Spring TV Anime 2019, Part 2

by Sage Ashford

We’re back with the second installment of 2019’s Spring TV Anime guide!  This week we’ve got baseball…baseball…and actually, more baseball! But there’s also some cool dark urban fantasy series, along with a couple dope new shows out of Shonen Jump!  For those who missed it, this is the first entry. Now let’s get back into it!

Hitoribocchi no Seikatsu: Hitori Bocchi is a first year junior high school student who struggles with high levels of social anxiety.  She spends a lot of time trying to avoid people, and will even throw up if situations become too tense for her.  She has one friend–Yawara Kai, but even she’s about to go to a different school.  But things are about to get worse, as Kai challenges her to make friends with everyone in her class before she graduates, otherwise Kai will never speak to her again!
Thoughts: As a person who once struggled with getting to know new people, I connect with this pretty hard. I’m not sure I’ll stick with this to completion, but it’s got a unique enough premise. Plus, that’s one adorably determined teen–what’s not to like?
Premiering: April 6th.

MIX: “MIX” takes place 26 years from the story “TOUCH”. From the legend left by the hero of “TOUCH”, Tatsuya Uesugi, Meisei Academy High School was well known for their strong baseball team. 26 years from their glory, the team has not been able to keep their record and lost their fame. “MIX” is about two stepbrothers, Soichiro and Toma Tachibana. The two aim to revive of the once strong Meisei Academy’s baseball team and enter the National High School Baseball Championship. (YTV)
Thoughts: Touch is one of the lesser known classics of 80’s anime series, and to see the author doing something set in the same universe 20+ years later is pretty dope.  Anime seems to love baseball almost as much as it does samurai series and shonen action, with three different baseball series airing this season alone. Still, where Ace of Diamond is more hot-blooded baseball action, MIX is differentiating itself by being just as much of a romance series as Touch was. Should be a strong series, and hopefully lasts as long as Touch did.
Premiering: April 6th.

Kimetsu no Yaiba: In Taisho-era Japan, Tanjiro Kamado is a kindhearted boy who makes a living selling charcoal. But his peaceful life is shattered when a demon slaughters his entire family. His little sister Nezuko is the only survivor, but she has been transformed into a demon herself! Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to find a way to return his sister to normal and destroy the demon who ruined his life. (Viz Media)
Thoughts: Weekly Shonen Jump continues it’s hot streak, bringing yet another newish series to anime fans.  Kimetsu no Yaiba has only been around for three years, so there’s not much here to adapt.  Presumably ufotable will stick to a single cour adaptation before giving the show some room to breathe, in the same way My Hero Academia has been with BONES.  This isn’t what I look for in shonen action in terms of general “feel” so I’m not certain I’ll stick with this personally. However, I expect it to be a cult hit of sorts due to its beautiful animation and the high amount of blood and violence.
Premiering: April 6th.

We Never Learn: Naruyuki Yuiga is aiming for a full ride scholarship to help him get into college.  There’s just one problem: to get the nomination, he has to tutor a trio of girls.  They’re already geniuses themselves, but they’re awful at the subjects they want to excel in: Rizu’s awesome at science but wants to pursue the arts, while Fumino excels with literature but is awful with mathematics.   That’s work enough for Naruyuki, but things get even more complicated when the sparks of romance begin to turn into flames!
Thoughts: Yet another hit for Shonen Jump, “We Never Learn” is even “younger” than Kimetsu no Yaiba, just slightly over two years old. Still, comedy manga always wind up doing a bit better in terms of getting shorter adaptations.  The characters in this look adorable, though from a glance I couldn’t tell you what separates this from the Quintessential Quintuplets other than the obvious. But these shonen romcoms definitely have an audience, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it run at least two seasons.
Premiering: April 7th.

Stop This Sound: Takezou Kurata is the president of his high school’s Koto (traditional Japanese music) club. A club that’s about to be shut down, because he’s the only member they have left after the others graduated.  But fortunately for him, a pair of new members fall right into his lap–one’s a former delinquent, but the other’s actually a talented player, and both of them are eager to join the club!
Thoughts: A music show that doesn’t involve idols? Not only is it possible, but we’ve got more than one this season! The preview here doesn’t show very much, but it’s nice to have a high school series not waste its setting with the usual stories.
Premiering: April 7th.

