Spring 2021 SF Anime Preview

Spring, and an anime fan’s fancy turns to the insane number of new shows coming our way momentarily.

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.


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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

SSSS.Dynazenon

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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