Anime Spring Season 2018: First Impressions

2018 spring anime


It’s that time of the year again, so enjoy our First Impressions of the spring anime season that just started~

Tachibanakan Triangle
Studio: Creators in Pack / Studio Lings • Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Yuri

tachibanakan triangle
Uh… hm, what to say about this one. I guess let’s start with the obvious; Many of us were probably surprised when, after about 3 minutes, the episode just ended without any warning. I guess surprised is just a small part of what we really felt, and disappointment might as well be the better word to use here.

Well, since the episodes are so short, I don’t yet have that much to say. The ecchi level is quite high, and we can already expect there to be quite a lot of yuri, too. The quality, on the other hand, ranges from moments like “This looks nice!” to “Uh, wow, low-budget, huh?”.

I can’t really say any more, since I think given the length of the episodes that already aired, we just didn’t have the time to properly get to know the characters yet.

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
Studio: Studio 3Hz • Genre: Action, Fantasy, Game, Military, Sci-Fi

sword art online alternative gun gale online
I know. Many people have a love/hate relationship with Sword Art Online. Given the fact that this time, however, we’re focusing on different characters, I think we can start over and give this a try without having to compare it to its previous seasons too much.

So, first things first. Loli lead character looks interesting, but honestly, that’s just not my thing. I went into watching it because I actually enjoyed the previous seasons, plus I read that this one might come with some yuri. So to see that the main character who’s most likely to get involved with another girl looks like she just turned 8, it just doesn’t seem right to me. I know, it’s just the look of the in-game character, but, oh man, it already bothered me greatly in the first episode. Now, adding a pink gun as well as a full pink outfit as seen in the picture above? I just don’t know if I can stick around for too long.

Well, on the bright side, I enjoyed the first episode for how action-packed and fun it was to follow. It really looks and feels like Sword Art Online, just with a female lead this time. Sounds good at first, I guess, but as I already said, I think I’ll have to get used to her looks first.

Amanchu! Advance
Studio: J.C.Staff • Genre: Comedy, School, Slice of Life

amanchu advance
The second season of one of 2016’s more pleasant surprises has arrived, and I think it’s more obvious than ever that Futaba and Hikari have a really close relationship. Futaba drops the L word (no, not that one, the other L word :P), love, a few times, and Pikari returns the favor and says she loves Futaba a lot as well, so it’s nice to see that we’re not wasting any time recapturing the gayness of the first season.

Besides all the subtext, the comedy that helped make the first season so enjoyable is back, as are the ridiculous faces the girls make. The brother-sister duo of Makoto and Ai were one of the better aspects of the first season, and they continue to be a lot of fun. For me, the best part of this first episode was Futaba and Ai coming to Hikari’s rescue when she takes off her bikini top and nearly has a nip slip in front of a bunch of old scuba divers. It’s silly, and as always, Amanchu! shines in goofy situations like this. This is more along the lines of Yuru Camp△ than something like Yuru Yuri, so you gotta just kick back, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere.

This series has never really had much of a plot, but the easygoing scuba diving antics are still as pleasant as ever. For the most part, it’s all about the special bond between Pikari and Teko, and now that they realize how fortunate they are to have met one another, I’m thinking that this season should definitely be some laid-back fun in the sun.

Studio: Satelight • Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

caligula anime
This anime is adapted from a video game—one that wasn’t very well-received—but I won’t let that cloud my judgment. With mentions of a digital world, a virtual idol program that gains sentience, and humans that are suffering in the real world, I was drawn to this show not knowing exactly what to expect. Will the Hatsune Miku-like virtual idol be this show’s version of Skynet and deploy an army of cyber pop stars against humanity? Probably not. 😛

In all seriousness, I’m still not sure what to make of this one. This first episode spends a lot of time delving into psychology, and in my anime-viewing experience, shows that try to go in that direction usually end up disappointing, but I’m hoping that’s not the case with this one. I’m liking how dreary the world seems, and no doubt we’re going to see some characters who are dealing with some hardships, so things should get pretty dark. So far, the characters are ho-hum, but I expect that to change, for better or worse. It looks like action is going to play a big part in this, and this anime looks nice enough that I look forward to more of that.

This seems like the kind of anime where one episode simply isn’t enough to guess how it will turn out. It could end up being surprisingly good… or it could end up being really terrible. I’m getting some Mirai Nikki vibes from Caligula, and I’d be thrilled if it ends up being that enjoyable. For now, I’ll keep watching this, but for how long my interest remains is anyone’s guess.

