Taking a quick break from my studies to finalize my simulcasts for this anime season. Since then, I’ve added about 20 things to my list, but I’m choosing to highlight only 10 of them. As always, my lists tend to be quite eclectic, and don’t always reflect the most popular things.
As an aside, I will be getting back to full anime reviews on a later date, but my next one might take some time, as it will be the 50th anime-specific review I have on this blog; and I will be doing something a little special for that one.
You can watch legally and for free* on Crunchyroll! They are in order by when they come out weekly (PDT).
*I don’t remind enough people of this, apparently. You can watch all episodes a week after release for free, with few commercial interruptions; or, you can do what I do and subscribe for as low as $6.95/mo for commercial free, HD, console peripheral, and first release access.
1. Wolf Girl and Black Prince (Sundays, 8:30 PDT)
Erika Shinohara is hung up on having a boyfriend to impress her friends, when she meets the school heartthrob, Kyouya Sata. The two agree to pretend to be in a relationship, when Erika learns of Kyouya’s sadistic personality! Something deep down has caused Kyouya to distance himself from loving people properly and Erika wants to find out why. But until then, Kyouya is her black prince, and Erika is his wolf girl!
2. Gugure! Kokkuri-san (Sundays, 12:05 PDT)
When Kokkuri-san is summoned by Kohina Ichimatsu, he finds a problem child who lacks the personality of a regular human being. In a twist of fate, he attempts to bring life into her depressing world, but perhaps to no avail. As my pick for comedy of the season, this one keeps me laughing from beginning to end out of sheer ridiculousness! And if you thought Kohina and Kokkuri-san were crazy, wait until you meet the other spirits who join them!
3. Tribe Cool Crew (Sundays, 15:00 PDT)
Said to be the first hip-hop themed anime, this show is probably the most esoteric show of my simulcasts. With a mix between typical 2-D animation and 3-D rendered CGI, it appears very obvious that it appeals mainly to children, if anyone. It is an ambitious original in the anime library, with very little fan service (if any) and a subject most fans aren’t used to seeing. However, where it lacks in typical anime themes, it makes up in showing a lot of heart; and I have been loving every episode thus far!
4. Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road (Mondays, 10:35 PDT)
I held off from reviewing the first installation of Yowapeda which lasted three seasons because I knew this was going to come up later this year. The boys of Team Sohoku are back for a fourth season, and the real race is only getting started! But when it seems that Sohoku and Hakone have their eyes set on the finish, Kyoto Fushimi’s Midousuji has something more to prove to these veterans! And what of another underdog team that will find its way into the ranks for first place? Get back your bikes, folks! The race is on!
5. Akatsuki no Yona (Tuesdays, 8:00 PDT)
My personal choice for most anticipated anime of the season, this series contains the elements of a Korean drama set with the attitudes of a Japanese animation. On her 16th birthday, Yona witnesses a terrible tragedy in her family and is forced to leave the kingdom she always called home. Now an adult, she bands together with a small group of friends to seek revenge on her vile cousin Soo Won who had assumed the throne. Oh, and did I mention she’s an archer? “The girl who stands in the blush of dawn” is the most beautiful of them all!
6. Parasyte (Wednesdays, 10:29 PDT)
Of all the shows I’m featuring here, this one is probably the most popular (and likely to be this season’s top anime, but you didn’t hear that from me)! First off, you will likely have an idea whether or not you decide to add or drop this series after the first 30 seconds or so of episode 1. It’s that kind of impression! When Shinichi Izumi comes across a parasite that invades his hand, a bizarre specimen forms with the desire to eat humans! But despite other hosts of its kind, Shinichi remains somewhat “human,” but how long will that last? This is one of the most thought-provoking anime I’m watching this season (aside from another which I will talk about later in this post); and if you need a subject for your next conversation on humanity and post-humanism, this is a good one to talk about!
7. Shirobako (Thursdays, 8:30 PDT)
PA Works is at it again, with another anime about an ensemble cast, a rich amount of themes, and bringing multiple concepts together in a beautiful (or perhaps eclectic) way. This time, they’re taking on an original series with a very unique subject: an animation studio! Have a look inside how anime is produced at the professional level; and because it’s anime within an anime, there are plenty of hidden references to be had! As an avid PA Works fan myself, you know I’ll be watching this one!
8. Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru (Thursdays, 11:49 PDT)
Having barely come out with its first two episodes earlier this week, this has become one of the biggest surprises of the season. As an original animation, it’s hard to judge what direction this series will go in, and even harder to judge if it will be popular amongst the masses. The girls of the Brave Hero Club find themselves becoming the champions of a divine feud in the year 300 era of the gods. With the help of an app on their phones, they can transform into magical girls to fight evil and defend their world. Can they protect the world and each other before impending disaster happens? It sounds like the plot to Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but it’s definitely worth a watch.
9. Your Lie in April (Thursdays, 12:00 PDT)
This one probably wins the biggest Feels of the season for most fans, and for good reason. Kousei Arima has stopped playing piano after his mother’s death. However, when he meets the violin prodigy, Kaori Miyazono, a new spark in his life occurs. And while various love polygons are bound to happen in this teenage angst of a love story, Kaori has a secret of her own, that she’s not telling. What could that be? Get ready for feels with this one; my emotions are quite invested in this series!
10. Karen Senki (Saturdays, 8:00 PDT)
The machines have dominion over humanity, but they fall short of a few problems, where rebellious humans try to undermine their dawning system. Among these humans is Karen; and as a human with supernatural powers who experienced the traumatic death of her sister Touka, she’s out for more than just revenge on the machines above them! With each 11-minute episode with features of CGI and rotoscoping animation, many might pass over this one, but it is not without its deep questions about humanity, post-human society, and love, as well as occasional emotional moments. And while there is plenty of fan service to be had, there is more to this rebel assassin than just an eye patch and a sexy Chinese dress! The fight for humanity has only just begun!