Winter is winding down, and spring is upon us. That means the end of the dreaded winter anime season and the beginning of a new one. Crunchyroll is calling this the season of light novel adaptations, and it’s no wonder: there are at least nine anime shows being released that were originally light novels. I’ve only included two on my recommendations list, however, mostly because there are a couple of other shows that I am more excited about, including three new seasons of old favorites.
Attack on Titan (Season Two)
Eren Jaeger swore to wipe out every last Titan, but in a battle for his life he wound up becoming the thing he hates most. With his new powers, he fights for humanity’s freedom facing the monsters that threaten his home. After a bittersweet victory against the Female Titan, Eren finds no time to rest–a horde of Titans is approaching Wall Rose and the battle for humanity continues (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
Have you visited your local Hot Topic or anime shop lately? If you have, you might have noticed that it’s often teeming with Attack on Titan merchandise. After a four year break, this popular, unsettling anime is back with a new season.
Taking the usual zombie-dystopia story and flipping it on its head, Attack on Titan tells the story of giant monsters that attack human communities and eat its occupants for no apparent reason and the humans who work to fight them. Of course, the main character Eren is a male Mary Sue in the sense that he has special abilities that could help save humanity. He can transform into a giant titan, not your run-of-the-mill superpower, and it’s not completely clear why he can. It has something to do with his father who could also transform into a titan, and you come to realize at the end of season one that humans created the titans.
I actually prefer Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Attack on Titan’s cousin (both are directed by Tetsurō Araki and produced by generally the same team), but I’m glad that we’ll (hopefully) get more closure to Eren’s story.
Natsume’s Book of Friends (Season Six)
Natsume Takashi has the ability to see spirits, which he has long kept secret. However, once he inherits a strange book that belonged to his deceased grandmother, Reiko, he discovers the reason why spirits surround him. Containing the names of these spirits, a binding contract was formed between the spirits and the owner of the book. Now, Natsume is determined to free the spirits and dissolve the contracts. With the help of a spirit cat, his days are filled trying to return the names to these spirits (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
It’s been a long time since the first season of Natsume’s Book of Friends aired back in 2009. If you haven’t seen the first five seasons of Natsume, you’ll have to head over to Crunchyroll before watching this one. You could probably start the show in the middle, but you’d be missing out on a lot of great episodes involving supernatural happenings and Japanese folklore.
I’ve recommended Natsume before, back in Fall 2016 when the fifth season was released. It’s hard to believe that this is the sixth season of Natsume! It’s a perfect show to watch on a lazy evening. I plowed through the last season a couple of months ago very easily, watching episode after episode while I did other things, like knitting. Natsume is one of my favorite anime characters; he’s kind and cute, and he grows and changes throughout the show.
With a plethora of youkai, kami, shinigami, shikigami, and the especially beloved Nyanko-sensei, Natsume has a magical feeling to it that will leave you peeking around the corner, on the lookout for yokai, the next time you go out.
Natsume’s Book of Friends, season six, will be available to watch on Crunchyroll.
The Eccentric Family (Season Two)
Shimogamo Yasaburō is a tanuki who is the third son of the Shimagamo family, who lives in Kyoto, along with humans, tanuki, and tengu. One day, Yasaburō’s father is eaten as a hot pot by human members of a group known as the “Friday Club.” As Yasaburō takes care of his teacher, an old tengu, fights with other tanukis, and plays with a psychic human girl, Yasaburō approaches the truth about his father’s death (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
I’ve only watched a couple of episodes of the first season of The Eccentric Family, but the few scenes I’ve seen were highly enjoyable.
Similar to Natsume’s Book of Friends, The Eccentric Family is teeming with Japanese folklore, specifically around the Japanese raccoon dog or tanuki. If you’ve played Super Mario Bros. 3, then you know what a tanuki or tanooki is. It’s that cute raccoon suit that Mario or Luigi can wear that lets them fly or turn into a stone statue. In Japan, tanuki are believed to be mischievous animals capable of shape-shifting, and in this anime, the main character, Shimogamo, is just that–a shape-shifting tanuki who loves humans.
Like Attack on Titan and Natsume, it’s been four years since the first season was released, but that’s okay. There’s still time to catch up with Shimogamo and his eccentric family.
The Eccentric Family will be available to watch on Crunchyroll.
Kurogo Kurusu, a high school student who loves kabuki so much that it’s annoying. Kurogo yearns to perform kabuki as part of a club at his school, but currently his school doesn’t have a kabuki club. So Kurogo sets out to create a kabuki club, and his first order of business is to gather members (Plot Summary from Anime News Networrk).
We have sports anime featuring Japanese sports, like Chihayafuru (karuta) and March comes in like a lion (shogi). We have historical, dramatic anime featuring traditional Japanese arts, like Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (rakugo). Now we’re getting a new anime about kabuki!
Based on a light novel series by Yuuri Eda, Kabukibu! (another one of those shows with an exclamation point at the end) is about clasically Japanese dance-drama. The main character is, unfortunately, in middle school–something that puts me off lately–but the characters were designed by CLAMP, which is an added bonus. And I am interested to see how they will artistically portray kabuki in animation.
Kabukibu! will, most likely, be available to watch on Crunchyroll.
In this teen-centric fantasy series, around half the population of the town of Sakurada possess special powers. Two students–one who can remember anything he sees or hears, and one who can turn back time a maximum of three days–use their powers to solve crime around town. In addition to the anime adaptation coming out in April, two live-action films will be released during the second quarter of 2017 (Plot Summary from Crunchyroll).
Based on another light novel series, Sakurada Reset has potential. Stills of the live-action film were actually what drew me into the anime in the first place.
Slice of life meets supernatural elements and a tinge of horror (you can sort of feel it toward the end of the trailer), Sakurada Rest reminds me a little bit of ERASED, but it doesn’t appear to be nearly as tragic. Kei Haruna produced the live-action version, which may be why ERASED comes to mind when I watched the anime and live-action trailers; Haruna produced the live-action ERASED too.
The full title of the manga is Sakurada Reset: Cat, Ghost and Revolutionary Sunday, so if that says anything about this anime, it’s definitely intriguing!
Unfortunately, it is not yet clearly if Sakurada Reset will be available to simulcast.
What simulcasts will you be watching this spring?
Rine Karr is an Anime Writer at Girls in Capes. She’s a writer and aspiring novelist by moonlight and a copyeditor by daylight. Rine loves good food, travel, and lots of fiction, especially novels, anime, manga, video games, and films. She’s also the Chief Copyeditor and an occasional contributor at Women Write About Comics.
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