Comic Girls
Studio: Nexus • Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life

comic girls anime
This show wasn’t really on my radar at all, but the PV made it seem like there would be some subtext involved, so I picked it up, and it’s not bad. I’m not familiar at all with the manga, but an anime about a dorm full of female manga artists sounds like it might be kinda fun. The studio (Nexus) made me a little wary that this could end up being mediocre like another one of their efforts, Wakaba*Girl, yet this feels far more promising.

First off, can we talk about how nice this looks? Typically, slice of lifes aren’t much to look at, but for a slice of life, Comic Girls looks great. Just compare it to Tachibanakan Triangle, and it’s night and day. A lot of the characters make a good first impression, and Chaos is already my frontrunner for Best Girl. She’s absolutely adorable, and you can say the same thing about Ruki and Koyume. It look as though there’s already a prince-type character (Tsubasa), and I’m keeping my eye on Koyume, who already shown some interest in her. I’m not really expecting too much, maybe something along the lines of Sharo x Rize from GochiUsa. That’s sounds pretty nice, actually~

In just one episode, Comic Girls already looks to be far more enjoyable than Mangirl!, another anime about female manga artists. This reminds me a little bit of Sansha Sanyou—which was enjoyable enough—but we might get lucky and this could have enough yuri subtext to really make things interesting. While not exactly new, this setting feels a lot more fresh than so many other “cute girls doing cute things anime” that take place at school, and it’s actually a full-length anime, so for fans of the genre, we just might have a winner here.

Cutie Honey Universe
Studio: Production Reed • Genre: Action, Comedy, Magic, Romance, Sci-Fi

cutie honey universe
Besides Re: Cutie Honey, I’m not familiar with the franchise at all, but since that anime featured a romance (and kiss) between Honey and Natsuko, I have to at least see if there might be any yuri in this one. After all, it has the romance tag, so I was crossing my fingers that we might get something, and it looks like we just might! In the first fifteen seconds, we see two random girls all over each other, so that’s a promising start. Later on, two random female teachers also go at it, but sadly, Honey and Natsuko don’t. That said, this first episode definitely had some yuri undertones, and it’ll be interesting to see if that continues going forward.

Visually, the retro style looks pretty nice, even if it doesn’t have Imaishi or Anno’s fingerprints on it. For me at least, this new season might be overdoing it a bit with the fanservice, but I kind of expected that. That ecchiness also plays into the comedy, which was kind of hit-or-miss. In Re: Cutie Honey, Natsuko was a badass cop and a grown woman. Here, it seems she’s back to being a helpless teenager, and that’s disappointing. Panther Claw is back, as are more unusual villains that give the series part of its silliness. That’s great and all, but what I really want to see is Misty Honey somehow make a return, if only to utter that legendary phrase that holds a special place in my heart, “Sexy Dynamiiiiiiite!”~ 😛

The first episode of Cutie Honey Universe seems to have a campy charm to it, and even though I’m not sure I’d classify this as good, it is entertaining to me. It would probably be helpful to have some sort of familiarity with the Cutie Honey universe in order to fully enjoy this, but if you don’t, you still might be able to understand enough of what is going on here.

Studio: feel. • Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life, Supernatural

The synopsis for this show sounded different, so I decided to give it a go, and the first episode made me think that it’s every bit as weird as it sounded. This is basically a fish out of water story about a yakuza member who has no choice but to take in a strange girl with psychokinetic powers. That may sound rather serious, but that’s not really the case. Comedy and slice of life are two of the genres listed, so the show will most likely revolve around all the wacky hijinks involving Hina’s acclimation to this world.

Despite being a yakuza member, Nitta is surprisingly the character with a conscience, as Hina isn’t human and expects orders like an automaton. It’s amusing seeing a yakuza tough guy forced to essentially be the caretaker to a young girl, and it’s even more amusing knowing that it’s her that has all the power in the relationship. Given how powerful she can be, there’s a little bit of over-the-top action, though, it’s the comedy and unusualness of it all that I enjoyed the most.

