Spring 2017 SF Anime Preview

It’s that time again, and not a moment too soon. Here’s what’ll be coming our way from Japan in April. As always, click through on the titles to see the official promo sites.

Akindo Sei no Little Peso (Little Peso From the Merchant Planet)

The premise: An alien prince runs up too big a tab due to his smartphone game addiction, and is forced to roam the universe fighting “business battles”.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: None.

Premiere: April 3

Alice & Zōroku

The premise: A young girl with the power to manifest her dreams in the real world escapes from a secret lab and upends the life of the grumpy old man who takes her in.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Despite the mad science hovering in the background, this looks like it’s going to be a cute and positive domestic comedy.

Premiere: April 2

Atom: The Beginning

The premise: Two friends in college try to build the first truly sentient android. One of them wants it to be a friend to humanity, but the other wants to create a god.

Derivative factor: Adaptation of prequel/reimagining of classic manga Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy)

The buzz: English-speaking anime fandom doesn’t pay much attention to works as old as Astro Boy these days, but Osamu Tezuka is still one of the people who defined modern manga, and anything to do with his work is still a Big Deal.

Premiere: April 15

Attack on Titan: Season 2

The premise: Humanity continues to fight for its survival against hordes of giants, with some unexpected allies.

Derivative factor: Continuation of manga adaptation

The buzz: Finally, finally, finally, finally! Three whole years of waiting may turn out to have dampened the excitement, but this is still one of the heavyweights (no pun intended) of the new season.

Premiere: April 1

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

The premise: The son of a powerful martial arts master pursues his own career as a ninja.

Derivative factor: Spinoff of major franchise

The buzz: Naruto is a long-running juggernaut that many of today’s anime fans grew up with, yet there’s a feeling that it’s gone on long enough already.

Premiere: April 5

Clockwork Planet

The premise: On a future Earth made of gears, a high school dropout technical genius discovers a mysterious female automaton.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: On the one hand: steampunk level 9000! On the other hand: really generic-sounding light novel premise.

Premiere: April 6

The Eccentric Family 2

The premise: The lives of the tanuki and tengu of Osaka are disrupted when the son of a prominent tengu returns from a century of exile.

Derivative factor: Adaptation of sequel to previously adapted novel

The buzz: The first series was widely liked, but DVD sales were disappointing, so news of a sequel comes as a wonderful surprise.

Premiere: April 9

Frame Arms Girl

The premise: A girl mysteriously receives a tiny android who becomes her buddy.

Derivative factor: Based on a toy franchise

The buzz: It seems like a pretty straightforward toy commercial, so don’t expect much from it.

Premiere: April 3

Granblue Fantasy the Animation

The premise: A guy, his fire lizard, and a mysterious girl go vaguely-medieval fantasy adventuring in a world of floating islands.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Meh. The art looks nice, but next to the return of Rage of Bahamut (see below) this feels like an afterthought.

Premiere: April 1


The premise: A high school girl learning to operate robot suits designed for extreme environments gets mixed up with space pirates.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: It’s got the ingredients for something unique, but people are being put off by a promo video that’s all about cute girls and a girl in her underwear.

Premiere: April 9

Kado: The Right Answer

The premise: Japan is occupied by a power that wants to tell it how to run its internal affairs, only this time, it’s from another planet.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Hard to tell how this is going to turn out, but it’s definitely got potential.

Premiere: April 7

PriPri Chi-chan!!

The premise: An alien and a gnome move in with a little girl and they all have heartwarming adventures together.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Cute but probably forgettable.

Premiere: April 15

Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul

The premise: A fantasy world is thrown out of balance by the enslavement of demons and a reduction in piety.

Derivative factor: Sequel to video game adaptation

The buzz: The original Rage of Bahamut was that rarest of beasts, the video game adaptation that turned out to be really good. A lot of viewers are counting on the sequel to not mess it up.

Premiere: April 7


The premise: Fictional characters from games and TV have a bone to pick with the real world.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: A lot of headscratching on this one. There’s a solid team behind the scenes, but an extremely vague synopsis plus promo videos region-locked to Japan means no one is sure what to make of it.

Premiere: April 8

Renai Bōkun (The Love Tyrant)

The premise: An angel with the power to make couples fall in love deals with a high school boy and the girl who has a violent crush on him.

Derivative factor: Comic strip adaptation

The buzz: Opinions of the source material are split between “really dumb” and “really funny”. It could of course be both.

Premiere: April 6

Rokudenashi Majutsu Kōshi to Akashic Records (The Good-For-Nothing Magic Teacher and the Akashic Records)

The premise: A lazy bum of a substitute teacher loses a duel with one of his students but stands up for them later on.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: It’s pretty standard light-novel material, so expectations are low.

Premiere: April 4

Sagrada Reset

The premise: In a town where most people have special powers, a boy with perfect memory and a girl who can push time back by a few days help people out and try to find a way to bring back their dead classmate.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Some hopes for this one, mostly based on the fact that this is being adapted by the same production company which has done such an excellent job with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Premiere: April 5

Shūmatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka? (Do You Already Have Plans For the Apocalypse? Could You Maybe Save the World?)

The premise: The last human wakes up from centuries of suspended animation and leads a band of fairies to fight the creatures that exterminated humanity.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Beyond the ridiculous title, the source material is said to be so obsessed with exposition that it moves painfully slowly, so hope that gets fixed in the adaptation.

Premiere: April 12

Twin Angel Break

The premise: Magical girls who don’t quite get along do magical girl things.

Derivative factor: Sequel to pachinko game adaptation

The buzz: Nothing about it looks all that promising, but hey, decent shows have come from weirder places.

Premiere: April 7

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahō no Sho (Starting a Spellbook From Scratch)

The premise: In a world where most magical knowledge has been lost, a witch and a half-human mercenary seek out a book which may be able to destroy the world.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: The source material is said to be a long way from typical light novel tropes, so this might be pretty good.

Premiere: April 10

And the recent shows that will be returning for new helpings:

Wow. After the weak winter season, I’ve never been so excited about looking at a whole raft of sequels and spinoffs. My most anticipated show has to be The Eccentric Family 2, since I thought the first Eccentric Family was the best show I saw in all of 2013. I’m all ready for more Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia, and intrigued by Atom: The Beginning.

Outside of the franchises, I’m most interested in seeing what Kado does, and I’m getting that potentially weird and quirky in just the right way vibe from Little Peso. How about you?

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1 Comment

  1. Regarding ID-0….

    “The buzz: It’s got the ingredients for something unique, but people are being put off by a promo video that’s all about cute girls and a girl in her underwear.”

    Well, that’s because you might not have read the full translation of the story premise. Rather than post that here now, I think you should just watch the opening sequence preview that reveals a lot more and gives a more accurate impression of the show.

    See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzfVwKcDduA

    Also, while the promo video you’re talking about was pretty misleading, it was also preceded by a more sober one (though not informative) from last year. That plus, let’s not exaggerate, there’s only brief shot of a girl in that state (and not a very questionable one, by anime standards). I think they included that there because of the whole “moe” theme from that PV, but that’s certainly not where the show is focusing on.

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