9 Anime to Keep an Eye On for the Spring Season

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By Caitlin Donovan | More Articles
March 17, 2016  07:05 PM

It’s often hard to decide what anime to watch each season. One wrong move and you’ve wasted a half-hour of your life on another directionless mess of bouncing boobs and quasi-incest. How can you tell what might be worth looking at among the stream of shows? Well, I’ve decided to help out with that. I’ve found nine shows for this season that might have something to offer and I’m going to tell you all that is known so far about them! I can’t promise how any of them will turn out, but hopefully this list will help those who want to be prepared when trying out shows for the Spring 2016 anime season. 

1The Ace Attorney Anime

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The Ace Attorney anime has been a long time coming. This video game franchise has gotten multiple manga, a live action movie and even musicals, but for the longest time there was no hint of an animated adaptation on the horizon. I’ll admit I was a little bit disappointed to learn Studio Bones wouldn’t be animate it- they’ve been animating the cut scenes in recent games and those always looked gorgeous.

But the recent animated footage we’ve seen certainly doesn’t look bad, so I hold some hope this anime might do the games justice. I’m especially amused to see the main character, Ryuichi/Phoenix, riding a bike to work. He looks like he’s late for lawyer school and all he needs is some toast in his mouth to complete the image.

If you’re not familiar with the story of the Ace Attorney games, the anime could (note I said COULD) turn out to be a good jumping on point. The series follows a newbie attorney, known as Phoenix Wright in the American localization, as a tragedy at his workplace forces him to take on a very personal case. He befriends a psychic named Maya and she becomes his assistant. He soon even runs into a childhood friend of his, who has turned into a cold and ruthless prosecutor. And then his former friend is framed for murder…

Ace Attorney is a very comedic series- our main attorney interrogates a parrot on the witness stand at some point- but it’s also got some tragedy and emotional resonance. Mostly, it’s full of really fun, dynamic characters and ridiculous situations. The anime is supposed to cover the first two games of the series (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All) and is set to premiere on April 2. 

2Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

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I’ll be the first to tell you that the first two seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal were a huge disappointment. They were animated extremely poorly and the storytelling was incredibly weak too. The show followed the original manga’s story, except it also added in huge plot holes and rushed romantic relationship that made an already cramped story absolutely fall apart.

But…I can't help but hold out a spark of hope for the newest season, as foolish as I know this is. This season will cover the arc that introduces Haruka and Michiru, aka my lesbian superhero heartthrobs. It also introduces Sailor Saturn, and is my favorite arc of the series in many ways.

What we’ve seen of the new season so far looks at least more promising that the previous season. The staff seems to have listened to complaints about the horrible animation and changed the character design.

hella-krem:

geekyskye:

I actually really like the new art style for Sailor Moon Crystal. It’s like a mix of the 90’s version and the original seasons of Crystal. 

Top: Crystal season 1 & 2
Bottom: Crystal season 3

@khal-homo KAT LOOK HOLY FUCK!

The girls no longer look dead-eyed and unexpressive! 

We haven’t seen enough of the animation to see if the motion’s any good, but better character design is certainly a step in the right direction. And the transformation sequences are reportedly no longer in awkward CGI.

This season is supposedly also breaking out of the “one manga chapter = one episode” format of the previous seasons. The first episode is going to be a two-parter, for instance. This should give the story a little more room to breathe, though it’s always possible the stuff that gets added will be bad. The director of the series has been replaced, which means things might be a little different- though the script-writer is still the same.

Also, the ending credits song is going to be sung by Haruka and Michiru, which gives me a little hope they’ll be treated well.

Basically, I’m keeping my expectations ocean-level, but I plan to keep an eye on this upcoming season. If this series makes a turnaround, that would certainly be good news for Sailor Moon fans.

The series is set to premiere on April 4. Considering the series previously aired on Crunchyroll and Hulu, it’s very likely to be accessible through them this time too. 

3Kiznaiver

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Kiznaiver is the latest original anime by Studio Trigger, who gained fame for Little Witch Academia and Kill la Kill. Studio Trigger is known for its creative animation and the director of this series was also the assistant director on the stunningly animated Rage of Bahamut, so things are looking good for the visuals on this series.

The plot sounds like it has some potential- it could be either completely cliché or very interesting.  It takes place in a futuristic, somewhat dystopian Japan. The presumed protagonist, Katsuhira, does not feel pain like other people. He is approached by a mysterious girl who tells him he is a “kiznaiver” which means he can share his pain with other “kiznaivers” who happen to be his classmates. Basically, when one of them gets hurt, their pain is evenly distributed among the whole group. This forms a weird bond between them.

Kill la Kill was full of over-the-top sexy pandering to the point of being a turnoff to some (including me) but I didn’t see any particularly sexy moments in the trailer for this. It could end up being a pretty solid anime.

Interestingly, Crunchyroll managed to get exclusive streaming rights to this anime, which doesn’t happen incredibly often. The anime will premiere on April 9. 

Author Name
Caitlin Donovan is a long-time nerd with a passion for superheroes and epic fantasy. She lives in North Carolina with her cat and wrestles with writing novels and doing editorial work when she's not ranting about pop culture online. She runs a blog at ladyloveandjustice.tumblr.com
@Caitlin Donovan | [email protected]