Overall, I thought the first episode of Hinamatsuri was fairly enjoyable. Nitta’s already finding Hina to be both a huge aid in his yakuza work and a huge pain in the ass, and I’m sure things will only get crazier from here. It’s pretty goofy and doesn’t take itself too seriously, and for an anime like this, that’s probably the best-case scenario, so let the shenanigans continue.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS
Studio: J.C.Staff • Genre: Game, Psychological

lostorage conflated wixoss
With Selectors and LRIGs from every season of WIXOSS, the key visual for this newest season had me thinking this would be some sort of The Avengers-esque dream team, and this new season may end up being something like that.

In case you forgot how Lostorage Incited WIXOSS ended (I did), Conflated gives us a brief refresher that once again puts everything in perspective. Despite being defeated by Suzuka, Kou’s body has now been taken over by Carnival—his LRIG in the Selector battles—and the threat to everyone’s livelihood lives on. This first episode was more about setting the stage for the rest of the season, as Kiyoi tried recruiting Incited‘s main protagonist, Suzuka, to join her cause. Ruuko, the main protagonist of the first two seasons of WIXOSS, made an appearance at the end of the episode, so it looks like business will continue to pick up.

Thanks to Mahou Shoujo Site, this almost seems cheery in comparison, but it’s only a matter of time before the battles begin again, and somebody will be in a world of despair. The entire WIXOSS series has been so-so thus far, but getting all the girls together is a nice move that somewhat reignites my interest in the franchise. Three seasons and a movie have made me pessimistic towards this series, yet I haven’t fully given up hope of everything coming together to make Conflated the high-point in the series. We shall see.

Mahou Shoujo Site
Studio: production doA • Genre: Drama, Horror, Psychological, Supernatural

mahou shoujo site
And the award for Most Depressing Anime of 2018 goes to… Mahou Shoujo Site! The only other anime this studio has on their resume is the GochiUsa movie, so it’s surprising to see them go from that to this. Personally, I like me some dark stuff, but this first episode is almost too depressing, even for me.

The main character is subjected to so much bullying and abuse that it’s really hard to watch this. Whether it’s her cruel classmates or her equally cruel brother, she has it so bad that she contemplates suicide, but hope arises when she discovers a website that offers her magical powers. No, I’m not talking about YuriReviews, silly! Things only get more depressing, and when push comes to shove, she has no choice but to accept the offer and become a magical girl. Of course, this involves violence and death, and MSS sort of resembles another anime on this list, WIXOSS. As has been mentioned to me, readers of the manga say that there’s definitely yuri in this story, so amidst all the gloom and doom, there’s a light at the end of this cold, harsh tunnel.

I know a lot of people would prefer their yuri to be… well, not like this, but it’s something a little different for our favorite genre. This is certainly not anywhere near the level of something like Madoka★Magica, but Magical Girl Site has that same sense of despair and hopelessness, and even though I don’t really expect this show to be particularly good, the promise of yuri almost guarantees that I’ll keep hate-watching this. 😛

Steins;Gate 0
Studio: White Fox • Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

steins;gate 0
Oh man! Oh man! Oh man! It’s finally here! Steins;Gate is one of my favorite anime of all-time, and ever since I heard that the Steins;Gate 0 visual novel was getting an anime adaptation, I’ve been eagerly awaiting this one, and the first episode certainly didn’t disappoint.

Despite what the name might lead you to believe, this isn’t a prequel (it’s actually a midquel), and, of course, you’re going to have to have watched the original series in order to fully grasp what’s going on. After failing to save Kurisu, Okabe’s a shell of his former self, and all the torment of his many failed attempts has really taken its toll on him. This new season has brought with it the decidedly darker tone of the original that made it so great, but unlike the original, it doesn’t appear as though this will suffer from the same slow start that turned some people off. It seems like things are already taking a turn for the dramatic, so it’s exciting to see where the story will go from here.

It’s so great to be able to see these characters again, and thanks to this being scheduled for twenty-three episodes, we’re probably going to see a lot of them. Steins;Gate raised the bar for sci-fi anime, so Steins;Gate 0 has some huge shoes to fill. I started (but never finished) the S;G visual novel, and I haven’t played 0 either, so this story is going to be brand-new for me. Even if Steins;Gate 0 doesn’t reach the incredible heights of the original, I have no reason to believe that this will be anything less than awesome, so for the next six months, I’m once again going to fully immerse myself in this anime universe. El Psy Kongroo~

Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai
Studio: Doga Kobo • Genre: Comedy, Romance

tada-kun wa koi wo shinai
First up, have you noticed the lack of legit yuri romcoms? The most recent one that comes to mind for me is Sakura Trick, but before that? It’s a very underrepresented genre, and I usually like me some romcoms, so the only options are shows like Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai. Whatever. Love is love. Anyway, this original anime from studio Doga Kobo bears a striking resemblance to another of Doga Kobo’s works, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, aka one of the best romcoms of the last few years.

