2019 Spring Anime Perusal and Blender Reveal Party

March 27th, 2019

I'm ready for the rains to come.

Spring does not surpass the record of 26 sequels/reboots in a single season (coincidentally, spring of last year), but it does still break double digits. Unless there's something notable about one of those, like angrily yelling that the previously critically acclaimed (for some goddamned reason) series didn't count because it wasn't a one for one adaptation of the source, or the thing it's a sequel to was created before most of us were born, I'm just going to assume it doesn't need to be mentioned. It is a much higher percentage of sequels than usual since this season is on the smaller size for some reason (where'd all the annual kid's show reboots go?). Last spring was a goddamned behemoth though. Anyway, ándale.

Tuesday

Yu-No
http://yu-no.jp/anime/
Studio: feel
Genre: Drama
Premieres April 2nd

Show Premise: 
A mysterious girl gives Takuya a ring that lets him travel through time, space, and parallel dimensions, allowing him to search for his father who mysteriously disappeared.

Random Thoughts:
You might remember when this had a pornographic OVA coming from its pornographic pixel hunt adventure game visual novel source from the long long ago. Or you might not. It does, at any rate, and recently got an update because Japan seems collectively embarrassed about the art style they all agreed was great a decade ago, with upcoming ports of the updates being what this is clearly meant to advertise. Not being a fan of overwought conspiracy stuff epics involving enough paradoxes to choke a thousand Schrödinger cats, to say nothing of pixel hunts, this is not a game I am all that familiar with, but it is highly regarded by those who highly regard such things. The promos are spectacularly dull though, and mainly consist of people stepping up to other people. You wouldn't think you could make an entire promo out of that, but they sure gave it a real go.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

We're probably barely a year off from a Higurashi Re-Remake.

Wednesday

The Magi's Grandson
http://kenja-no-mago.jp/
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Comedy
Premieres April 10th

Show Premise: 
Shin died and is reincarnated in a fantasy world as a baby where he's adopted by Merlin and raised in isolation as a powerful mage, in complete ignorance of the world around him. He then goes to high school.

Random Thoughts:
Why in the hell is there even a reincarnation/sent to a different world side of this stupid thing? It's used as an excuse for him to come up with unusual ways to use magic, but my god, why not just say that he's clever? At the very least, the promos are absolutely above average, and I'll take a light hearted idiot harem that knows what it is over the so-edgy-it-cuts-itself idiot harems like Golbin Slayer and Shield Hero that have come into vogue lately. The person in charge of scripts is kind of godawful though, virtually all low end trashy dramas, and it's a nobody directing, rather than one of Silver Link's more experienced people. The source appears also fairly… well, reviled for a particularly nonsensical god-mode idiot savant protagonist. I don't know that I'd expect much. The promos are quite likely as good as it's going to get, if not better.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
 
Farm wizards.

Carole & Tuesday
http://carolandtuesday.com/
Studio: Bones
Genre: Drama
Premieres April 10th

Show Premise: 
In the future, all music is created by Ais. Carole and Tuesday are two girls who want to be idols.

Random Thoughts:
We're plumbing the depths pretty hard when the thing that we're bragging about as a huge selling point is "This will be in Japanese, but the song vocals will be in English!" I suspect that the marketing team was struggling to come up with anything, which would also explain the surprisingly poor promos from Bones. You don't need to use CGI guitars, you know, and especially not ones that weightlessly float around because they're not quite correctly synced up with the rest of the art. …It wasn't an interesting promo, no. Doesn't even seem like it's leaning into the future aspect at all really either. It's two girls who want to sing talking about… friendship and singing. We've done that with mechs. We've done that with zombies. We've done that with mermaids. We've done that with the future. So here it is with the future and slightly more English. Just the fact that they held a goddamned contest to be a singer for the show says a lot about the artistic vision at work here.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Drum drum drum drum.

