After what was a pretty action-heavy winter anime season, the Spring 2019 cycle has a much more mellow feel about it. It also has something of a awkward sexual vibe, which I’m sure we’ll get into later…
We haven’t really had the chance to get into many of the anime series from this cycle, so some of these reviews are quite a way behind their live episode. However, here are our thoughts so far on some of the biggest anime series airing right now!
Attack on Titan Season Three, Part Two
Following on from the events of the previous season, the scouts – now reenergised and with numbers – commence the operation to retake Wall Maria. Eren, Mikasa and Armin all play leading roles as the elite units head back to their hometown where it all began and where the secrets to the titans lay hidden. However, the titans are waiting, too, determined to capture Eren and end humanity’s final hope.
Certainly the headline act pre-cycle, this season of Attack on Titan is looking every bit as good as expected, following the events last year. This appears to be centred around an all-out war whose plot is somewhat reminiscent of the Avengers, in that everyone who’s anyone finds themselves playing a role in this series. Following a long while of relative mediocrity and extra characters getting their chance, this series looks like it’s going back to season one (literally) and could be something very memorable!
Bungou Stray Dogs Season Three
Following on from season two, the Port Mafia and Armed Detective Agency return to their roles as enemies in the port city. Meanwhile, defeated but uncaptured Guild members run through the shadows, causing further uncertainty in a brittle underground that is on the verge of collapsing in on itself.
A series that always seems to quietly impress, BSD3 has followed a similar path to the previous season, opening with a backstory for the first few episodes. Therefore, the amount of story we’ve seen so far is minimal. However, it has been a very enjoyable watch and, so long as there is some plot introduced, this will be another worthy addition to the successful Stray Dogs catalogue.
We Never Learn: BOKUBEN
A poor, hardworking kid, Nariyuki is in many ways the model student. Hoping to earn a prestigious scholarship that would be of great financial help to his family, he agrees to tutor two of the brightest students in the school: Furuhashi (right), the eloquent literary genius; and Ogata (left), the remarkable scientist. However, they both want to specialise in the other’s skill, despite having no talents in the area whatsoever! Failed by other tutors, it falls on Nariyuki to help these two geniuses chase their true dreams!
As previously mentioned, this cycle seems to be one full of sexual innuendo and questionably-aged characters. Some of these series we found quite unwatchable, such as ‘Ao-chan Can’t Study’ and ‘Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher’, which should need no explaining. We’ve just about been able to watch Bokuben, but I can’t imagine that will last for long, either. There’s a really good, heartfelt story here, but there’s no escaping the harem that this show proudly promotes. However, there is a devout anime audience for these shows, and I have no doubt the tsundere elements will do well with them!
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Set in ancient Japan, the story follows Tanjirou (pictured), a young man working hard for his remote family. Mythology tells of demons that lurk in the darkness, killing at night., and Tanjirou’s peaceful life is shattered when he returns from the nearby town one day to find his family dead in their house. All of them except his younger sister, who has been turned into a demon herself. Nearly dying at her hands, she ends up saving him from a demon hunter, who urges Tanjirou to find a man who can teach him about demons. The two of them set off, beginning a quest to cure his sister from her curse.
A bit of a something-from-nothing, Demon Slayer is the kind of series we’ve tried before but never really enjoyed, hence the reason why we’re behind the curve! The ancient Japan setting, reminiscent of hit shows such as Golden Kamuy, is a genre in itself and this series falls strongly into it, even with its magical elements. However, there are a few things that make this show stand out from the others and are keeping us hooked on it for now. Great cinematic direction, some good fighting scenes and a great backstory sets this up to be very successful. A few more exciting characters and mini-arcs will be needed, though, to convince us to keep watching!
Carole & Tuesday
Set in a distant future in which humans have colonised Mars, Tuesday (pictured left) is a teenager brought up in a mansion in the wealthy Herschel City who, one night, runs away from home to pursue her dream of being a musician. She boards a train to the metropolis of Alba City but is quickly overwhelmed by its size, robbed of her belongings and left on the verge of defeat. Then, she meets Carole (right), a streetwise teen sharing the same dream. A chance encounter leads to a blossoming friendship between two different people who share the same goal: to create great music in an industry now monopolised by AI-created sounds.
This is a series that showed a lot of promise before its start – we featured it in our 2018 Anime Awards as one of the series to look forward to this year. However, not even we expected it to be as compelling as this. Unlike Demon Slayer, we do have a history of loving music series. However, this show is so much more than just people making songs. Set in the future, C&T makes modern comments on social status, gender equality, mass commercialisation and more in a series that is reminiscent of some of the best feel-good teen series out there. This pleasant series will likely have an emotional drop to get over and its ending has been purposely spoiled, but so long as it keeps an ounce of this bright feeling, this is a series well worth your while.
Spinning-off from four anime series, a mysterious red button suddenly appears in the worlds of Konosuba, Overlord, Re:Zero and Tanya the Evil. With nobody having the willpower to ignore it, the main characters of each series are pulled into a classic Japanese high-school setting and forced to play out an ordinary school life!
There’s an argument to say that this was actually the most anticipated series of this cycle! A spin-off of four series, all of who’s original novels were published and managed by Kadokawa, this is the kind of crossover that fans can often only dream of. It’s almost a shame that it only arrives in small, half-episode-sized portions. However, I don’t know if it would have the same impact over a whole traditional series. So far, though, this has been every bit as enjoyable as you can imagine, although you probably have to have watched at least two of the series to make a connection – we’ve seen enough of all four to understand the many character jokes which may be lost on others. So long as those jokes don’t dry up (and there’s no reason why they should), this will remain a hugely entertaining watch!
Overall, this has been an excellent cycle so far! Here are our half-term rankings:
6. We Never Learn: BOKUBEN – The best of an awkward bunch, its good story is clouded by alot of teenage sexuality.
5. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Not a genre we’ve had success with, but noticeably showing cinematic excellence.
4. Bungou Stray Dogs – A good inclusion in a large series, just needs the story to land.
3. Carole & Tuesday – A modern story for a modern audience, this feel-good music show is doing everything right!
2. Attack on Titan – Showing all the signs of being one of this great show’s best moments.
1. Isekai Quartet – Perfectly pulled-off, this dream of a comedy can do no wrong!
What’s been your favourite show of the cycle so far? Let us know via our social media channels and follow us on Twitter for our thoughts as these series play out!