Keeping up with the Winter 2021 simulcasts ended up being rather fun for me. I watched more shows than I had initially expected to, and it was a pleasant experience. There were even a couple of anime titles that I discovered I would prefer to binge-watch in one or two sittings instead of dealing with the impatience that can stem from weekly watching sessions. A good example of this include Kemono Jihen and Attack on Titan: Final Season Part 1. Because I had a wonderful experience this past season, it made me quite eager for the Spring line-up. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was for there to be so many titles that would sound pretty fucking interesting. As such, my watchlist is the size of Mt. Fuji-san.
There are approximately eighteen or nineteen titles on my Spring Simulcast Watchlist, which is tentative for sure, as it depends on streaming availability and time constraints. Either way, I wanted to put everything that sounded appealing to me to various degrees in one space so that I had a decent reference guide as there is such a colossal amount of shows hitting the deck over the next couple weeks.
I know that a couple of these are licensed by Netflix, so Western streamers may not get them until the season ends so it can be offered up as a complete package. This makes me feel relieved as it allows me to have a bit of breathing room in the simulcasting shenanigans, and it will also give me some cool things to marathon in between Uni semesters, which will be a fantastic way to unwind and de-stress.
Something else that is appealing to me for the Spring line-up is the diversity of demographics and genres. We have slice-of-life and science-fiction as well as drama and romance and fantasy, all sprawled between the four separate groups—seinen, shōnen, josei, and shōjo. This means that there will be a good spot of fun for just about every sort of anime watcher, which adds to my overall enthusiasm by a humongous amount (especially for josei as that is not something we get consistent and regular content for).
Anyhoo, check out my watchlist down below. There’s no specific order to its organisation; I merely jotted them down as I came across them during my search. I have included as much relative information as I could, including potential streaming sources, where it was available. If you know where something is being streamed and it’s not listed on this post, please let me know in the comments so I can add it here for reference! Thank you so much, chums.
Those Snow White Notes (ましろのおと): A shōnen, slice-of-life drama series that follows high school kids as they form a club and play the shamisen, which is a traditional Japanese instrument. The series is being produced by Shin-Ei Animation and will be streamed over on CrunchyRoll. I love music, especially traditional music and the shamisen is one of my favourite instruments, so naturally I was hooked right off the bat for this one.
Burning Kabaddi (灼熱カバディ): This shōnen, sports series follows high school kids as they join a club for the Indian sport known as Kabaddi, and play it competitively. It’s being produced by TMS Entertainment and shall stream on CrunchyRoll. When I saw that there was going to be a motherfucking kabaddi anime, I became shocked and then supremely ecstatic. It’s so incredibly rare to see Indian cultural things such as this in anime and to have one centring on an Indian sport sounds like it can simultaneously be the greatest and potentially the worst thing ever, depending on how it’s handled and presented. Either way, colour my Indian fucking soul curious.
Vivy: Flourite Eye’s Song (ヴィヴィ -フローライトアイズソング-): A seinen, science-fiction series about an AI (artificial intelligence) named Matsumoto who is the world’s first autonomous humanoid AI. Their mission is to join forces with a specific individual in order to rewrite history so they can prevent a catastrophic war between AI and humans from occurring a hundred years later. The series is being produced by Wit Studio. This is a pretty tropey and common storyline within the sci-fi genre, and I fucking love it to bits, but in my defence, I tend to love anything that has to do with artificial intelligence and sentient robot type things. When you toss in a powerhouse production company like Wit, the expectations tend to skyrocket somewhat. I’m going to keep my fingers tightly crossed that it won’t be disappointing.
Let’s Make a Mug Too (やくならマグカップも): A cutesy shōnen, slice-of-life series that is basically cute girls doing cute shit. In this case, it happens in the city of Tajimi within the Gifu Prefecture, which is known for its Mino earthenware. A high school girl moves into the shopping district of said town, where she shall learn and develop an appreciation for making these famous, traditional ceramics. Nippon Animation is producing and CrunchyRoll is streaming. I like the uniqueness of the ceramics, granted that I don’t tend to like moe things regularly. But it has sweet spring vibes from the PV and Laid-Back Camp has taught me that cute girls make me curious about topics that I otherwise couldn’t care less about (traditional Japanese ceramics is something that interests me, however).
