Cross-posted from my work at TheDigiQuest.com
Every anime season, I snoop around AniChart and MyAnimeList for those special upcoming anime that will integrate into my weekly routine over the next three months. I prepare a list of everything I predict will be noteworthy and whatever else my silly anime taste picks up along the way. Thus far, each season has been a fairly tight list, consisting of no more than four series that peak my interest. And, while I’ve missed one or two gems, I’m pretty confident in my keen eye. This time, however, Spring is jam-packed with so many anime that I’ll be splitting this list into two posts. So, buckle up anime boys and girls because the Japanese train is about to roll on into the station with a heaping supply of fresh anime.
My Hero Academia Season 2
My Hero Academia is a shounen fighting anime through and through. It knows it, we know it, and it knows we know it. That’s why its second season is my most anticipated anime of the Spring. Taking cues and tropes from popular series like Dragon Ball Z and Naruto, My Hero Academia is a prime example of what is possible when you treat tropes with the utmost respect. An underdog protagonist, incredible fight scenes, the ability to get you hyped at all the right moments, and a cast of unique and interest characters, My Hero Academia weaves each of its parts together to bring one of the most enjoyable action series to date. Our characters don’t succeed because they have friendship or they want it more than the bad guys, they succeed within the limits of their own power and whit. Its a journey of an underdog who even when granted his golden ticket, remains humble in the face of the power he’s never known and relies more on thinking situations through than just punching without knowing its trajectory. My Hero Academia is good, genuine fun that makes you remember why exactly you’re watching anime.
In a world where 80% are born with powers, or “quirks”, and heroes roam the streets, Izuku Midoriya is one of the few known as “quirkless”. Despite aspiring to be a great hero like his idol All Might from a young age, Midoriya drew the short stick in life. Pushing forward day by day holding out hope that maybe, just maybe, someone will tell him that even he can be a hero. Even with the set-up, My Hero Academia isn’t that story, not in its entirety. No, it’s an origin story. It’s the story of how Izuku Midoriya became the most powerful hero as a student of All Might and the successor of his power, All for One. This spring, season 2 will lead us into the stable of fighting shounen series, the tournament arc, and show us once again what it means to go beyond, plus ultra!
Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ♭ (Season 2)
Ah, Saekano. As I rose to my current level of anime viewing, I found that I gravitate towards a specific genre of anime. Mainly, I like RomComs, especially ones focused around videos games, whether game-playing protagonists, game creators, or so on. Now sure, the tropes in these types of anime have become so overplayed and lousy throughout the years that it almost seems taboo to get excited about. But, trust me when I say that even though Saekano can be generic at times, I find that it stands above most of the filth in its genre by being very self-aware and smart about the tropes it fiddles with to the point that they become a key part of the story. Seakano Season 2 is my second most anticipated anime of the season and I can’t wait to see what sort of drama begins to unfold as the series progresses into its next stage.
One day when working his paper route, Tomoya Aki, a curiously well-liked otaku, sees a perfect girl standing atop a hill, her hat floating down towards him in the wind. Tomoya considered it his fateful encounter. Now inspired by the mysterious girl, he brings together Eriri Spencer Sawamura, his childhood friend and first-rate artist (specializing in hentai), and Utaha Kasumigaoka, his senpai and famous, young light novel author, to create his dream visual novel based around the fateful encounter. But unknowing to him, the girl he now idolizes has been in his class the whole time. To Tomoya’s chagrin, Megumi Katou, the girl on the hill, is just an average school girl. She doesn’t fit his description of a visual novel’s main heroine or have any tropes of a 2D character. So, Tomoya attempts to teach Megumi what it means to be a main heroine, becoming closer along the way. Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ♭ continues the Saekano story as the doujin cirle, Blessing Software, pushes forward to create their dream visual novel.
What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us?
If you thought Japanese novel/anime titles couldn’t get any longer or more convoluted, well… you were wrong. Jokes aside, normally I like to write my own descriptions for the series in my lists but this time I feel that the one written by NovelUpdates, a database for fan-translated novels, provides the best description for the amount of necessary information needed to grasp the story.
“Five hundred years have passed since the humans went extinct at the hands of the fearsome and mysterious ‘Beasts’. The surviving races now make their homes up on floating islands in the sky, out of reach of all but the most mobile of Beasts. Only a small group of young girls, the Leprechauns, can wield the ancient weapons needed to fend off invasions from these creatures. Into the girls’ unstable and fleeting lives, where a call to certain death could come at any moment, enters an unlikely character: a young man who lost everything in his final battle five hundred years ago, the last living human awakened from a long, icy slumber. Unable to fight any longer, Willem becomes the father that the girls never had, caring for and nurturing them even as he struggles to come to terms with his new life, in which he feels the pain of helplessly waiting for his loved ones to return home from battle that his ‘Daughter’ once felt for him so long ago. Together, Willem and the girls gradually come to understand what family means and what is truly worth protecting.” (Source: NovelUpdates)
My hope is this series leans heavier into the “family/finding your place life” over “young girls who can wield ancient weapons” aspect. I’m not so much interested in watching fight scenes against these Beasts as I am having an emotional, gripping character-driven story in this dark fantasy world. Either way, of the new anime I’ll be trying this season, What Do You Do at the End of the World? is the one I’m most excited about.
Honorable Mention: Sakura Quest
From the anime studio that brought you Shirobako, Sakura Quest is P.A. Work’s new anime original project about five girls working in a small town tourism agency in an effort to reinvigorate the small chunk of countryside. Each girl serves as a “monarch”, or tourism ambassador, for their “micro-nation”. While I don’t believe it’s going to be anything close to what Shirobako brought to the table, P.A. Works was able to get my attention before so I’m willing to give this series a chance. I expect at the bare minimum it’ll be a fun maybe even refreshing weekly romp. Expect comedy with hints of slice-of-life.