Senko The Ever-Helpful Fox
http://senkosan.com/
Studio: Dogakobo
Genre: Comedy
Premieres April 10th

Show Premise: 
Nakano works for an abusive company, but is taken care of at home by a doting fox spirit.

Random Thoughts:
This calls itself a comedy, but it was hard to find an actual joke in either the source manga or the promos. The closest it ever came was "her tail is really fluffy," so I'm guessing that this was the creation of a marketing department based on an internet meme. Well, there's also probably some unintentional humor to come from seeing English descriptions used the borrowed and somewhat corrupted loanphrase of Japanese "black companies," which is probably as much as one might expect from Dogakobo, an anime studio that especially of late seems to have nothing but mindless, brainless time filling fluff in its portfolio.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Change it to a magikarp with the body of a man and I might see the humor.

Thursday

Sarazanmai
http://sarazanmai.com/
Studio: MAPPA
Genre: Kappas
Premieres April 11th

Show Premise: 
Three kids are turned into kappa and told to fight zombies with the power of friendship if they want to go back to normal.

Random Thoughts:
This is an Ikuhara original, and more than that, it's an Ikuhara noitaminA affair, neither of which are things that I've gotten along with well. Also, by zombies, they mean, for example, a frog with a cardboard box for a head and extra tentacles. You know, that thing everyone thinks of when you say zombies. I would say that the promos are pretty cagey about the actual content of the show, but since they're largely CGI shots of a city with all unimportant characters rendered as cutouts, people moping sadly, and preternatural creatures rocketing through the air, that seems exactly what you'd expect from Ikuhara and noitaminA.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Yes, yes, Ikuhara. Magical kappa anus rocks. Sure.

Friday

Fruits Basket
https://fruba.jp/
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Drama
Premieres April 5th

Show Premise: 
Tohru is an orphaned hobo that gets adopted by her classmate and his family of pretty boys, all cursed to turn into animals.

Random Thoughts:
Fun personal history here. The original Fruits Basket adaptation is one of the first anime shows that I remember truly and wholly despising. I was young and na?ve. It was well-spoken of and had Horie Yui in the main role. What could go wrong? In short, Tohru is the kind of perfect Jesus character I detest; one with no flaws and no depth, who solves all problems merely by existing. Not a character. Not a person. A prop. A magical ex machina that shortcuts past development, growth, or conflict to just smile or spout empty platitudes that are treated like sage wisdom. She is the notion of bringing a baby into a dysfunctional household and it magically solves everything. Far from a unique thing, or even the worst example of it, especially in these kinds of girly romance drama stories, but it was my first real exposure to them, especially in that uniquely godawful Japanese way, and I will likely forever despise Fruits Basket for it. ANYWAY, as is tradition, this is a "the first adaptation didn't count and this will be a real, true, 100% by the book, word for word, line for line adaption," as if I needed more reasons to slather it with my contempt.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Mutant tomatoes count as fruit.

The ??? Life of Being Alone
http://hitoribocchi.jp/
Studio: C2C
Genre: Comedy
Premieres April 5th

Show Premise: 
Bocchi is socially inept, but wants to become friends with everyone in her class.

Random Thoughts:
Every character in this has a rather on-the-nose pun for a name that I really don't want to get into. Unlike, say, Zetsubou Sensei though, this is a four panel affair where they milk and explain every one a dozen times over rather than getting on with it or making jokes. The overly direct girl named "Direct Girl" is very direct! Here's five more times of her being direct! No joke here, just the protagonist summarizing the previous panel and/or making a face. So even if you're just here for puns, it's more like ten minutes of someone going "You get it? You get it!?" And then the main character makes a stupid face, the background turns pastel, and someone flaps their arms in the Awkward Dance. The formula is… tired.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

At least do a sexy belly dance instead.

Saturday

Demon Slayer
http://kimetsu.com/
Studio: ufotable
Genre: Adventure
Premieres April 6th

Show Premise: 
Tanjiro's family is killed by demons with only himself and his sister surviving, but she's become infected with demon blood and is now a target for other demon hunters.

