As the snow falls and the wind chills, otaku are already warming up to this Winter’s crop of new anime. From junior detective clubs to deadly feudal police officers, and from showy sham relationships to trendy troll take-overs, there’s a diverse selection of series starting up soon. Please consider our recommendations as you decide which stream you’ll be diving into.
Little Witch Academia
After two very popular specials, this adorable aspirant-to-alchemy at last has her own series. In the tradition of the Worst Witch and Harry Potter; the series follows Akko Kagari, a young girl who has troubling focusing in class, and isn’t doing too great at school in general. Of course, when the academy she’s attending happens to teach witchcraft, typical disobedience can lead to plenty of phantasmagorical pratfalls. Akko strives continually to assert an alternative image of what a good witch should be, trying to be like her idol, Shiny Chariot, who’s a bad influence, even among mystics.
When your hero is nicknamed “Devil,” you know the times are harsh. Police were needed even more in the feudal Temei period, and Hasegawa here is the most fearsome protector of that era’s law, cutting down criminals with a very, very deadly sword. Adapted from Shoutarou Ikenami’s classic novel, which has already been adapted into a variety of media; this intense historical thriller is sure to offer a most visceral view of a world where crimes were settled with steel.
A satire of consumerist culture and social media wrapped up in a bat-swinging romp through Akihabara, Tokyo’s trendy shopping district. In a Shaun of the Dead-esque flourish, legions of vampiric beasts, “Synthisters,” descend on the otaku paradise. Only these creatures of the night don’t drink blood; they sap victims’ social energy and will to live (note the commentary). A quartet of colorfully-garbed butt-kickers is tasked with rooting these creatures out and, in a delightful touch, the Synthisters can only be killed by sunlight after their clothes are torn off entirely.
Kuzu no Honkai
It’s easy to look at a seemingly happy couple and feel envious, but you can never know how they’re truly feeling about themselves, and each other. This series explores how even the prototypical “power couple” can still feel as much unrequited longing as any frustrated singleton. Its two leads are high school seniors. Young, beautiful, and popular… but not in love with each other. Both have crushes on other objects-of-affection who are a few years older, and they’re honestly staying together just to stave off loneliness. Can either get what their heart truly desires?
Chou Shounen Tanteidan Neo
Another literary adaptation. This one pulls from Edogawa Ranpo’s famous series of Poe-inspired, Hardy Boys-esque junior detective books. If you want to trace back where cunning minds of anime like L and Detective Conan took their cues from, then here are the sleuths that set the tone. Or their parents did, anyway. Ranpo’s work is back in a big way this season. This series follows the descendants of his “Boys Detective Club,” while a direct adaptation of their adventures is just tying off. As you should be able to guess by the promo image above, though, this series is definitely the more fun of the two.
Have we missed any big titles this season? Drop your own recs in the talkback.
Image Credits: Lerche, DLE, Studio Trigger, M2, Gonzo
Featured Image Credit: Studio Trigger