Dragon Goes House-Hunting (ドラゴン、家を買う。): This shōnen, fantasy series follows a dragon named Letty who gets kicked out on their little rump for not living up to the family’s standards. Finding themselves out on their own, they seek to find a new place to build a home. However, when you’re a dragon in a world of elves, dwarves, and other folx that fear you because you’re a motherfucking dragon, finding a home shall prove much harder than one imagined. The series is being produced by Signal.MD and shall stream over on Funimation. There are only two words that I needed to hear to get interested in this anime: dragon and fantasy. I hope this will be as adorable as it sounds.
NOMAD: Megalobox 2 (NOMAD メガロボクス2): A seinen, nanopunk, boxing sequel to Megalobox that takes place seven years after Gearless Joe wins the Megalonia tournament. Now he’s back to fighting in underground matches, covered in scars, known simply as NOMAD. TMS/3xCube is producing and Funimation is streaming. I fucking loved the first season of this series, so checking out the sequel was basically set in stone for my otaku heart.
Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway (ひげを剃る。そして女子高生を拾う): This shōnen, romantic comedy anime follows Yoshida, a twenty-six-year-old salaryman that gets rejected by his crush of five years. One his way home, he meets a high school girl that offers to have sex with him if he allows her to live with him. Telling her that she’s being ridiculous and to not make such crude and outrageous jokes, he takes her in anyway, and the two formulate an interesting bond because of it. The anime is being produced by Project No.9 and is tracked to stream on CrunchyRoll. I feel like this is an anime that can be either be hilarious and endearing in its own special way, or hilarious and absolutely fucking terrible. I’m intrigued to see which brand it’ll hit.
It’s Disgusting to Call this Love (恋と呼ぶには気持ち悪い): A josei, romantic comedy about a womanising salaryman that gets saved by a random high school girl at the train station. In order to pay her back, he offers to kiss her or to date her, to which she aptly responds by calling him a creep. That rejections ends up swooning the dude and he falls madly in love with her. He continues to express his affection and interest in her every day, hoping that she’ll make a verbal acceptance of his feelings, and views her rejections as tiny treats of affection in her own special way. It’s being produced by Nomad and shall stream on CrunchyRoll. When I saw the snippet for it, I wondered how the hell it could be a RomCom because it sounds more like some psychological drama. The guys comes off as the creep he is, especially in a stalker-type way. Because of the clashing vibes I’m receiving, I feel compelled to watch the first episode, at the very least, to see if it’s actually got any comedic value or not.
Fruits Basket: The Final (フルーツバスケットThe Final): The final season of the shōjo, supernatural, romantic comedy that has won the hearts of millions of otaku everywhere. It continues to follow the leading lady Tōru Honda as she tries to break the Sōma family curse in order to save her special friends and found family members from continued gruelling pain and suffering. TMS/8PAN is producing and Funimation (and probably CrunchyRoll) are streaming. Words are not necessary here to describe what this show means to me. It just does, a lot.
Mars Red: A shōnen, science-fiction, action show that takes place in 1923 and follows vampires that have had rapid growth in their numbers, thanks to artificial blood sources. However, the Japanese government, feeling incredibly threatened by the rise of the vampire population, puts together a task force in their army called Code Zero that gets the wonderfully brutal mission of taking down all vampires by using their own kind against them. The anime is being produced by Signal.MD. A non-romantic, non-fluffy vampire show sounds really great, and I hope this will be as dark and gritty as it sounds.
The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent (聖女の魔力は万能です): The josei, isekai series follows Sei, a 20ish office worker lady that gets poofed away to a new world along with another woman. The second lady is chosen to be the preferred Saint of the Land, working in the royal palace. Content with how things turned out, Sei leaves the palace and sets up shop making potions and cosmetics in town with her newfound magic abilities, hoping that the Sainthood business won’t come back to bite her in the arse. Diomedéa is producing and Funimation is streaming. I’m actually not quite sure what has drawn me towards the series. There have been so many isekai titles hitting the screens over the last few years that I have felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of them. Yet, I feel oddly intrigued by this isekai anime. Colour me baffled. I’ll check out the first segment and see how it fares.
Super Cub (スーパーカブ): A seinen, sports series from Studio Kai about cute high school girls that bond over their love of Honda motorcycles in the town of Yamanashi. I won’t lie, the only thing that made me want to give this anime a try were the words “Honda motorcycles.” The racer in me couldn’t resist it, mate.
86: Eighty-Six (86-エイティシックス-): A seinen, science-fiction, mech series from A-1 Pictures that follows two warring nations. One of them has the upper hands thanks to drone technology. When the other side catches up with their own drones, they hope to turn a nonviolent tides to the war. At least that is what the government proclaims, however, they have other motives in mind. I desperately need more sci-fi and mecha anime in my life. I plan on catching some older, classic mecha anime over the summer, but in the meantime, this one sounded quite interesting.