Random Thoughts:
First off, the first five episodes are getting theatrical screenings, both in Japan and the US, ahead of the show airing. Second, I'm not entirely certain what ufotable is doing with a Jump series either. Not even a short thing from decades ago that has become ufotable's bread and butter, but a very recent affair that's already accumulated a billion chapters with no ending in sight, which is about as far from ufotable's norm as you can get. It doesn't look like they're putting much effort into it though, or at the very least, not the usual. Oh, sure the promos have about three seconds of over-animated running, but that's across a minute of unanimated heads with eyes the size of grapefruit, all staring gormlessly, without any overexposed bloom or oily CGI in sight. Is it even modern ufotable without those things? Considering that the very first arc in the source is a training arc to Prove His Worth, it's sure as hell your usual Jump crap. It takes all the way to the second arc before the enemy powers are magical sport-based bouncing balls.

Preseason Swing Rating:

Eight spinning swords! I'm invincible!

Mix
https://www.ytv.co.jp/mix/
Studio: Oriental Lights nad Magic
Genre: Drama
Premieres April 6th

Show Premise: 
Boys play baseball.

Random Thoughts:
Keep that premise in mind, because we may be revisiting something similar later in this post. See if you can spot where. The manga this comes from is technically a sequel of another baseball thing from the long, long, loooong ago (1985), but other than some cameos, has nothing to do with it. They consider it important to point out though. Unlike the above's cute girls doing baseball (presumably), this is much more of your standard sports drama with an extra helping of melodrama. Promos are barely animated and contain about as much actual baseball as the other thing, which is also only slightly more baseball than Fruits Basket's promos, so… You know what? Let's just move on.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I don't know. Here's a plain ice cream sandwich.

We Never Learn
https://boku-ben.com/
Studio: Silver
Genre: Comedy
Premieres April 6th

Show Premise: 
Nariyuki has to tutor his classmates, each genuises in their fields, but hopeless in what they're actually interested in.

Random Thoughts:
Another Jump show. Great. And it's been a whole season since the show with this exact same premise, except quintuplets and no, I don't care which actually came first because they are both awful. The promos for this are barely animated and entirely concerned with them rubbing their chests on him for him to scream and throw a tantrum, or tackling them and pinning them to the ground half-naked while they scream. Truly Jump Comedy at its finest.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Exists to create things to beat flesh to.

Sunday

The Annihilated City
https://shoumetsutoshi-anime.com/
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Action
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
A city vanishes overnight, leaving only a single survivor.

Random Thoughts:
This originates from a cellphone game, and let me stop you right there. Not that kind of cellphone game. This kind of cellphone game. An endless runner. Or I suppose technically more like Super Mario Run, where they wanted it to also be an RPG. It's an almost glorious mishmash of nonsense, which is pretty descriptive of the promos as well. They weren't too bad though, assuming you can get past the silliness of a dude floating behind a moped with 27 handguns hovering around his head. That's how you get tinnitus, man. Less promising is the staff, which has mainly worked on basketball shows, which is a bit of weird niche. Not like the season's looking strong though, so hey, whatever floats your boat. Or be an adaptation of a game where you act as the moped chariot slave to your underaged magical girlfriend, as the case may be. Or, as I would come to find out, whatever the hell this is.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Onward, my steeds!

Cinderella Nine
https://anime-hachinai.com/
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Drama
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
Girls play baseball.

Random Thoughts:
Really plumbing the depths of creativity here, Japan. The origin of this one is a cellphone gacha game. Not even one where you play baseball. It just sims right through to the end, occasionally doing a closeup where a double means you scored two runs. I watched a gameplay video. It was trippy. Tsubasa pitched to Tsubasa, who hit a deep fly to center, caught by Tsubasa who then picked off Tsubasa for a double play. Nothing interesting about the staff unless you consider a vast array of awful things forgotten to time remarkable. Promos are just cute girls all primped up like pop starlets doing baseball cosplay, but even those take a backseat to a bunch of random shots of stadium lights, benches, fields, so on and so forth. I somehow doubt there will be a clone saga baseball apocalypse, but am certain it would be better than whatever schlock they do come up with.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah!

