Spring 2021 SF Anime Preview

It’s that time again! The flood of new shows that started last season is still rising if anything. And a lot of it looks good, so let’s dive right in.


The premise: A nation claims it has achieved fully autonomous drone technology to deploy in its war with a neighbor, but in reality it has a disposable teenaged army piloting the so-called drones into battle.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Even people who normally steer clear of light novels are recommended to check this one out, as this adapted from an award-winning novel which is far away from the current overdone trends.

Premiere: April 10

Battle Athletes Victory ReSTART!

The premise: A potato farmer in the 52nd century transfers to an elite all-girls school to compete for the athletic title of “Cosmo Beauty”.

Derivative factor: Remake of 1990s series

The buzz: The original series is well-liked, but it remains to be seen if the remake will do it justice, or how well the material has aged.

Premiere: April 10

Blue Reflection Ray

The premise: Two girls face the regular struggles of teenage life alongside those of fighting dark forces.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Hard to say since it will not be adapting the game’s story, but video game adaptations are so reliably terrible that this starts with one strike against it.

Premiere: April 9

Dragon Goes House-Hunting

The premise: A cowardly dragon is kicked out by his family and must find a new home in a fantasy world full of anti-dragon prejudice.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: The manga is said to be pretty good, so this one should be fine if it doesn’t get screwed up somehow.

Premiere: April 4

Full Dive

The premise: The world’s dullest high school student discovers the world’s most realistic VR game and vows to defeat it.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Likely to look and feel exactly like about a hundred other light novel adaptations about being stuck in a video game.

Premiere: April 7

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level

The premise: An office worker reborn in an RPG-like fantasy world tries to have as boring a life as possible, since she died of overwork in her previous one, but adventure insists on trying to find her.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: At least has some slightly different elements from your average light-novel power fantasy, but, like the heroine, is said to aim for unexciting ways out of things.

Premiere: April 10

Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood

The premise: In an alternate science-fantasy 1931, the last of the Tokugawa shoguns clings to power, with the aid of a secret assassin-killing organization.

Derivative factor: Possibly original, possibly reimagining of classic manga

The buzz: It sure looks like a cool action show, but we’ll have to wait and see if anything it offers anything but cool-looking action.

Premiere: April 6

Mars Red

The premise: In 1923, a secret military unit of soldiers who are officially dead but have been reborn as vampires hunts down other vampires and the source of a mysterious new blood substitute.

Derivative factor: Adaptation of stage play

The buzz: If Joran fails to deliver, then this is another option for your stylish alternate-history fantasy action.

Premiere: April 5

Megalobox 2: Nomad

The premise: Seven years afterward, the champion who once shocked the world by winning a tournament without cybernetic enhancements is fighting in underground tournaments again.

Derivative factor: Continued reimagining of classic manga

The buzz: Given the first Megalobox was a surprise hit, expectations for this one are sky-high.

Premiere: April 4

Odd Taxi

The premise: A middle-aged loner in an anthropomorphic world living mostly through conversations with his taxi passengers picks up the trail of a missing girl.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Looks very odd indeed, but in a way that might be good.

Premiere: April 6

The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent

The premise: An office worker is summoned to a fantasy world to be its savior, but after losing out to a more popular summonee, she tries to live a quiet life running a cosmetics shop.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: The novels are cuter and more charming than your typical light novels, but they still have hints of the revenge power fantasy tropes.

Premiere: April 6

Seven Knights Revolution

The premise: In a world where inheriting the power of legendary heroes is commonplace, a young man has inherited the power of one lost to history, which threatens the established order.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: Looks very much like a generic mobile game adaptation.

Premiere: April 4

Shadows House

The premise: An eccentric family and its automaton servants live in a gothic mansion on the edge of a cliff.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Technically this is horror, but it’s very low-key, slice-of-life stuff in a horror setting which may be enjoyable to a lot of people who are not fans of horror.

Premiere: April 10


The premise: Giant robots vs. giant monsters for some reason, in the same universe as SSSS.Gridman.

Derivative factor: Spinoff of or sequel to giant robot franchise

The buzz: Who knows? SSSS.Gridman was an amazing show with serious flaws, so possibly more of that.

Premiere: April 2

Tokyo Revengers

The premise: After hearing that his childhood sweetheart has died, a young man falls back 12 years to his delinquent days and tries to infiltrate a violent gang to change the future.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Said to be more of a character-driven drama than you’d expect from a gangster tale, it’ll rise or fall depending on how well the adaptation is done.

Premiere: April 10

To Your Eternity

The premise: An immortal shapeshifter acquires the form of a wolf and then a boy on the Arctic tundra and sets out to explore the world.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Are you ready for a tearjerker? Because the manga is reportedly a first-class melodrama.

Premiere: April 12

Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-

The premise: The world’s first android pop idol teams up with a survivor from the future to avoid the AI overthrow of humanity that will happen in a hundred years.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: This is being massively hyped due to the all-star team behind it, but not quite so much that it doesn’t have a chance of living up to that hype.

Premiere: April 3

The World Ends With You the Animation

The premise: A teenage loner suddenly has seven days to learn teamwork when he is pulled into a mysterious game which forces him to fight or die.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: The game was fun, but video game adaptations usually suck, and there’s no sign that this will be an exception.

Premiere: April 9

Zombie Land Saga Revenge

The premise: Seven girls who were resurrected as zombies to form an idol group continue their quest to reach the top of the charts.

Derivative factor: Sequel to original anime

The buzz: Zombie Land Saga was fresh and original until disappointing some people by turning into a regular idol show. Many of those people will still be tuning in to see if it can recapture the heights of those first episodes.

Premiere: April 8

And if you’re looking for continuing adaptations, we’ve got a couple of those too:

Since Megalobox was my top show of 2019, Megalobox 2 is at the top of my list for this season, but I’m looking forward to a lot here. Welcome to Demon School is another continuation of a show I enjoyed, and of the new stuff, my highest hopes are pinned to Odd Taxi. But I’m also looking forward to Vivy, Joran, Mars Red, and Shadows House. How about you?

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