[Impressions] What I’ll Watch: Spring 2018

With the Winter season coming to a close (sadly, a season which for me hasn’t been one I’ve kept up with), it’s once again time to share with you guys the shows that I will be keeping my eye on in this coming season: Spring 2018! A season full of sequels and classic reboots (seriously, there are 26 reboots or sequels this season!).

As before, this is not a complete collection of all the shows I will be watching, nor is it intended as a guide for the things that will be good — I will be watching more shows than what appear on here, and I have no doubts that I’ll miss some gems from next season, however this is intended as a personal interest list for my priority shows and why they should be worth keeping your eye on!

With that disclaimer, time to dive right into the shows that I have on high-priority from Spring 2018!

Persona 5: The Animation — Action, Fantasy, Supernatural [A-1 Pictures]

Persona 5

Ahh, my love! For any of you in the animesphere who have been living under a rock for the past 12 months, Persona 5 is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Japanese console game hits of the last year, and rightly so! The Persona franchise has been a cult sensation for the last twenty years, and Persona 5 is the latest entry in the main series. It brings compelling characters, innovative turn-based RPG mechanics and user interfaces (huge shoutout to its fluid battle controls!), a story that hooks you right in and, most of all, incredible style, aesthetic and design with eye-catching visuals and an absolutely banging soundtrack (seriously, just check out Life Will Change)!

Animated by the biggest studio around, A-1 Pictures (who previously animated an exclusive original video animation for the game called Persona 5: The Daybreakers, as well as the in-game cutscenes), Persona 5 will bring incredible style to the Spring 2018 season with huge hype behind it.

Mahou Shoujo Site — Horror, Psychological, Supernatural, Drama [production doA]

Mahou Shoujo Site

It’s going to be very easy (and frustratingly common) to write Mahou Shoujo Site (Magical Girl Site) off as “just another Madoka wannabe” but I really hope people can look past the “dark magical girl” comparison — Mahou Shoujo Site takes all of the things that make Shaft’s Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica dark and messed up, and cranks them all up to eleven. This is no ordinary “dark magical girl” show, Mahou Shoujo Site goes all-in on the gore and the horror.

Like Magical Girl Raising Project before it, this is much closer to Koushun Takami’s novel Battle Royale (and film of the same name): upon viewing a certain website (the “Magical Girl Site”), our girls are thrust into the Magical Girl Apocalypse, a savage and brutal battle to the death. I own the original manga of both Magical Girl Site and the author’s other work Magical Girl Apocalypse, and I can absolutely vouch that this is no walk in the park — the gore is heavy and it really is closer to horror than many other magical girl shows we have seen before!

Plus, Kizuna AI was recently confirmed to voice a character (yes, fictional and virtual YouTuber Kizuna AI), so if anything watch it for her!

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby — Sports, Music (Idol) [P.A. Works]

Uma Musume

There are no two ways about it: Uma Musume: Pretty Derby (Uma Musume literally meaning “Horse Girls”) is going to be the meme “saviour of anime” show of this season. Announced back in early 2016, Uma Musume is an idol-raising, horse-racing mobile game.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Idol-raising and horse racing.

The game (coming out alongside the anime) has you create an idol unit of anthropomorphised humanoid horses that you also send to horse-racing derbies. I suspect the anime will be a slice-of-life sports version of this, featuring a number of cute (slightly lesbian) horse girls going about racing and singing and dancing. In addition, high-tier studio P.A. Works are animating it, known for hits like Angel BeatsAnother and Shirobako — this idea with P.A. Works’ budget?

10/10 must watch.

Cutie Honey Universe — Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Shoujo, Ecchi? [Production Reed]

Cutie Honey Universe

I felt obliged to include a franchise reboot in my list, especially one that interests me greatly! Cutie Honey Universe is a show that really has some history behind it. Originally written by manga artist Go Nagai way back in 1973Cutie Honey is widely considered one of the earliest magical girl franchises, and is the first shounen manga with a female protagonist!

The reboot, Cutie Honey Universe, is an anime original story written by Go Nagai himself to celebrate is 50th anniversary as a mangaka (congratulations!). Not much is known about Universe itself, however Cutie Honey as a whole follows an android girl named Honey Kisaragi, who transforms into the heroine Cutie Honey to beat up all manner of bad guys. The promotional video seems to lead us to a mystery as to a number of potential “Honeys” all of which with different traits (see above image), however what bearing this has on the story is yet to be announced!

Some of you may recognise Go Nagai’s name, as he is hugely influential in the industry, being considered the father of the ecchi genre, the creator of “Super Robots” (i.e. mechas) and is back in the limelight thanks to the Netflix reboot of his classic series Devilman (Masaaki Yuasa’s Devilman Crybaby).

With all this history, Cutie Honey is definitely one to track, simply due to the creator’s prestige and influence on the industry — however, do expect some sexual ecchi elements, considering the mangaka literally created the ecchi genre in the 70s!

Shiyan Pin Jiating — Sci-Fi, Seinen, Slice of Life [Unknown Studio]

Frankenstein Family

Yet another show I’ve had my eye on for the longest time! Shiyan Pin Jiating, perhaps easier to remember as Frankenstein Family, is an anime adaptation of a manhua (China’s manga equivalent) and was originally slated for a mid-2017 release, however was inexplicably delayed until finally being confirmed for an April 2018 release!

Frankenstein Family is the tale of a genetically modified monster family, where the two scientist parents are arrested for crimes against humanity after genetically modifying their five children. Only the youngest was raised as a normal human, and as such spends her time tending to her monster siblings and helping them through their lives with the aim of finding a cure.

This is one to watch for any fans of Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Interviews with Monster Girls) from a few seasons ago, both featuring modified humans or “monster people” trying to get by in a normal human world! It looks simultaneously wholesome, dark and really pretty, and might turn out to be a sleeper hit of the season!

That wraps up my five Spring 2018 highlights! There are a few additional things I’ve got my eye on, including…

  • Caligula, an action/sci-fi written by the Persona storywriters and creators about people stuck in a Matrix-like world created by an AI idol called μ.
  • Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (shortened to WotaKoi, or It’s Difficult to Love an Otaku), a romance story following two old school friends, a male otaku and a female BL/yaoi lover (fujoshi), who begin to date.

  • and Dorei-ku the Animation, a psychological drama set in a world where a device called the SCU allows any user to enslave any other user provided they can win them over, with no rules and at any cost.

With all that said and done, Spring 2018 is shaping up to be a mixed bag! It seems a pretty standard run-of-the-mill season, with a large amount of sequels and franchise reboots dominating the lineup and little else that will stand out, but there are definitely still some things to watch!

What do you have lined up for this season? Let me know in the comments! Or use them shout at me for my bad taste, that happens a lot too~

Mata ne!

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