Shadow House (シャドーハウス): This seinen, Gothic mystery is about a clan of faceless folx living it up in a fancy shmancy mansion pretending to be nobles. They’re taken care of by dolls that spend their days cleaning up the shit left behind by their faceless tenants. However, there is a much deeper mystery, a dark and sinister secret within the house that shall be revealed soon. The anime is being produced by CloverWorks and shall stream via Funimation. I love Gothic fiction and I love mysteries. Smack them together and you’ve got a sandwich I’ll gladly drool all over my cat for.
Tokyo Revengers (東京卍リベンジャーズ): A shōnen, science-fiction, action series from Liden Films about a super despairing dude named Hanagaki who learns that his middle school girlfriend gets murdered by a gang called the Tokyo Manji Gang. Upon receiving this terrible news, he has an accident involving train tracks at a station. Rather than die, he gets transported back into time by twelve years, to the golden time of his life. Taking this as a second chance at having a decent existence, he decides to make things work with his ex-girlfriend and hopes to save her life—and his happiness—in the process. The series shall stream over on CrunchyRoll. The last show that I watched where a protagonist ended up going back into time was Erased, which I fucking love (prefer the drama slightly more than the anime and the manga above all else). Since I got the same vibes, I figured it would be worth testing out the first episode. Plus, it just sounds different than everything else being offered his season and, thus, I became naturally fascinated.
To Your Eternity (不滅のあなたへ): This shōnen, fantasy series follows a lonely boy wandering around in the arctic regions of North America where he stumbles into a wolf. The two formulate a special friendship, depending on each other to survive. However, the boy has a unique history, and the wolf ends up becoming a steppingstone for the kid and his eventual future evolution. Production is done by Brain’s Base and streaming is offered via CrunchyRoll. I read the manga for this series and I eventually stopped because it became so unnecessarily convoluted. I’m hoping the anime shall fare better narratively speaking, but I’d be lying if I said I had overtly high expectations for this series at all.
Yasuke (Yasuke -ヤスケ-): This seinen, sci-fi, chanbara series is produced by MAPPA and is about the first African samurai in Japan, Yasuke, who served under Oda Nobunaga’s command, and his exploits during a war-torn feudal nation that is filled with magic and mechs. It’ll stream via Netflix. The PVs for this look so fucking dope that I knew I have to watch this as soon it’s available in my region.
Jōran: The Princess of Snow and Blood (擾乱 THE PRINCESS OF SNOW AND BLOOD): A seinen, politically intrigue-infused historical drama taking place in 1931 that follows a Tokugawa prince who holds absolute power. On one side there is a rebel group that’s determined to assassinate the prince and re-take the regime that he’s built via that power. Then there’s the other side, consisting of a group of secret government executioners that seek to extinguish the rebel group before they can make their move and demolish all that been erected under the Tokugawa rule. The anime is being produced by Bakken Record and currently streaming over on CrunchyRoll and VRV. Politically-charged historical dramas are totally my favourite kind of narrative gig and this show not only sounds like it’s going to be damn good, but it also looks pretty neat from what little PVs I’ve seen thus far.
Cestvs: The Roman Fighter (セスタス-The Roman Fighter-): This seinen, historical series is being produced by Bandai Namco and revolves around an orphaned kid in 54 A.D. who had his entire family killed by the Roman Empire. Then he was forced into slavery where he underwent training to become a gladiator. It’s here that his brutal fight for freedom begins. I loved Spartacus (the TV series from 2010) and this anime sort of reminds me of that a little bit. I also just adore savage and violent historical stuff.
Holy shite, that brings us to the end of this massive watchlist. Truth be told, I don’t expect to watch and enjoy each and every single one of these right from the beginning. I’m sure there will be some shows that sounded good, but will not jam with my tastes, or others that I’ll prefer to save for a binge-watching fest. But simply having such a vast expanse of options to choose from and to check out is very promising and makes me feel rather stoked for the Spring season’s entertainment.
First Impressions for most of these gigs shall start going live next week as I know a couple of shows have already begun, and more are set to hit the waves as the weekend approaches. Once I get a good idea of what my regular weekly watching swatch will be like for Spring, I’ll go ahead and share an updated list of titles.
In the meantime, what are some shows that you’re looking forward to the most with the arrival of the new anime season?