Spring Anime Season 2016 At A Glance

It’s that time again. New shows, new potential, and hopefully, some new favorite animes.

Or maybe a lot of the same stuff we’ve seen before. At least anime is consistent.

As with the winter season, I’m only talking about the shows that caught my interest. There were a lot of new shows hitting the airwaves, man of which didn’t grab my attention based on the descriptions. Even more failed to hold my eye for more than five minutes.

The thing is, I like blogging about anime, but not everything that comes around is something I want to talk about. Since I’m not even remotely a professional reviewer, my goal is to find a show that interests me, and talk about that. While that’ll never get me noted as an anime reviewer, I’m okay with that. I’d rather talk about something I enjoy than a lot of stuff I don’t.

That said, there were only a handful of new series that grabbed my attention enough to get through the first episode, so let’s take a look at them.

Kiznaiver

Kiznaiver

This one follows a rather strange protagonist named Agata Katsuhira, a teenager boy who is incapable of feeling pain, as he is forcibly inducted into an experiment to end war by forcing everyone to share the sensation of pain. The Kiznaiver System, as it is conveniently called, is implanted in him and five other students from his school, giving them ability to share any physical pain across all of them.

This show is straight up weird. Highly watchable, but weird. There’s a lot of cool style, awesome animation, and neat concepts at play, but there’s also the question of how well the writers can carry out the ideas they seem set to explore. This one could easily crash and burn in spectacular fashion.

Still, if you like the weird, then give it a go. It may well pan out to be a surprise hit, or a groan worthy mess.

Hundred

Hundred

Alien creatures called Savages have begun attacking the Earth. The only effective weapon to fight them is a special crystal based technology that manifests whatever weapons the wielder desires. At a special Academy that trains teenagers to use this weapon, Kisaragi Hayato, who had the highest Hundred adaptability score ever, finds it isn’t just the Savages he needs to worry about.

While there is a very interesting premise at play here, it is utterly lost under a barrage of mediocrity. Fan service galore drowns out even the semblance of quality, but even worse is the paint by numbers first episode.

Let’s see, Hayato immediately pisses off the student council president, and apparently captain of the massive ship the academy is located on, despite the fact she is only a teenager holding no actual military rank, resulting in a duel. He also happens to see a girl mostly naked and gets knocked out for it.

This all seems familiar. I wonder why? Oh, right. This is basically Gakusen Toshi Asterisk or Rakudai no Cavalry with a different coat of paint, and even less originality.

Kuromukuro

Kuromukuro

The discovery of a mysterious artifact at a dam construction site leads to a massive UN lab being built, which is headed up by the mother of slacker student Shirahane Yukina. Then giant mecha fall out of the sky.

I’m not usually a fan of giant mecha anime, mostly because very few shows seem to know what to do with the concept. After Gundam and Robotech, everything else just seems a pale imitation. This one, though, at least tries to be new and original, by bringing a samurai into the mix.

Apparently, he’s been in suspended animation for a very long time, and the arrival of the giant mecha from space awakens him, and his own giant mecha. The first episode leaves a lot of questions to be answered, but it does with such style, it’s kind of impressive.

Gorgeous animation, well crafted characters, and a new twist on the giant mecha theme may make this one of the more interesting offerings of the spring season. I’d recommend it, just for the naked samurai versus alien robot sword fight.

Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku No Fatalite

Cerberus

Set in a fantasy world that was terrorized for many years by a evil dragon, the show follows Hiiro, a wandering swordsman as he searches for a way to destroy the dragon, which killed his parents during a failed sealing ceremony some ten years prior.

This one is hard to get a bead on. There’s a lot here to like, and there’s a lot here that’s facepalming. Characters are introduced in a rapid fire succession, giving none them a chance to really shine, but the world setting is very interesting and vibrant.

I’m cautiously optimistic this could turn out to be a very different take on the traditional male hero saves the world by being brave story, but I kinda get the feeling it won’t be anything other than a generic tale.

Flying Witch

Flying Witch

Kowata Makoto is a fifteen year old witch sent to live in a rural town with some relatives as she becomes a full fledged member of the witch community. Hilarity ensues.

Honest to god, actual hilarity, at that.

This one took me by surprise. It was the first show on the list that I watched, and without meaning to, I measured everything else against it, because it was just that good. Warm, funny, sweet, and paced with such a natural charm and grace that it feels effortless, this one was at the top of my list right out of the gate.

Makoto is a fun character, earnest, kind and the sort of person you instantly feel drawn into. As the people she encounters learn that witchcraft and magic are very real, their reactions are flawless comedy, as is the final act of the first episode, involving a mandrake that looks like it needs a heavy dose of Valium.

If there hadn’t been another show grab my attention more fully, this is what I’d be recapping this season. It’s just that damn good. Go, watch it, and enjoy the comical misadventures of an absent minded witch.
All of which brings me to the anime I will be covering this season, Koutetsujou No Kabaneri. Yes, I really can’t pass up a samurai steampunk zombie apocalypse. Check back shortly for a first episode recap.

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