Fairy Gone
https://www.fairygone.com/
Studio: PA Works
Genre: Action
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
A war was fought after humans found a way to extract fairy powers out of magical animals. A decade later, Maria joins a military unit for policing and pacifying fairy-related incidents.

Random Thoughts:
Bold new ground for PA Works. Moving on from a government group with a werewolf hunting vampires in the 1930s post war to a government group with fairy people hunting fairy people in the 1930s post war. I shouldn't be rough though considering none of the staff is the same as Sirius. Then again, the director's not great (Cells at Work, Drifters), and the writer for this original is the same dude behind the (original novel and adaptation's scripts) extra melodramatic, extra montageful Grimgar, a show with so little going on that I was temporarily fascinated by how much it was montaging less than two weeks into its run. A perfect match for a studio like PA Works where every original show is a dramapalooza.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

All the magical powers of a hyperactive shih tzu.

Magmell of the Sea Blue
http://gunjyo-magumeru.com/
Studio: Pierrot
Genre: Adventure
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
The continent of Magmell appears out of nowhere one day, full of magic and monsters. Inyou and pals make their living rescuing the people attempting to explore it.

Random Thoughts:
Another goddamned Jump show. What's with this season? Was there a special on adapting this crap? Is the magazine struggling and this is part of a marketing blitz? It's not just any old Jump thing though, it's a Chinese homage to Jump things which became a Jump thing, and near as I can tell, that's its selling point; how goddamned Jump it is. Pierrot's an old hat at them, and combines the creativity of the director of Naruto with the strength of the Tokyo Ghoul's adaptation's writer. And speedlines? You bet your ass the promos are full of them. Be still my beating heart.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Burning robot hands used to mean something.

Stop That Sound!
http://www.konooto-anime.jp/
Studio: Platinum Vision
Genre: Drama
Premieres April 7th

Show Premise: 
A bunch of pretty boys, and one girl, are members of a highschool harp club. They want to go to harp nationals.

Random Thoughts:
Technically, a koto isn't really a harp, but I don't care to split the difference. This is, astonishingly enough, another neverending Jump show. Nary a moment of the promo wasn't covered in a pastel haze, although weirdly (not really), the harps it's supposedly about barely showed up at all. So, right. Teenage club drama with melodramatic pointy-chinned numbskulls, but with harps instead of bows, band, tea, dancing, or whatever other random noun you can name. The problem here isn't finding a new noun that hasn't been done before, guys.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Nobody asked you, Edward.

Monday

Midnight Occult Civil Servants
http://occultkoumuin.com/
Studio: LIDENFILMS
Genre: Drama
Premieres April 8th

Show Premise: 
Miyako works for the government investigating supernatural entities and events.

Random Thoughts:
Yeah, Lidenfilms, after the fiasco of Spec-Ops Asuka, it's going to take a lot more than some poorly animated tengu and angels flying around to distract from the other 75% of the time where you're advertising dudes walking around and/or looking vaguely stunned. It's not even clear that even the marketing knows what the selling point is supposed to be. It has… supernatural stuff. And vaguely stunned dudes. Cut, print, call it a wrap. The whole staff is the same as that Muv Luv spinoff Schwarzesmarken that literally everybody disavowed right from the start. Major star power behind the whole thing. No, wait. The opposite.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Oh boy! Bureaucrats!

RobiHachi
https://robihachi.jp/
Studio: Comet
Genre: Comedy
Premieres April 8th

Show Premise: 
Robby is down in his luck. Hatchi is a debt collector. What a wacky odd couple. In space.

