I’ve spent the last three days nursing a lurgy, so reviews are a bit beyond me at the moment. Although there are at least two to come this week for Gates of Hope by J.E. Hannaford and The Mountain of Souls by Marcus Lee, and those are both nearly finished, but I want to do them both justice as the books were fantastic.
But, I’ve also been meaning to start doing more anime and manga related on the blog, and with the Spring 2023 season just days away, I figured it would be a nice way to kick it off with a look at what I’m excited to watch this season. Please note this is not a complete list, there is still anime being announced and there are others I might try out. This is also just the ones I intend to at least give a go, if not outright watch from start to finish.
I’m also going to have a review up this weekend for what has been my favourite anime from winter 2022 – Buddy Daddies which ends on Friday (I am not ready!!).
Dead Mount Death Play [Studio: GEEKTOYS]
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural, Thriller
It’s a showdown for the ages as the legendary hero takes on the corpse god necromancer, but when the dust settles, something isn’t quite right… In the final moments of their epic confrontation, the corpse god’s final gambit shot was wholly unexpected — reincarnation magic! Across space and time, a boy named Polka Shinoyama awakens feeling…not quite himself…… Who could’ve expected that the climactic battle between good and evil would turn out like this??
Another Isekai…what is happening to me this season? But, this one caught my attention firstly because of the animation style (I love it), but also the fact that it’s actually a reverse Isekai. Apparently, I like plays on the genre? I also really love the idea of magic being introduced to a non-magic world in a really limited way and seeing the impact that has, so I’m excited to see how this one goes.
Kanojo ga Koushaku-tei ni Itta Riyuu [Studio: TYPHOON GRAPHICS]
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
After a mysterious death, Park Eunha enters the world of a novel. She is revived as a minor character, Raeliana McMillan, who is to be poisoned to death by her own betrothed. In order to break up with her dangerous fiancé, she offers a surreptitious deal to the male protagonist of the novel, Noah Wynknight, but winds up romantically with other men that are not part of the plan.
Noah Wynknight of inescapable but suspicious charm; honest Justin Shamal who loves only one person; or Adam Taylor for whom you have a soft spot for no reason whenever you see him. Will Raeliana successfully get out of this crisis and create a new ending for herself? Who will be the one that will join Raeliana in her new ending?
I’m not a huge Isekai watcher, although I do see the appeal. But, this one – perhaps because it’s about entering the world of a novel and I am a bookworm in all formats? – appealed to me. Also, the idea of being able to change the course of a written story, using the knowledge of the plot is just fantastic. This is very much one I’m going to give a go, and we’ll see if it hooks me or not.
Skip to Loafer (Skip and Loafer) [Studio: P.A. Works]
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
Excellent student Iwakura Mitsumi has always dreamt about leaving her small town, going to a prestigious university, and making positive change in the world. But she’s so focused on reaching her goals that she’s not prepared for the very different (and overwhelming) city life that awaits her in a Tokyo high school. Luckily, she makes fast friends with Shima Sousuke, a handsome classmate who’s as laid-back as she is over-prepared. Can this naive country girl make it big in Tokyo with Sousuke by her side?
I’m going to be honest, this one looked cute but I wasn’t completely sold until we saw Shima Sousuke in the PV. Give me a laid-back, tall boy (as my friend called him when we watched the PV) and I will watch an anime apparently. But I do love slice of life animes, it makes a nice break in the craziness of all of the other anime and this one has a lovely animation style.
My Home Hero [Studio: Tezuka Productions]
Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller
Tetsuo Tosu, an ordinary salaryman, discovers his daughter, Reika, has been physically abused by her boyfriend, Matori Nobuto. Trying to learn more about him, Tetsuo uncovers Matori’s scheme to extort money from Reika’s wealthy grandparents, and finds out that he is a member of a crime syndicate, with a history of murdering his former girlfriends.
Filled with rage and fear at the thought of Reika being in danger, Tetsuo ends up killing Nobuto, and with the help of his wife, Kasen, successfully disposes of the body. Now, as the members of the syndicate begin to question Nobuto’s sudden disappearance, Tetsuo and Kasen must work together to ensure the safety of their daughter and prevent her from getting involved in the predicament any further.
I adore mafia/gangster anime (everyone needs to watch 91 Days seriously), and this one promises to be both DARK and interesting as its going to be following the people who come up against the mafia, rather than the mafia themselves. Easily one of my most anticipated ones for Spring 2023.
Tengoku Daimakyou [Studio: Production I.G]
Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Within the safety of the walls, youths are raised in a nursery-style setting by robots. While life there may appear stale on the surface, the children are full of potential and curiosity. In many ways it is like a slice of heaven. The outside world is a hell-scape. It is almost entirely void of anything mechanical and is now inhabited by bizarre, yet powerful super-natural beings.
Maru, with the aid of Kiruko, is out there crisscrossing what was once Tokyo for heaven. But after searching for so long, maybe heaven is more of an untenable dream than a potential reality.
I was watching a ‘top ten anime to watch this spring’ video with a friend, and as soon as they showed the PV for this one I was sold. I love the animation style, and the mystery and sci-fi elements were really well done in the PV – obviously whether that remains true for teh season itself remains to be seen. But, I think this one will be a really interesting watch.
Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia (Insomniacs After School) [Studio: LIDENFILEMS]
Genres: Romance, Slice of Life
Ganta Nakami is a high school student who suffers from insomnia. One day, he meets Isaki Magari, a girl with the same condition. A strange, but special relationship forms as they share a secret and catch up on their sleep in their school’s abandoned observatory…
I’m always fascinated by how many very specific topics are targeted by anime. I’ve also found that it’s often these kind of anime that really capture me, perhaps because it’s so specific and intimate in that it tends to have a smaller setting and cast; but that paired with a great animation style means that I’m excited to see how this one plays out.
Jigokuraku (Hell’s Paradise) [Studio: MAPPA]
Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery, Supernatural.
The Edo period is nearing its end. Gabimaru, a shinobi formerly known as the strongest in Iwagakure who is now a death row convict, is told that he will be acquitted and set free if he can bring back the Elixir of Life from an island that is rumored to be the Buddhist pure land Sukhavati. In hopes of reuniting with his beloved wife, Gabimaru heads to the island along with the executioner Yamada Asaemon Sagiri. Upon arriving there, they encounter other death row convicts in search of the Elixir of Life… as well as a host of unknown creatures, eerie manmade statues, and the hermits who rule the island. Can Gabimaru find the Elixir of Life on this mysterious island and make it back home alive?
Two things made this an insta-watch for me. First it’s Studio MAPPA – I adore what they put out. Second it’s Edo period/end of Edo period, and I love anime that are set in that time period. The fact that this follows a shinobi, and just sounds like it’s going to be an excellent blend of action and craziness means that this one is probably the must-watch of the season for me.
MASHLE (MASHLE: Magic and Muscles) [Studio: A-1 Pictures]
Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy
This is a world of magic. This is a world in which magic is casually used by everyone.
In a deep, dark forest in this world of magic, there is a boy who is singlemindedly working out. His name is Mash Burnedead, and he has a secret. He can’t use magic.
All he wanted was to live a quiet life with his family, but people suddenly start trying to kill him one day and he somehow finds himself enrolled in Magic School. There, he sets his sights on becoming a “Divine Visionary,” the elite of the elite.
Will his ripped muscles work against the best and brightest of the wizarding world? The curtain rises on this off-kilter magical fantasy in which the power of being jacked crushes any spell!
This anime will either be ridiculous fun, or annoy the hell out of me and it’s always impossible to tell just from the PV. On the surface it looks like it’s going to be really fun, and I do really like the premise – the question of magic vs non magic is one that can be played so many ways, but it’s a coin flip as to whether the comedy aspects will work for me or not. Still excited to give it a go though.
Link to PV
Oshi no Ko [Studio: Dogo Kobo]
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Psychological, Supernatural
When a pregnant young starlet appears in Gorou Amemiya’s countryside medical clinic, the doctor takes it upon himself to safely (and secretly) deliver Ai Hoshino’s child so she can make a scandal-free return to the stage. But no good deed goes unpunished, and on the eve of her delivery, he finds himself slain at the hands of Ai’s deluded stalker — and subsequently reborn as Ai’s child, Aquamarine Hoshino! The glitz and glamor of showbiz hide the dark underbelly of the entertainment industry, threatening to dull the shine of his favorite star. Can he help his new mother rise to the top of the charts? And what will he do when unthinkable disaster strikes?
I’ve got to admit the premise is…a wee bit weird, and I am not sure this is an anime I will continue through the season. I watched the PV for this one with a friend, and we were both a little -wtf – about it. But, the art style – especially the eyes is absolutely beautiful, so I am going to give at least the first episode a shot.
Mahoutsukai no Yome SEASON TWO [Studio: Studio Kafka]
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural
Chise was able to accept Elias and herself, if not necessarily everything about her situation. After Cartaphilus fell back into a slumber that would not last forever, Chise was able to go back to her regular life. Then she receives an invitation from a mutual aid organization for mages called the College.
Under the British Library exists a secret society of mages. Encounters and interactions with people are about to open some new doors.
This is a story about saving yourself to save another.
This is one of those season twos that I have been WAITING for. I adored the first season of Mahoutsukai no Yome, it’s a beautiful anime, has some truly brilliant fantastical elements (especially if you like folklore) and the story and characters are fantastic too, and I was so excited when this season was announced!!
Link to PV
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Katanakaji no Sato-hen [Studio: ufotable]
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Supernatural
Adaptation of the Swordsmith Village Arc.
Unhelpfully, this is all they have for the summary.
So a more detailed summary from the fandom wiki:
Tanjiro journeys to a village of swordsmiths and has to explain how his sword was so badly damaged to Hotaru Haganezuka, the smith who made it. While Tanjiro waits for his sword to be repaired, enemies close in. The Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito, engages the demons, but he’ll need some help from Tanjiro and Genya, another Demon Slayer. It’s bad enough that they have to fight two upper-rank demons, but can they handle a foe who can split itself into four separate bodies and regenerate almost instantly?
Now confession time. I started watching Kimetsu no Yaiba when it first started airing, but that was during a massive slump period when I just abandoned everything – more out of lack of energy than anything. I’ve since restarted it, so I am still playing catch up at the moment, but a new season coming is great motivation (as is the fact that it’s a bloody brilliant anime).
Have any of these caught your attention? Are there others that you plan to watch that you think I should be checking out? Let me know.