Spring TV Anime 2019, Part 1

by Sage Ashford

It’s that time of the year again.  We’re a little over two weeks out from the new season of anime, and so Comicon has gathered all the major TV anime flooding Crunchyroll, VRV, and Funimation this Spring!

Ultraman: Shinjiro is an ordinary teenager, but his father is the legendary Shin Hayata. When he learns that his father passed on the “Ultraman Factor” to him and that he possesses incredible powers, nothing will ever be the same again. [Viz Media]

Thoughts: The Ultraman manga has been running in Shogakukan’s Monthly Hero’s magazine for almost eight years now, offering it’s unique look at the Ultraman universe that isn’t tied to the fifty year canon of Tsuburaya’s live action series.  That makes it the perfect series to turn into an anime–it’s more realistic style and stripped down universe will be easier to convey to the world wide audience that will be experiencing Ultraman for the first time. Plus it’ll be filled with references to older Ultraman series, making it a neat way for newer fans to immerse themselves.

Premiering: April 1st.

Bakugan: Battle Planet: When Bakugan began emerging from the earth’s crust in a mysterious worldwide “awakening,” Dan and his friends find themselves at the epicenter of a new age. Dan and Company quickly learn that they must grow into more than just suburban kids looking for quick fame in the post-Bakugan era. They must learn how to work with their Bakugan and deploy them in battle in order to survive the seemingly endless forces out to control, enslave or just plain destroy the mysterious race of alien creatures. Dan and his friends will evolve into bona fide heroes by protecting their Bakugan, the Earth and ultimately the incredible secret hidden beneath our feet: Our planet has merged with another, living planet… Vestroia! (Bakugan)

Thoughts: This series is meant to serve as a reboot to the original Bakugan series from ’07, complete with “timely” references to social media like YouTube. Because it was meant to be aired on Cartoon Network and their higher ups think children have the attention spans of gnats, these new episodes will be split up into eleven minute chunks.  I think everyone has at least one or two of these series where the entire world revolves around a children’s game that’s their favorite. I generally prefer ones focused around card games, admittedly.

Premiering: April 1st.

Ace of Diamond: Act II: A meeting with catcher Kazuya Miyuki changed the 15-year-old Eijun Sawamura’s life. He said goodbye to all his friends and knocked upon the door of Seidou, a prestigious baseball school, intent on testing his own strength. There, he met many proud baseball players who were betting everything on the sport! A classic tale, yet new and fresh. All the emotion and excitement of the popular baseball manga is at last coming to television in the form of an anime! (Crunchyroll)

Thoughts: When I saw the title to this I was seriously hoping this was a literal card game anime.  The meme potential for a series centered around Poker–or better yet, Spades?! Twitter would turn a show like that into an overnight success.  But no, it’s a baseball series.  On the bright side, Ace of Diamond’s been pretty good for it’s last couple seasons.   It’ll have to complete this season with another series from a more storied mangaka, but this one’s a bit more…hot-blooded than the other one.  Plus, it’s got that sweet, sweet Madhouse animation.

Premiering: April 2nd.

YU-NO – A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World: In YU-NO, main character Takuya Arima is a high school student who recently had his father, a known historian, vanish mysteriously. While on vacation, Takuya receives a note from his father talking about the existence of parallel worlds, then discovers a device with the ability to transport him between the parallel worlds. (Comicon)

Thoughts: Doing my research on this one left me shocked this anime even exists. The original YU-NO was a visual novel released for the Sega Saturn in 1996.  So they can make an anime of this, but not Lunar: Silver Star Story?  There’s no justice in this world, is there?

Seriously though, YU-NO’s parallel world exploration gimmick is the selling point here.  Director Tetsuo Hirakawa is also determined to adapt as much of the original game as possible, and crank up the elements people found popular there–from “dirty jokes” to the tsundere-ness of certain characters.  It’s on you as to whether or not you consider that a “good” thing.

Premiering: April 2nd.

Aikatsu Friends: Brilliant Jewel: A sequel to the series Aikatsu Friends. Set two years after the original, Brilliant Jewel will follow Yuuki Aine and Minato Mio as they enter Star Harmony Academy.

