We’ve finally done it! We’ve made it to the end of this long road.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War: As leaders of their prestigious academy’s student council, Kaguya and Miyuki are the elite of the elite! But it’s lonely at the top… Luckily for them, they’ve fallen in love! There’s just one problem—they both have too much pride to admit it. And so begins the daily scheming to get the object of their affection to confess their romantic feelings first… (Viz Media)
Thoughts: Another romance series makes it’s way out of Weekly Young Jump. While I think the premise of this is kinda dumb since you only “lose” in a relationship when you’re trapped in a bad one, I love the narration of this opening clip and from the research I’ve done the characters are really well-written. If A-1 does the animation right this might be one of the better romance series for the year.
Premiering: January 12th.
Endro!: On Naral Island, adventurers prepare for the return of the Demon King. But although the King has returned, and the hero who slayed him too, the girls of Endro seem far more interested in continuing to go to school and enjoy their lives in a world that mixes fantasy and slice of life.
Thoughts: “I mean…we could go fight the Demon King. But I’d rather sleep in late and go eat some snacks!” the series. I respect the creativity involved in finding a different way to do slice of life, but I’m not a part of the audience this is aiming at.
Premiering: January 13th.
The Kotobuki Squadron in The Wilderness: In a desolated ground spreading all over, people have carried out distributions and trades, and have lived while helping each other. The “Kotobuki Squadron” is a team of hired bouncers. With its unique members, such as the strict but beautiful female president, the unreliable commander in the field, and the leader of its maintenance unit with a craftsman’s pride, they fight against sky pirates. (Crunchyroll)
Thoughts: The 3D experiment continues. Frustrating as these are, they’re not going away so hopefully eventually advances are made so they don’t feel so jarring compared to normal animation. While the lead characters for this look likable enough to follow, the animation is a big hindrance to me. More importantly, “old-timey planes” don’t really appeal to me as an aesthetic.
Premiering: January 13th.
Kemono Friends 2: The story takes place in Japari Park, an enormous integrated zoo built somewhere in this world. A mysterious substance found there, called “Sand Star,” causes the animals to turn into humanoid beings called “Animal Girls”! These new creatures spend every day peacefully with the zoo’s visitors… but after some time, a lost child turns up in the park. The child’s attempt to find the way home turns into a great adventure with the Animal Girls! (Crunchyroll)
Thoughts: Cute girls doing…animal things? The first season of this dropped back in 2017 and enjoyed a pretty good run in Japan, no doubt helping out the game it was based on. However, it remains to be seen whether or not this series will be able maintain the same worldbuilding of the original. However, it is a bit weird they didn’t bother to improve the animation much given how well received the first one was.
Premiering: January 15th.
Forest of Piano Season 2: Kai grows up playing an old piano discarded in the woods; Shuhei’s father is a famous pianist. Their chance meeting transforms their lives and music. (Netflix)
Thoughts: Most people know what they’re getting into with this since it’s the second season. Too bad it’s going to vanish from sight until it’s finished airing then randomly appear on Netflix later in the year.
Premiering: January 28th.
Star☆Twinkle Precure: The newest installment in the popular, long-running Pretty Cure magical girl franchise, this season will use constellations as its theme. In Star Twinkle, the twelve Star Princesses who maintain order are attacked. To revive these princesses, twelve Star Color Pens are required. Hikaru, a young girl from Earth, is granted a Star Color Pendant and Pen, and uses it to transform into Star Cure and help find the remaining Pens alongside a group of aliens as the Star Twinkle Precure.
Thoughts: I’m impressed Toei managed to make a version of Sentai for young girls, and it’s seemingly more popular than Super Sentai is right now. Eventually I need to get into this, it just seems so daunting of a series–Star Twinkle will make the sixteenth version. I might try to make this the series to give a shot to–I’m a sucker for constellation-based series.
Premiering: February 3rd.
For those keeping count, that’s thirty six brand new series either airing already or coming out over the next two more weeks. Which ones are you looking forward to?