It’s that time of year again, the beautiful season of spring. Spring not only is a prelude to the coming summer months, but it’s a great season for new anime, especially THIS year.
The spring anime cour is jammed packed with long-awaited series, new arcs of popular shows, and adaptations of manga we love. Although the last few anime seasons were solid, the spring anime chart is probably one of the strongest lineups we’ve seen in a while.
Without further ado, here’s our anime list of the top 12 spring series to watch:
Note: These are not ranked and are based on potential. Any episodes in these series that are currently out are not considered in terms of rankings.
1. Ace Attorney
OBJECTION! The beloved lawyer/detective visual novel series finally received it’s own anime after many years of fan anticipation. An anime based on a game about lawyers may sound like it wouldn’t have much action to animate, but Ace Attorney is full of eccentric characters, quirky cases, and courtroom antics not seen anywhere else. Ace Attorney features an amazing protagonist, Phoenix Wright, a novice defense lawyer who is nervous about his first job under the legendary lawyer Mia Fey. The plot soon unfolds into a amazing narrative that will make you laugh, cry, and question the court system in Phoenix’s world. Although this anime has great potential, especially with pleasing fans, it has to keep people guessing rather than presenting all of the evidence right away. Although this will be a challenge for the writers, there is definite potential with Ace Attorney, for new and old fans alike.
2. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
The legendary manga and anime series is back with more ridiculously amazing exaggerations and action packed scenes in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable. If you haven’t watched parts 1-3, JJBA features the epic lineage of the Joestar family who fight the evils in their time periods and beyond, using a variety of different powers. Part 4 follows Josuke, a high school delinquent and the illegitimate son of Joesph Joestar (protagonist of Part 2). A change from adventuring across the world, Diamond is Unbreakable focuses on Josuke and his friends trying to uncover the mystery behind murders in his town. Using the power of Stands, beings that protect their users with supernatural powers, Josuke will undoubtedly have exciting fight scenes and awesome moments to watch. Many fans have also noted that there are similarities between Part 4 and Persona 4, due to the similar powers and murder mystery in a small down, stating that JJBA may have been an inspiration to the popular JRPG series.
3. Sakamoto desu ga? (Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto)
The slice-of-life parody with exaggerations like One Punch Man, Sakamoto desu ga? is one of the most highly anticipated series for spring. Sakamoto is literally perfect. Everyone longs to be him and he excels at whatever he does, being the ultimate “cool guy” at his school. Although his character sounds Mary-Sue-ish, it’s important to note that this series is a parody, poking fun of the many protagonists and characters seen in other manga/anime. What makes this story shine bright is the humor, facial expressions, and overall exaggeration of Nakamoto’s coolness. Sakamoto himself is a hilarious character and is never unlikeable in the manga. It will be interesting to see how the popular manga series will translate to the small screen. Based on the content of the manga, it has serious potential for one of the Spring 2016 frontrunners.
4. My Hero Academia
In most superhero stories, the hero acts as the lone hero or is part of a group with people who have similar powers. However, in My Hero Academia, the exact opposite is the case. Izuku Midoriya is the lone person in his middle school that does not have any special powers, and is teased for it. This is a very unique approach to the superhero genre, showing a world full of heroes rather than a special few. However, after attempting to save a friend, Izuku is finally given powers and enters a prestigious academy. This show by shounen jump is sure to have intense scenes while providing a unique twist on the shounen genre.
5. Magi: Sinbad no Bokken
For fans of the popular anime Magi, this new TV anime is the highly anticipated spin-off to the main series. Preceding the events of the main storyline, the “Adventure of Sinbad” follows Sinbad conquering a dungeon named Baal. According to the Magi Wiki, Baal was the first dungeon that appeared in the Magi universe. Although this arc was originally a manga turned OVA, the producers decided to make a full length TV animation.
6. Mayogia (The Lost Village)
What would you do if you won an online contest that promised a new life in a mysterious village, shoving all of your troubles and past aside? The Lost Village features a very intriguing plot that involves around 30 unique people who decided to give up their lives and live in a new world. However, is this village the utopia it seems to be? More than likely not, which makes this anime’s potential all the more exciting. Could it turn horrifying? Could it be more on the slice-of-life side of things? That’s the draw with it, and we’re definitely giving its a chance.
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7. Joker Game
Set before the catastrophic events of WWII, the Joker Game follows Yuuki, an important member of the Japanese Imperial Army, as he forms an elite group called the “D Agency”. This top-secret agency has the goal of training military soldiers that engage in different missions, both domestically and internationally. The time period this anime is set in is very unique, and it is considered part of the mystery genre, based on a popular novel.
Psychological thrillers are interesting of genres of anime, focusing on the mind or deterioration of one’s mental state through special circumstances. Kiznaiver is no exception, and sounds like it has potential to be an interesting watch. When selected as a Kiznaiver, a person can share their wounds, connecting themselves to others and learning more about their lives and personalities. It is an experimental treatment for world peace with a catch. Any Kiznaiver that is wounded, the wound is transmitted to the rest of the Kiznaivers. Although it may be hard from a writing standpoint to depict the “sharing of wounds”, it sounds like a psychological experience that has potential to be exciting.
9. Ushio and Tora 2016 (Season 2)
A continuation of the well-liked Summer 2015 anime series, Ushio and Tora is back with more action! Following mysterious monsters and family lineage, protagonist Ushio must stop spirits, saving his family and friends in the process. Many fans describe this series as a nostalgic 1990’s shounen anime that is reminiscent of other titles from that era. It also combines humor and action sequences, making it an enjoyable anime to watch that’s a good break from plot-heavy or more serious titles.
10. Bungou Stray Dogs
Detective anime are always great for fans of mystery and crime shows, especially when they have an interesting twist. Bungou Stray Dogs follows Nakajima Atsushi, a young man who was kicked out of his orphanage, left homeless and starving on the streets. After meeting some unique characters, he joins them, resulting in his membership in the “Armed Detective Agency”, a group that likes to take unusual cases that are ignored by police forces and the military. There is also a supernatural element, as those with the name of Bungo have their own sets of powers. Besides an intriguing premise, the art and animation look great, making it a worthy watch.
11. Sailor Moon: Crystal (3rd Cour)
There may be many mixed feelings about the new Sailor Moon anime, but it still has a large following and is continuing with the third part of the very popular magical girl/shoujo series. This arc focuses on Usagi’s clashing with the elite Mugen Academy with two specific students who are seemingly in the middle of the incidents occurring at the school. This arc is also called the Sailor Moon S arc, expecting to have a much darker tone that previous seasons. Although fans had some disappointments with the first two seasons, there is a chance that the Sailor Moon S arc will wow both new and old fans of the landmark series.
12. BROTHERHOOD Final Fantasy XV
An update/announcement last week led to great fan anticipation for Final Fantasy XV, the next main title in the extremely popular JRPG series. However, one of the announcements included was the release of a FFXV OVA style anime that will provide fans with a background story to the game. If this wasn’t exciting enough, the anime will be free on Youtube with English subs, requiring no subscription services (although it is on Crunchyroll) or alternative means of streaming. Episode 1 is already out and is embedded above for you to view. There are no set dates for a consistent episode release, but we should know shortly.
*Streaming websites such as Crunchyroll and Funimation will be releasing these series on a weekly basis.
Other titles to look out for: TERRA FORMARS: REVENGE, flying witch, Bakuon!!, Kuma Miko