched 3 of these 4 shows, and I’ll leave it up to you to decide which of these I haven’t checked out yet.

Unfortunately for me, there’s a lot of new stuff too!  “Why the Hell Are You Here, Teacher?” is based off a manga by Soborou.  Kojima-sensei is known as a demon teacher - but around her high school student Ichirou, she is clumsy and air-headed.  Ichirou will occasionally find himself in awkward situations with her (men’s room, swimming pool) so let’s just call him the lucky pervert MC.  I definitely have not read the manga, but I’m sure there’s a catch to all of this, so I’ll give this wacky premise a chance and see what happens.

“Carole & Tuesday” will be a Netflix exclusive, and for good reason.  The gorgeous animation and sincere character drama can attract even the most general non-anime viewer that loves browsing the popular streaming service for new content.  It’s also another chance for music to shine without moé blobs distracting us from the emotional hook that can elicit a real appreciation for anime.

And finally, there’s “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba”.  Ufotable is back, bringing us a brand-spankin' new fantasy action series.  Best known for putting the Fate series on the map with 2011’s “Fate/Zero” and the subsequent “Fate/stay night” television and movie anime adaptations, Ufotable has garnered a reputation for remarkably animated fighting sequences.  So what do they have in store for us this time?  A story of a young swordsman out to save his sister and kill as many demons as possible.  Sounds pretty straightforward, but we can also expect a lot of thematic self-narrating by the hero, not much different than what we heard from Shirou in Fate.

There’s a lot more than that of course!  But hey, I only have so much time to write.  Between work, watching anime, and playing Fate/Grand Order, I get worn out as it is.  Hopefully, I’ll have the time and energy to keep this up!

So I’ll leave you with a little something that covers everything down to the last OVA based on a light novel.

Until next time, whenever that is, this is Kwimitch signing off.