The spring anime season has ended, and with it comes the close of some dear series. The petals of these shows fall off the branch of anime in order to give way for the budding leaves of the summer season’s anime, but their color and radiance won’t be forgotten simply because their time has ended. Without using any more cringey cherry tree references, let’s take a look at my favorite three shows of the spring season.
(Note: I’ll only be discussing finished shows that I’ve completed in this review, so no Re:Zero, even though I’ve been watching it, and no Joker Game or Kizaniver, as I personally dropped those midway to complete later.)
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto
This show has to have given me the most amount of fun over the spring season. A comedic slice-of-life anime revolving around the antics of an unnaturally gifted first-year high school student, Sakamoto is the type of show that you can’t take seriously, and the story takes full advantage of this in order to deliver on its unique brand of humor. The series reminds me a lot of older cartoons such as Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes: not due to over-the-top slapstick humor, but due to the fact that most of the humor is visual and tweaks a seemingly normal situation in various hilarious ways. Using its nigh-perfect hero Sakamoto as a foil for the rest of the cast, rather than having Sakamoto tell or make jokes, the humor is derived from the ridiculously (and yet effortlessly) suave way that Sakamoto solves problems. From dueling a hornet with a drawing compass to literally lending a hand(s) to a friend for a formal dinner, Sakamoto isn’t a show for everyone, but it does deliver on the experience it intends to convey.
Watch if you like: Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, Attack on Titan: Junior High
The Lost Village
The Lost Village is an anime I’m still unsure of. Was it good? No. Was it bad? No? Starting out like a psychological horror series, The Lost Village has a central plot that goes as follows: a bus-full of people that are dissatisfied with their lives for various reasons meet up online and decide to travel to a (lost) village known as Nanaki, in order to start over. Upon entering the village, they slowly realize that the village is haunted, and the only way to escape the monstrous spirits that plague the village (each of which materializes as an individual’s greatest fear, giving each member a unique monster that only they could see) is to overcome their fears. The show had all the trappings for a good, scary, psychological horror series: from its wide cast of characters with varying backgrounds to the quasi-Lovecraftian take on the monsters, it had the potential to tell a gripping story. Yet with all of this, the show falls flat due to the lack of characterization, the rushed story, and the overall weirdness of the plot and the way it was “resolved”. As I said to a friend of mine, “everyone in the show is an idiot”, and to be honest, it feels that way. I’m still not sure whether I wasted my time or not in watching the show, as I did enjoy some parts of it, but I can’t say that it was truly worth my time.
Watch if you enjoy: Confusing yourself.
My Hero Academia
What can I say about My Hero Academia that hasn’t already been said? It fills the One-Punch Man-shaped hole in my heart with a fun, action-packed shounen superhero-filled romp that’s got a fair amount of depth in its main characters. Izuku’s journey towards gaining and controlling powers reminded me a lot of Peter Parker, without the personal tragedy of course, and yet perhaps a bit better because of the double-edged sword his powers turn out to be. His ideals and goals provide a great contrast to Bakugo, and their Goku/Vegeta-esque relationship was one of the highlights of the series. For a series unknown to me before this season, it managed to convey a sense of an established world and characters very quickly, and the execution of the overall premise felt like a fresh take on the overtrodden “school for superhumanly gifted students” trope we’ve seen time and time again. Indeed, the story is less about a certain “chosen one” and more of a coming-of-age story about Izuku and Bakugo in the context of their superhero-infused society and school. I look forward to the next season and to the evolution of their personalities and relationship as the series progresses.
Also the side characters were great. Tsu best girl 2016.
Watch if you enjoy: One-Punch Man, Assassination Classroom