Magmel of the Sea Blue: This Spring brings us a new action-fantasy series based on the digital Shonen Jump+ manga, Magmel of the Sea Blue. A story from the Chinese manga artist/writer Dainenbyo, Magmel of the Sea Blue is set in a world not too dissimilar from our own. But out of nowhere one day a brand new continent appears in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!  A new land filled with all sorts of different flora and fauna, humanity sets out to explore this new location. (Comicon)

Thoughts: Hey look, it’s the Dark Continent arc Togashi won’t give us. (I’m joking. Please finish Hunter x Hunter.)  This looks like a fun series that can capture what makes shonen action series fun with its quirky characters and sense of exploration, but while simultaneously eschewing what’s become common with 2000’s era shonen series.  So long as the lead isn’t a guy who isn’t supposed to have powers, I think we’re off to a great start.
Premiering: April 7th.

Shoumetsu Toshi: Takuya, a courier who works alone, and Yuki, a young woman who has strange powers, are the only two survivors of a massive city that vanished without a trace.  At the behest of Yuki’s father, the two of them go searching for what led to the city’s disappearance.  Along the way, they find a massive conspiracy involving a hidden organization.
Thoughts: Based on a video game, series like this always turn out either really well (Rage of Bahamut Season 1, Tales of Zestiria) or really poorly (Bahamut: Virgin Soul, Blade and Soul, Gunslinger Stratos), and generally it tends to be the latter.  But with Madhouse behind the production and the creative team looking somewhat interesting, this is worth a shot.  We’re about due for another good series based on video games.
Premiering: April 7th.

Fairy Gone: An original anime series, Fairy Gone takes place in a world with fairies who often inhabit the bodies of animals, gifting them with special techniques. Aware of this, humans begin taking the organs from animals and placing them into human bodies to transfer those powers. These individuals are known as “Fairy Soldiers”, and find themselves plunged into war for years. Afterwards though, these same soldiers find their way off the battlefield and into normal society, becoming everything from mafia members to joining the government.
Fairy Gone takes place nine years removed from the war, and follows “Dorothea”, a group who’ve given themselves to keeping the number of problems related to former “Fairy Soldiers” to an absolute minimum.
Thoughts: The premise of this is absolutely absurd…and yet it sounds so incredibly reasonable. If humans discovered animals had special abilities granted to them by magic, the first thing someone would try to do is see how they could get humans using the powers themselves.  It’s over the top yet true to life.  Anyway, if Fairy Gone avoids getting swallowed up by melodrama, this could be very, very good. Kenichi Suzuki (Drifters) is handling the direction, while the writer is responsible for Grimgar, one of the best isekai stories released in anime over the last ten years, so I’m fairly confident.
Premiering: April 8th.

Midnight Occult Civil Servants: Miyako Arata is a rookie assigned to the Shinjuku Ward’s “Nighttime Regional Relations” Department.  In this alternate universe, every one of Tokyo’s wards has a department like this to deal with supernatural and occult problems.  Arata has the special ability to comprehend the speech of non-humans, and has been called by one of the youkai he runs into as the reincarnation of Abe no Seimai, a Heian period exorcist with a legendary reputation.
Thoughts: This series was defined as shoujo but as it stands there doesn’t seem to be anything “shoujo” about it in terms of tropes, aside from having a cast of really pretty guys.  That’s not a bad thing, and if they take a hard turn into something more expected it’d be fine, it’s just interesting to see how there’s so much room in the demographic for creators to do whatever they wanted. Anyhow, the first half of this trailer lost me, but then they introduced angels, tengu, giant monsters, oni, fairy, and the like. Oh, and a massive kitty! I’m one hundred percent on board for all of this.
Premiering: April 8th.

Cinderella Nine in August: Cinderella Nine is based on a popular mobile game where the player is a baseball player who was forced into early retirement before reaching the pro level, because of an injury he suffered.  Heading into high school, he runs into a young girl who loves baseball, Arihara Tsubasa.  Having their passion for the sport reignited, the player becomes the baseball manager of Arihara’s team, leading them to high school nations in Koshien.
Thoughts: One more baseball anime for the season.  One of the most surprising things you learn the industry once you begin following along with the seasons is that anime loves few things more than sports. Particularly baseball and soccer, though there’s an anime for everything, including one next season about just working out in the gym.  Cinderella Nine stands out by virtue of being a female baseball team, which is actually pretty cool. It’s not something I want to see, but it’s a rarely used idea.  Hopefully they downplay the “player character” and play up Arihara.
Premiering: April 8th.
We’ve made it through another ten series already, but that doesn’t mean we’re done.  There’s another sixteen series to go!

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