Titans strike back! A game-based franchise returns for more misadventures. A town of powerful peeps goes for a re-do, or twenty. And two iconic anime franchises look to the next generation, and the one that came before–making a family business out of heroics. All this awaits eager otaku who follow our recs for this Spring’s crop of new and returning anime.
Attack on Titan Season 2
Taking a serious gamble with its audience, Titan‘s crew forsook filler entirely in 2013 and resolved not to produce any new episodes until the manga had caught up with the show. As a result, fans have had to make do with live-action adaptations and a silly Muppet Babies–style spin-off for four long years. But now, Titan returns, and everybody gets to see what grisly adventures await Eren “Rogue Titan” Jaeger and his crew of high-flying, giant-felling friends. At last, we’ll learn the mystery of that one Titan lurking inside the wall. Won’t we…?
Atom: The Beginning
Taking the Gotham approach to anime’s first superhero, this series focuses on Dr. Tenma and Dr. Ochanomizu, showing what the scientists were like as young men with wild ideas for robotics. One wants to build a machine that will be a god, the other wants to make one that can be a friend, and the two build the rickety gold machine, “A106,” to see whose vision wins out. We know Astro Boy will end up being something in the middle of the two doctors’ ambitions, of course, but what will A106 become? Could he wind up being a prototype for the Mighty Atom? Therein lies the intrigue.
While Atom reveals a generation past, the Naruto franchise turns to its next generation. Having debuted in his own feature film last year, the heir to the Uzumaki brand of ninja heroics gets an ongoing series this Spring, just as Shippuden ties off an epic 500-episode run. Here, Naruto is finally the Hokage he’s long aspired to be, so busy with the duties of leadership that his son feels neglected. So much so, in fact, that young Boruto is driven to cheat at a ninja exam and the two have a nasty tiff. When an old friend re-enters their lives with warnings of danger, though, the father/son duo will have to patch things up fast.
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
The first Rage of Bahamut managed to defy the odds and tell an engaging, well-paced story with sharply fleshed-out characters–even as it had to abide by licensing requirements. It’s hard to imagine where a series can go after a primordial evil has been thwarted and the doors of creation have literally been locked shut, but that’s why these professionals get paid to figure out what happens next. Aside from teasing some new characters joining the roster, the crew’s been pretty mum about what the next plot is going to be for this world of gods and demons. However, given how well-executed, and expectation-defying, the first series was, we’re ready to follow these miscreants wherever they wander.
Something of a low-key, magical realist riff on X-Men, this show’s set in a small seaside town where almost every citizen has a particular and peculiar super power. And by “peculiar,” we mean like the ability to posses a house cat. Sure enough, there’s a club at this village’s high school whose members carry out missions for the Kanrikyoku, a sort-of neighborhood watch that monitors the doings of these various gifted individuals. The intrigue revolves around a girl named Misora and a guy named Kei who are in the club. She has the power to “reset” the timeline back to where it was, three days in the past, and they both can remember what happened in any deleted history. Something’s bound to go wrong, of course, so brace yourself for some melancholic time travelin’ in this sleepy town.
Would you take up any of these? What new shows are you excited about? Sound off in the talkback.
Image Credits: David Production, Amazon, FUNimation, VIZ
Featured Image Credit: FUNimation