Spring TV Anime 2019, Part 3

by Sage Ashford

And here we go with the next section of anime series releasing in the month of April for the Spring season. This season’s a little lighter than the usual, which is probably good for those of us who barely survived the onslaught of Winter series. If you missed it, here’s Part One and Part Two.

Namu Amida Butsu!: Rendai Utena: When you stop and think about it, anime is steeped in Buddhist symbolism and themes — especially this one since all the main characters are Buddhist deities living on Earth. They may be fighting against the evil Mara and seeking to show humanity the path to enlightenment, but first, they’ll need to get used to modern life! (Sentai Filmworks)
Thoughts: Cute boys (gods) doing cute things? Yeah, why not. We’ve done everything else. The trailer teases action scenes at the beginning and end of it but for those who aren’t experienced with these kinds of shows, don’t fall for it.  There’s a reason the majority of the preview shows them figuring out washing machines and playing around in hot springs and things like that.  There’s plenty of action this season for this series not to take everything as serious though.
Premiering: April 8th.

RobiHachi: RobiHachi follows the story of two young men–Robby Yagi and Hatchi Kita, who run into one another after a thief steals Robby’s bag. Hatchi returns the bag, and after Robby treats him to lunch, the two part ways. Unfortunately, Hatchi’s job involves working as a debt collector, and Robby’s his latest job. Sneaking onto Robby’s ship to collect the debt, he ends up in deep space with Robby while the former reporter is looking for Isekandar, a planet said to bring happiness to whomever finds it.
Thoughts: The latest series to join one of my favorite genre: unrealistic space opera.  Space Dandy, Outlaw Star, Lost Universe, Irresponsible Captain Tylor, and so many more.  Anime ruined my perception of how space sci-fi is meant to work, where they toss away questions like how FTL travel works and what alien species might be like and just tell as many fun stories exploring the universe as possible.  However, these can be some of the most thought-provoking series, set free from the slavish desire to service the “science” before the “fiction” in sci-fi.  RobiHachi looks like a fun humor-focused adventure romp, and I’m excited to get into it.
Premiering: April 8th.

One Punch Man S2: Saitama only became a hero for fun, but after three years of “special” training, he finds that he can beat even the mightiest opponents with a single punch. Though he faces new enemies every day, it turns out being devastatingly powerful is actually kind of a bore. Can a hero be too strong? (Hulu)
Thoughts: By now, we’ve all seen the previews and they don’t look fantastic, which is disappointing that loved the first season. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope J.C. Staff can pull a miracle out. It’s not going to be Madhouse level animation, especially when J.C. Staff had to rush to get things to meet the deadline, but there’s still hope it could be a good series if the director knows what he’s doing.
Premiering: April 10th.

The caring fox, Senko-san: Nakano is a salaryman working for a “Black Company”, businesses that exploit their workers.  While trying to live his life, things change when he suddenly meets Senko, an 800-year old fox spirit that decides to help Nakano around the house with cooking and cleaning.
Thoughts: 800 year old fox spirits that mysteriously look like kids. Descriptions elsewhere talk about Senko offering “other special services” which is probably a lot more innocent than it sounds, but that’s still totally by design. This show could actually be a cute watch, but I’m creeped out and so I’m gonna go ahead and pass.
Premiering: April 10th.

The Mage’s Grandson: Magi’s Grandson starts with a young man being reborn in another world after an accident took his life. In this world, he is found by the sage Merlin, and raised to become a master of magic. At age 15, the young boy (now known as Shin) leaves the care of Merlin Wolford to explore the world. There’s just one problem: Merlin forgot to teach him anything other than combat abilities. Now he’s enrolling in Alsheid Kingdom’s magic academy, where he’ll find it more of a challenge learning how to interact with people than actually learning magic.
Thoughts: Isekai complaints took the place of all the “moe garbage” complaints of the early 2010s.  Every season we get at least one but usually two of these, and last fall’s offerings resulted in one of the best anime of the year and one of the most controversial, so at least they’re keeping things interesting. The Mage’s Grandson doesn’t look like it’ll manage to be either of those things to be honest, and instead will be a “safe” fantasy series we can indulge in as comfort food. Nothing wrong with that–this season already has AotY contenders anyway.
Premiering: April 10th.

Carole & Tuesday: In a world fifty years in the future, after humanity has already colonized space, two girls with entirely different backgrounds unite over a shared love of music.
Thoughts: Speaking of anime of the year contenders. Shinichiro Watanabe and BONES should make any longtime anime fan sit up and take notice. The creator of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo teams up with an all star cast of musical creators to bring us a sci-fi series about girls in an actual band?  The description didn’t grab my attention at first, but the cast info and the trailer have me more excited for this series than any other. I love science fiction series, and Watanabe set the gold standard for them in 1998, especially ones with a heavy emphasis on music.
Premiering: April 11th.

Sarazanmai: In Asakusa, three middle school students run into a being known as Keppi, who calls himself ruler of the Kappa Kingdom.  Keppi steals each of the boy’s shirikodama, transforming them into Kappa as well.  Keppi explains to them that if they want to turn back to normal, they must bring him the shirikodama of zombies.
Thoughts: Okay, first off?  A shirikodama is a mythical organ which is stolen through someone’s anus, so there’s…that.  But, the positive here is the series is by Kunihiko Ikuhara, director of Revolutionary Girl Utena.  Dude’s one of the better visionaries in anime, and even though the actual description of this is incredibly weird, I’m expecting this to be something of a sleeper hit for people who like their series dripping in symbolism.
Premiering: April 12th.

Bungou Stray Dogs Season 3: Kicked out of his orphanage and on the verge of starving to death, Nakajima Atsushi meets some strange men. One of them, Dazai Osamu, is a suicidal man attempting to drown himself in broad daylight. The other, bespectacled Kunikida Doppo, nervously stands by flipping through a notepad. Both are members of the “Armed Detective Agency” said to solve incidents that even the military and police won’t touch. Atsushi ends up accompanying them on a mission to eliminate a man-eating tiger that’s been terrorizing the population… (Crunchyroll)
Thoughts: Sometimes you don’t realize how popular a series is until you realize how long it’s been running.  Somehow Stray Dogs is on it’s third season, continuing to just truck along like it’s no big deal.  Most series would’ve fizzled out after the initial season three years back.  Personally I checked out on this series in the first season, but I’m glad the fans get to keep getting more of it.  Incomplete adaptations are the absolute worst.
Premiering: April 12th.
And that’s it.   The last installment of this should cover the remainder of the series coming out this season, so stay tuned!

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