Thoughts: More over the top henshin sequences with impossibly fashionable idols.  What’s not to like?  Other than that this is harder to find subbed than most other anime coming out this season.

Premiering: April 4th.

Han-Gyaku-sei Million Arthur 2nd Season: In the world of Million Arthur, the power of Excalibur has been divided into a million different pieces, with each one granting the wielder the right to be called “Arthur”, and a potential King of England.  These pieces have been found across time, and to restore the universe back to its proper place, six Arthurs have agreed to work together, wielding particularly powerful pieces of Excalibur, to defeat the million Arthurs and combine those pieces of Excalibur into one once more.

Thoughts: Last fall’s Million Arthur was by no means one of the better series to come out of the season. The plot was nonsensical and J.C. Staff wasn’t the best with the animation most of the time, but the character designs are cute and the characters themselves are incredibly charming. Leader Arthur’s attempts to win her team over easily made her one of my favorite characters from that season.  That said, I suspect I’ll only be able to stick with this a couple episodes again before being distracted by all the other shiny series coming out this Spring.

Premiering: April 4th.

Bakumatsu Crisis: This story takes place during the Bakumatsu era in Japan. Japan’s history looked bleak during this time, and many passionate men fought over hegemony within the country, various ideals in their hearts. Shinsaku Takasugi, a samurai warrior from Choshu, attempts to sneak onto a ship run by Yoshinobu Tokugawa, his partner Kogoro Katsura at his side. Takasugi and Katsura aim to steal a legendary treasure that is said to have the ability to control time: the pocket watch “Jishingi.” However, the moment they obtain the watch, it is stolen from them by a woman dressed in black. (Crunchyroll)

Thoughts: If you were into the first season of Bakumatsu, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s coming with the second season: pretty boys, good art, some solid samurai action.  That said: this series doesn’t really do enough with what’s pretty well-tread ground for anime for me, so I’m going to pass. Still, as it’s based on a game it’s good they’ll at least get to (presumably) finish the story they were telling.

Premiering: April 5th.

Youkai Watch: A brand new entry in the Youkai Watch universe, featuring Keita as the series’ main character.

Thoughts:  Just keep this series popular long enough for Youkai Watch 4 for the Nintendo Switch to make it stateside, that’s all I ask.

Premiering: April 5th.

Fruits Basket: Tohru Honda thought her life was headed for misfortune when a family tragedy left her living in a tent. When her small home is discovered by the mysterious Soma clan, she suddenly finds herself living with Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure Soma. But she quickly learns their family has a bizarre secret of their own: when hugged by the opposite sex, they turn into the animals of the Zodiac! (Funimation)

Thoughts: Talk about a blast from the past. Fruits Basket was one of the standout series of the 2000s that never quite got licensed to air on Toonami, likely due to its demographic not lining up with what Cartoon Network wanted for television. Nonetheless, it was immensely beloved by a number of us baby anime fans of the 2000s, and while it wasn’t for me I’m incredibly happy to see it return. Seeing shows cut off too early because they catch up to the manga is a real bummer, and every one making a successful come back could only be good news for the rest of us who have favorite series they want to see return. Even if it weren’t, it’s always great to have classic series get updated for the HD era, and Fruits Basket looks beautiful.

Premiering: April 6th.

Senryuu Shoujo: Yukishiro Nanako is teenaged girl who writes senryuu poems rather than talking with people to communicate with others. Nanako becomes one of the freshmen of the school’s Literature club alongside Busujima Eiji.  The two go through their school life finding ways to communicate through senryuu haiku.

Thoughts: An incredibly clever idea for a series, Kana Hanazawa (Nanako) is going to have to put in an incredible performance to portray the main character’s emotions through just sounds alone.  This will likely be a sleeper hit for those looking for a sweet slice of life series this Spring.

Premiering: April 6th.

We’re finished all too soon, but not to worry!  We’ve got plenty more series to get into.   Next time, prepare for things to get a lot more…action-y.

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.

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