Spring Anime 2018 TV Guide, Part Two

by Sage Ashford

Welcome to week two of the Spring Anime television guide. Are you exhausted yet? No? Well, hold on. I’ve got another fifteen series for you this week, ranging from romance to giant robots to murderous magical girls.

The Scales of Nil Admirari: In order to protect her waning family, a girl resolves to marry a man she doesn’t even know the name of. However, just before the marriage was to take place, the girl’s younger brother mysteriously committed suicide by self-immolation and was found holding an old book in his hands. That same girl meets the “Imperial Library Intelligence Asset Management Bureau,” more commonly referred to as “Fukurou.” These men claim to hunt books that are capable of greatly affecting their readers. On top of that, following the incident with her younger brother, she gains the ability to see “Auras” (the sentiments of those books which manifest as bright lights and are usually invisible to humans). What awaited the girl was the darkness of betrayal that had already begun to bewitchingly inlay the imperial capital. Toyed by and swayed within that darkness, will the young girl finally reach the truth after her struggles, or…?

Thoughts: A bunch of absurdly pretty boys with a young woman at the center of the plot?  Yup, sounds like a series based off an otome game, basically the inverse of the usually male-dominated harem series. It seems to be approaching some semblance of a plot, so I might give the first episode a chance. But I’m not really big on harems even when they’re aimed at me, so this is a series that will be on thin ice.

Premiering: April 1st.

Hype: 4/10?  5/10? I guess 5/10 as a way of expressing baseline hype.

Mahou Shoujo Ore: Welcome to a world where idols are capable of transforming into Magical Girls. Only…in this world, becoming a Magical Girl means transforming into a buff, handsome, cross-dressing dude. But when you need to rescue people you want to protect from demons, you can’t be picky.

Thoughts: The proliferation of Magical Girls as a genre has resulted in some of my favorite anime series, as the genre varies and iterates on itself to stay fresh. But this…I’m not sure where this is coming from.  Is it humorous? Action? Action but largely focused on humor?  Depending on the direction I might be hyped, or just annoyed. But this seems like the kind of show where if its any good, the internet won’t shut up about it so I’ll hop on if that’s the case.

Premiering: April 2nd.

Hype: 3/10.

Captain Tsubasa (2018): Eleven year old Tsubasa Oozora is obsessed with soccer.  So much so, he moves with his mother to Nankatsu, a city known for it’s elementary school soccer program. Once the best in his old town, here Tsubasa finds himself constantly challenged by the kids at this new school, causing him to constantly up his game. Ultimately Tsubasa wishes to represent Japan in the FIFA World Cup, but will he make his dream a reality?

Thoughts: If nothing else, I love how the rapid increase in production of anime has resulted in several classic franchises coming back. Like most millennials I’m as much a sucker for nostalgia as anyone else, but more importantly these projects always try to emulate the art styles of the era. That’s resulted in a wider artistic variety that keeps things from resembling the sameness of the mid-2000’s.

That said, soccer and sports anime have never really been my thing. Plus I wouldn’t choose such a down to Earth series when the much more ridiculous Inazuma Eleven comes out this year too.

Premiering: April 2nd.

Hype: 1/10, not watching.

Making a Living at an Inn in the Afterlife: Aoi Tsubaki is a college student that has the ability to see spirits. While feeding some agricultural spirits, she gets teleported away to the underworld by a demon-god who owns a place known as the Heavenly Inn. The demon-god claims that Aoi must marry him in order to pay off her grandfather’s debts, but instead Aoi agrees to work as a cook at the Heavenly Inn in order to earn enough to return to the land of the living.

Thoughts: A different, but still accurate summary: A girl tries to go to college but gets kidnapped and told she’s been auctioned off to marry a demon by her deceased grandfather. How come everything supposedly romantic and cute winds up incredibly creepy instead? I’m gonna pass on this, and I’m not going to feel bad about it.

Premiering: April 2nd.

Hype: 0/10.

Lupin the Third Part 5: The legendary thief travels to France, the home of his grandfather and namesake, Arsene Lupin.

Thoughts: Though it took me some time to get used to, I eventually loved seeing the recent Lupin series that saw the character spend time in Italy, robbing the place of all its most precious items. Much of the crew from that series is returning too, including director Yuuichirou Yano, and character designer Hisao Yokobori. That could be a great thing if you loved Lupin Part IV, or it could be a terrible thing if you didn’t. Still, I’m pretty excited–the weirdness IV had was exclusively found at the start of the series, and towards the middle it really hit its stride. Having been to this rodeo once, I trust all of them to do a better job the second time.

