Now that March is nearly defeated like so many Jabberwockys with so many Vorpal swords going snicker-snack, we can turn our attention from actively trying not to freeze to death to more important matters like parsing through the veritable cornucopia of new anime coming out this spring. So join me on today’s episode of The Dan Cave as we separate the sick zebras from the wheat to figure out which anime series you need to put in your eyeballs this spring.
MAHOU SHOUJO SITE
Everyone loves a good magical girl anime, right? Well Mahou Shoujo Site has more in common with Madoka Magica than with Sailor Moon. Aya Asagiri’s life is terrible. She’s bullied at school AND at home. One day a mysterious website called the Mahou Shoujo Site–or “Magical Girl Site”– appears on her screen, but when she clicks it she is transported to a terrifying world known as the Magical Girl Apocalypse. It isn’t about fighting evil by moonlight there; rather it’s about fighting for your life all the time always against a seemingly never ending array of adorable magical girls who possess mighty powers and an even mightier thirst for blood. So, yeah, just make sure you don’t click on any pop-up ads, all right?
Who doesn’t love a good sequel? Or prequel? Or sidequel? Nyquil? I’m unclear as to what Steins;Gate 0 is exactly except that it’s a spin-off of the hit sci-fi time travel anime in which Rintaro Okabe altered the course of fate by traveling between timelines. This story takes place in the Beta Attractor Field–which is fancy anime speak for a converging point for multiple timelines–at a point where Okabe had given up on saving his friend Kurisu from an untimely death. Although he gives up on science in an effort to forget the tragedies of the past, he is soon pulled back in when he learns of a device that stores human memories and creates a highly realistic simulation of them, imbued with their personality. What follows is–as is the case with most time travel stories–far more than Okabe bargained for. Look, it was creepy enough when they did it to Tupac at Coachella; why would this be any different?
PERSONA 5 THE ANIMATION
An anime based on one of the best video games of 2017 and the best JRPGs of all time? Sign me the hell up. There’s not a ton of info about the actual series, but we do know a little bit: the series will follow the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, a group of students who travel to another realm known as the Metaverse, where they battle against the physical manifestation of humanity’s unconscious desires to “steal” or change the hearts and minds of evil adults. Basically it’s a group of high school kids turning into fancy gentleman thieves in order to incept adults into being good people. Oh and they’ve given the game’s protagonist a new canonical name: Ren Amamiya. What does it all mean? Who knows. The real question is will this anime take more than 100 hours to complete too?
FULL METAL PANIC! INVISIBLE VICTORY
If you’re super into ‘bot stuff, today is your lucky day because the mecha mayhem of Full Metal Panic is back. The sequel series will continue the story of the socially inept Sousuke Sagara, an elite soldier who is tasked by the anti-terrorist organization Mithril with protecting high school student Kaname Chidori, who possesses powerful abilities that evildoers wish to exploit. If it’s anything like its predecessors, Invisible Victory is going to be a delightful blend of espionage action, slice of life high school comedy, and massive mechs doing battle. In other words, it’s exactly what you need to cure your seasonal affective disorder.
JIKKEN-HIN KAZOKU: CREATURES FAMILY DAYS
Imagine if instead of being a heartwrenching tragedy, the story of Nina Tucker from Fullmetal Alchemist was about making the best of bad situation? In this case, the bad situation is two mad scientists transformed most of their children into human-monster hybrid creatures. After these parents are arrested, the youngest child Tanis, an ordinary human child, and his four monster siblings try to blend in with the local community and live as a “normal” happy family. And you thought your family was weird! Did your sister have spider arms? No, I didn’t think so, pal, so calm down.
In Japan’s northern reaches of Hokkaido, a man named Sugimoto carves out a bleak existence. Having survived the horrors of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, Sugimoto has been nicknamed “the Immortal,” and is now trying to make enough money to take care of the wife of his deceased friend. While hunting for gold, he learns of a hidden cache of treasure that once belonged to a gang of thieves. Now, with the help of an Ainu girl who saves his life, Sugimoto must venture deep into the icy climes of the north as they race against time, the elements, and the aforementioned criminals to get his hands on that sweet, sweet gold.
This show is exactly like E.T. except instead of an alien coming to Earth, it’s a mysterious little girl named Hina with supernatural powers, and instead of befriending a lonely boy, she befriends a member of the Yakuza named Nitta who exploits her powers to help with his seedy business. But unlike E.T., Hina doesn’t use her powers to revive dead chrysanthemums or to phone home; rather, she has to use them because if she doesn’t she goes berserk and starts trying to destroy everything around her. So I guess, in hindsight, it isn’t really like E.T. at all except for the fact that both made me crave my body weight in Reese’s Pieces. Weird.
KAKURIYO NO YADOMESHI
Being a college student means that typically you don’t have a lot of expendable income, which means that you often times need to take a job. This is just the tip of the iceberg though for Aoi, the heroine of Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi (“Afterlife Inn Cooking”), who is spirited away to the underworld by a demon king who owns an inn known as the Tenjin-ya. He claims that Aoi’s grandfather owed him a massive debt and to pay it off, she’ll have to marry him. Ever the entrepreneur, Aoi says no the dress, but rather yes to working as a cook at this otherworldly inn in order to pay off her debt. Meanwhile if I don’t pay off my grandfather’s debt, I’m getting thrown into prison. Long story short: don’t have grandparents.
PIANO NO MORI
How many times have you, the wealthy son of a family of prestigious pianists and an excellent pianist in your own right, found a possibly haunted piano in the woods that won’t seem to make a sound no matter how hard you try until one day you meet the son of a prostitute who is able to tickle the ivories in such an impressive way that your lives intertwine forever more? If you said “at least once,” then congratulations, you might just be the protagonist of Piano no Mori (or “Forest of the Piano”), in which case you don’t need to watch this anime because you already lived it!
FIST OF THE BLUE SKY: REGENESIS
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the First of the North Star manga, we’re getting a prequel story full of punching, kicking, and murders most foul. Fist of the Blue Sky: Regenesis takes place in pre-WWII Japan where an absent-minded college professor named Kasumi Kenshiro harbors a big secret: he is an elite martial artist known as the God Fist of the North Star and the King of Death, who used his might to battle gangsters and drug dealers. Except now his quiet life has come to an end because someone murdered his lover and his former associates. Now he must return to Shanghai to seek bloody vengeance. Honestly, if you’re not excited for this, then check your pulse because like this guy, you might already be dead:
And those are some of the best new anime coming out this spring! Which of these are you most excited to see? What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!