Another season turns, and with it comes an exciting slate of new anime. Out of the horde, these are the shows that have piqued our interest most, ranging from a slice-of-life dramedy about a pro gamer to a two-fisted wrestling opera. What makes this season doubly exciting, of course, is that it’ll be the first with FUNimation and Crunchyroll’s innovative partnership in effect. If you’d like to watch these subbed, they’ll most likely be on Crunchyroll. But if you prefer broadcast dub versions, you might wait a couple weeks to see if they’re available on FUNi’s slate. Here are the titles to look for.
A bit like Superjail by way of Cromartie High School, this madcap comedy’s set in a psychedelic max security slam occupied by a colorful throng of guards, wardens, and prisoners. If the inmates have taken over this asylum, then they’ve already gone ahead and locked up another set of lunatics to fill their cells. We might say this correctional facility was progressive for having both men and women in the blocks and on the staff, but when there’s already such a variety of outlandish outfits and wild hairdos that the term “uniform” loses meaning, that detail really seems beside the point. Nanbaka just looks flat-out bonkers in the best way possible.
If Tupac can come back as a hologram, there’s really no reason music legends like Mozart and Beethoven can’t do their own riff on the Vocaloid experience, is there? If you follow that line of logic, you’ll find a whole lot to like about this show, wherein the greatest composers of all time are reincarnated during an apocalypse that (naturally) involves giant robots. Joined by the likes of Chopin, Schubert, and Bach, these “ClassicaLoids” wield music like an actual super power in a rural town only just rediscovering the value of song. Why have these icons returned? Are they here to save humanity, or doom it? And could this actually be the most demented PBS mini-series ever?
3-gatsu no Lion
Young Rei enjoys such success as a pro player of Shogi (known as “Japanese chess”), he’s achieved financial independence in high school and now lives in his own home. None of that works well to better his lacking social skills, of course. However, when Rei becomes acquainted with the Kawamotos, a trio of sisters living nearby, he may finally come out of his shell. Welcoming him into their lives, the girls show Rei that there’s more to life than his job–a lesson that will be especially valuable when his gaming career hits a losing streak.
Tiger Mask W
The “cartoon era” of American pro wrestling might’ve wrapped in the late the 90s, but it definitely never ended across the Pacific. In fact, the cartoon connection is much more literal there, since one of the biggest legends in the sport actually started in the pages of manga. Five real life wrestlers have taken on this “Tiger Mask” persona since the early 80s, and now the feral grappler return to the arena of ink with this unabashedly over-the-top melodrama. Two young wrestlers who once trained at the underground Tiger’s Lair federation have grown up to be cats of different stripe. One wears a bright gold mask, the other a dark crimson one. And though one’s a heroic “face,” and the other’s a villainous “heel,” they’re both still strive to destroy the lair they cut their teeth in.
The season simply wouldn’t be complete without a solid sports show. The pastime of choice this time around is rubgy, and interestingly, the show’s focus is on how the game has no room for hotshots like basketball, soccer, or baseball might. So, when a fledgling player joins Kanagawa High School’s club, he learns fast that it’s about the team’s efforts and accomplishments, not his own personal glory. Thus, the question isn’t whether he himself can excel, but if an enigmatic alpha dog captain can whip him into shape along with the rest of the players. Expect these pretty boys to learn plenty of hard lessons in between all the bruises and bloody noses.
Do any of our picks excite you? Did we miss some better shows? Drop all your own picks in the talkback.
Image Credits: Sunrise, Madhouse, Satelight, Toei, Shaft
Featured Image Credit: Shaft