Premiering: April 3rd.

Hype: 9/10, I’ve always loved the Lupin crew and I’m glad to have them back.

 

3D Girlfriend: Real Girl: Tsuitsui is a major otaku. Mocked by his classmates, he’s written off “real women”, until he winds up cleaning the student pool with Iroha, a blunt woman who seems to be everything he dislikes about women. Still, despite his cold behavior she remains friendly towards him, never calls him creepy, and even seems…interested in him?

Thoughts: Romance isn’t my favorite genre, but a few times a year I try series just to break out of my own box. This has the potential to be kinda sweet, and at only twelve episodes it won’t drag on forever. Better yet, the manga is under 50 chapters so hopefully they can swing a good adaptation.

Premiering: April 3rd.

Hype: 7/10, watching. I’m not sure what to expect after doing research, but I’m hopeful.

Gundam Build Divers: The third in the Gundam Build series, Divers takes place in a world that has the GBN, the Gunpla Battle Nexus Online. There, people can use Gunpla to enjoy a wide variety of potential missions in cyberspace. This time the story centers on Riku Mikami, a middle-schooler who looks up to the Gunpla Battle champion Kyoya Kujo. When he meets a strange Diver named Sara, he and his friends form a Gunpla Diver group and begin on their journey to become the best Battle Divers in the world.

Thoughts: YESSSS! The Gundam Build series is one of my favorite of the Gundam sub-franchises. The politicking and complex character arcs of the “real” series is awesome, but I’m just as big a fan of shutting my brain off and giving into the insanity. The original Build Fighters series featured some of the best fight scenes of any Gundam series, and even the second has some great geek out moments for mecha fans. Plus, the series is literally Gundam Heaven, where all the people who had to live out such tragic lives in their own universes can enjoy some happiness. I’m a little uncomfortable by all the furries and strange animals being inserted, but hopefully we can keep things pure and stick to ridiculous beatdowns featuring custom robots from all my favorite series.

Premiering: April 3rd.

Hype: 10/10, watching. I couldn’t be more excited for this.

The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis – Encounter: In humanity’s distant future, two interstellar states—the monarchic Galactic Empire and the democratic Free Planets Alliance—are embroiled in a never-ending war. The story focuses on the exploits of rivals Reinhard von Müsel and Yang Wen Li as they rise to power and fame in the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance.

Thoughts: Legend of the Galactic Heroes is the most legendary anime that you’ve never heard of.  Launching in the 1980’s as a space opera epic, the original series ran for over one hundred episodes all in beautiful, direct to video animation. They worked tirelessly to bring Yoshiki Tanaka’s magnum opus novel series to life, and the majority of fans would say that they succeeded. Often referred to as Japan’s Star Wars, the first animated series and it’s films are considered a seminal work in the genre, and a must-see for most hardcore anime fans.

Saying that, I’d yet to get to it so this initially felt like a boon to me. I was really excited, but I learned about the incredibly short episode count and the film “sequels” scheduled to come after this and it set off my “cash grab” senses. I was burned once before, and I don’t want to deal with that again…

Premiering: April 3rd.

Hype: 7/10, absolutely watching and hesitantly monitoring overall response to this series as it releases.

Alice or Alice: Alice or Alice is a slice of life series following a pair of identical twins both named Alice, and their older brother who obsesses over them. Follow their story as they get into fights, eat delicious food, and play with friends!

Thoughts: …Or you could, y’know…not do any of that. This could be really cute if they want it to be, or it could be another Sweet Punishment. I’m not interested in taking the chance to find out, honestly.

Premiering: April 4th.

Hype: 0/10.

Comic Girls: Based on a 4-panel manga series, Comic Girls follows a group of women manga creators living together in a dormitory. The primary character is Kaoruko Moeta, a fifteen year old student who makes 4-panel manga under the pseudonym “Chaos”. When her book is ranked at the very bottom, her editor recommends transferring to an all-female dorm of all manga creators, where Kaoruko meets three new women: Koyume Koizuka (a shoujo manga artist), Ruki Irokawa (an ecchi manga artist), and Tsubasa Katsuki (a shonen manga artist).

Thoughts: The only other anime I’m aware of about people who create manga is Bakuman, so this doesn’t have a terribly high bar to clear to be considered good in my opinion. This runs the risk of being a CGDCT (Cute Girls Doing Cute Things) kind of series, but y’know what?  That’s fine, I at least want to give it a shot.

Premiering: April 5th.

Hype: Y’know what?  …7/10.  There, take that.