Random Thoughts:
This is by the staff and studio of that Cute Defense High thing, and since it's completely original, we have only its wafer thin premise and somehow, even less substantial promos to go off of. It has pretty boys. They have a cutesy pet. It takes place in space. There is massive amounts of terrible CGI. What else does anybody need to know? The promos promise nothing. I feel confident assuming that they will deliver exactly what they promise.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Space potatoes.

Namu Amida Butsu!
https://namuami-utena-anime.com/
Studio: Asashi Production
Genre: Pretty Boys
Premieres April 8th

Show Premise: 
The thirteen Buddha pretty boys protect the world from Mara.

Random Thoughts:
Yet another cell phone gacha pretty boy collecting thing. If we can have one for swords, boats, countries, planes, and god only knows what else, then why not the Buddha too? Still waiting for one where you have to collect the apostles to fight Pontius Pilate. Promos are just a parade of overdressed pretty boys set to soulful warbling, which to be fair, from my understanding of this subgenre, is exactly what is expected and eagerly anticipated. Not by me though.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Mara, no!

Wrapup:

It's a season. If I made it through the last one and can continue writing, I can't see how this one could be worse. If you're into Jump shows, and I'm happy to count things like Attack On Titan and One Punch Man as Jump enough, then there's certainly a lot of that to look forward to. Even the light novel harem power fantasies are taking the season off, although I suppose that Shield Hero thing is still doing its dumbass thing. It's been five years since we had a proper Sunrise nonsense fantasy clusterfuffle, and I'll be lamenting that the anime time of girls with guns came before me until the day I die. Alas. At least there's only one idol show, and Okada's too busy with her weird manga about teenagers masturbating… no, really, really, we'll be getting to that next season… to inflict anything on us. Blessed are the small miracles.

Posted in Season Preview | 12 Comments »

12 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • The Phantom says:

    Thanks for this, going to take a while for me to read all of this, hopefully is better than last season.

  • Anise_punter says:

    Bocchis all day

    Not sure why they went cellphone gacha baseball when there’s a perfectly mindless kirara baseball series they could have adapted

  • Fluffums says:

    I really like the hitori bocchi manga for some reason, so I’ll watch the anime. I don’t remember any 4komas translating well to anime, but I’ll at least give it a chance.

  • jgoi says:

    So much meh. A few fanservice shows to skim, Titan s3 pt2 and maybe jc staff killed one punch man is what I get to do.

  • NeclordX says:

    We really need a new genre to define those shows with the “drama” tag. I mean, drama used to imply…you know, drama. A group of girls in a band or a group of Boys doing sports, with nothing really dramatic happen except for them not understanding each other, not trying hard enough to give their best or catching a cold.

    That being said, not particulary excited about this season, only a couple of things look interesting to me.

  • Aroduc says:

    I refuse to grant what others call “slice of life” the dignity of a unique label. They’re just dramas without ambition, same as comedies without jokes, and action without excitement, of which there are plenty as well.

  • LUNI_TUNZ says:

    When I was younger and had to go to church with my grandmother, I met a girl reading a Fruits Basket manga… she was cute… long, pointless story short, I never saw her again, and never read/watched Fruits Basket, but every now and then I think “Hmm, I wonder what she’s up to,” when I hear the name “Fruits Basket.”

    Also, I almost thought Cinderella Nine was going to be somehow related to “Princess Nine,” but that’s actually about baseball (from what I’ve seen) not harpies screaming at me while scoring on base hits, because no one on the game staff has ever seen a baseball game before.

  • anise_punter says:

    no no, slice of life is applied to things like idol shows which as we all know are filled with realistic things you would see in an actual slice of life

  • Aroduc says:

    Slice of life is like “rpg.” You can find waaaaaaay too many people who will apply the label to literally anything.

  • ark noir says:

    sequels, fruit basket, Billions and Gomorrah is my cup of tea for this season

  • sp33 says:

    I did not hate Fruits Basket but once was quite enough. It’s not Full Metal Alchemist ffs

  • Ekin says:

    Clearly Midnight Occult Civil Servants is my favorite!

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