Megalo Box: Megalo Box is meant to be a spiritual successor to “Tomorrow’s Joe”, celebrating the classic series’ fiftieth anniversary. Taking place in a futuristic world where boxers make their sport more exciting by using prosthetic exosuits, the series is about an underground boxer named Junk Dog. Junk Dog goes into the world of Megalo Box, where fighters combine technology and training for the ultimate sport.

Thoughts: I’m torn on this series. On the one hand, the only thing that could ever make me care about the sport of boxing is probably adding mechs. On the other, my mind is boggled by the idea of how human bodies can take being hit by exo-skeletons and not crumple after a fight or two. And on that same hand, if the series deals with that I’m not wholly sure I’m ready for how heavy that can get. Still, I’m watching at least the first episode.

Premiering: April 5th.

Hype: 7/10, watching.  No promises it’ll be good.

 

Tada-kun Doesn’t Fall in Love: Mitsuyoshi Tada is a Japanese high school student who has a chance meeting with a gorgeous foreigner named Teresa Wagner. Teresa is a European girl from Luxembourg who’s in Japan to study abroad, but she got lost when she landed and was separated from her traveling companion. In an attempt to help her, he guides Teresa to his grandfather’s coffee shop.

Thoughts: This is such a classical romance plot that I’m actually shocked it’s an anime at all.  I’m sure there’s plenty of time to insert some anime wackiness into it, but this might just be pretty good. The animation in the promotional video is gorgeous, and it’s directed by Mitsue Yamazaki, who did the fairly well-received Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun.

Premiering: April 5th.

Hype: 5/10, I’ll give the first episode a try.  No promises I’ll stick with it, though.

Mahou Shoujo Site: When a young girl gets bullied endlessly at school, she turns to the internet for help. While online, she discovers the strange “Magical Girl Site”, and viewing it plunges her into the Magical Girl Apocalypse. Here, to stay alive magical girls have to fight against one another, brandishing their powers against one another in cruel, neverending violence.

Thoughts: Mahou Shoujo Ore seems like it could at least make a statement, by flipping gender expectations on their head. This feels like it’s for the ton of people who didn’t get enough death and destruction involving girls in brightly colored frilly outfits from Madoka.  There’s an intense focus on horror here, which automatically makes me check out. I watch magical girl series shonen-style action with women as the focus, but that doesn’t mean I want to see them all murdered. 

Premiering: April 6th.

Hype: 0/10.

Hinamatsuri: Based off the comedy seinen manga from Masao Ohtake, Hinamatsuri is the story of Yoshifumi Nitta, a young yakuza who belongs to the Ashikawa clan. One day, a strange object crashes into his room, containing an emotionless girl with psionic abilities named Hina. Feeling threatened by her powers, Nitta allows Hina to live with him. Because Hina’s a lazy and sloppy roommate, Nitta often has to take care of her. Gradually, Hina begins to trust Nitta, because he never tries to use her power for his own personal gain.

Thoughts: I’m digging the art style on this and the humor seems kind of adorable. I’ll probably give it an episode, but it’s almost a guarantee I’ll wind up dropping it eventually. Not because it’s bad, but because there are so many other series that I have to watch this upcoming season that there’s no way I’ll keep up with them all. Still, I feel confident that this series will wind up with a small fanbase that’s really passionate about it, because it looks legit.

Premiering: April 6th.

Hype: 5/10.

Lostorage conflated WIXOSS: A mixed-media project between Takara Tomy, J.C. Staff, and Warner Entertainment Japan, WIXOSS is a series that combines card games with dark, psychological storytelling. The series has existed for nearly four years now, getting a sequel series every other year or so. It’s set in a world where WIXOSS is real, and players battle using the help of smaller humanoid beings known as LRIGs. The players are given the chance to have a single wish granted if they can win enough battles against others, but if they lose three times they’re cursed instead.

Thoughts: Isn’t Yu-Gi-Oh pretentious enough by the end?  I really appreciate a card game incorporating women into the main cast, but WIXOSS just seems extra.  I wouldn’t even know where to start with this show, since I bailed on the first season back in 2014.  Still, between VRAINS and Vanguard, we’ve got frankly too many card game anime series for me to keep up with.

Premiering: April 6th.

Hype: 3/10.

And that’s fifteen!  Sorry about posting them out of order, the dates are actually still being settled on for many of these series. As far as hard watches, I just picked up another five series to watch this season. Ugh. Well, at least I’m halfway through! See you guys next week.

Sage Ashford

A writer with way too many hobbies, Sage can often be found catching up on the latest anime, or reading a stack of comics between Wednesdays and Thursdays.