On paper, it’s a familar anime story: A beautiful European transfer student catches the eye of a Japanese local. While that’s nothing new, the situation still seems entertaining enough, and it’s oftentimes the characters that make or break the show. Tada, the main male character, not only looks kinda like Nozaki from Nozaki-kun (I actually think Tada looks a little more like Yuu…), they also share the same voice actor. Unlike Nozaki, he seems normal enough, and the same can be said of Teresa, the previously mentioned blonde beauty. It seems like they’re going to be the main love interests, but it’s their pals that seem just as entertaining, if not more so. Tada’s best pal, Kaoru, is voiced by Mamoru Miyano, and predictably, he’s the one with a ton of personality. In this episode, he was mostly the victim of the fat cat that resides at Tada’s family’s coffee shop as well as Alec, Teresa’s best friend and personal protector. These four characters seem interesting enough, and I’m ready for all the comedy and romance they can muster.

I’m not expecting this to be on the level of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun or Ore Monogatari!!, but the first episode looks promising enough. I’m expecting multiple couples to emerge, and if it can even get close to entertainment that was Nozaki-kun, I think I might enjoy it quite a bit~

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby (TV)
Studio: P.A. Works • Genre: Sports

uma musume pretty derby tv
Thus far, anime adaptations for mobile games from Cygames have been kind of hit-or-miss. On the positive side, you have Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (notice I didn’t mention the second season) and The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls. On the negative side, you have Granblue Fantasy The Animation. The Uma Musume mobile game hasn’t even come out yet, so for most of us, this is our first exposure to this franchise, and it sure is… something. Basically, this anime is more or less about horse girls that face off in head-to-head races. When I say “horse girls” what I mean is normal-looking girls that happen to have the ears and tail of a horse. No four-legged centaur-like girls for you! 😛

Once you get over the awkwardness of it all, this isn’t really such a bad start. The main character, Special Week, seems pretty likable (as do a couple of the other horse girls), the comedy isn’t bad, and the races themselves are kind of fun. At one point in the first episode, there’s even an idol performance featuring some horse girls, so it seems this anime won’t just be about foot races. This is all pretty silly, but through the first episode at least, the “horse girls” twist seems mostly for show. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see an anime version of Mr. Ed, so maybe it’s for the best that things are this way.

To be honest, the only reason that I picked up this show is for the yuri potential. Special Week seems particularly fond of Silence Suzuka (like actual race horses, many of these girls have unique names), so who know where this goes. Cat girls, fox girls, ship girls, it seems as though if there are a lot of girls to go around, you have the potential for some yuri antics. Despite a decent first episode, my hopes aren’t that high for this series. I’d love to be proven wrong and have Uma Musume: Pretty Derby (TV) be this year’s yuri dark house (pun intended) in the vein of Konohana Kitan, but I’m not about to bet on it.

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
Studio: A-1 Pictures • Genre: Comedy, Romance

wotaku ni koi wa muzukashii
It’s looking like the spring season is a good one to be a romcom fan! Between this and Tada-kun, we have our one-two punch that’ll hopefully satisfy fans of the genre. It’s only been one episode so far, but I’m already liking how this anime is shaping up.

Basically, what we have here are two childhood friends who reunite for the first time since middle school and discover that they now work together. She’s secretly a yaoi fangirl while he’s a game otaku, and since they’re so similar, they figure they might as well date. The chemistry between the main characters is obvious, and even though only two supporting characters have been introduced so far (voiced by the awesome Tomokazu Sugita and Miyuki Sawashiro), it’s very encouraging to see Yuki Kaji and Aoi Yuuka also listed as voice actors for two other supporting characters. Episode one features a lot more comedy than romance, but now that the characters have officially begun dating, I’m hoping the balance between romance and comedy will be a little bit more even from here on out.

The story in this series differs greatly from that of Tada-kun, so even if they somewhat resemble one another, I expect this to be a completely different animal. Both scenarios are a little cliché, but as long as they’re entertaining, I don’t mind. The only real downside to this show is how it’s listed at only eleven episodes. After being spoiled by Ore Monogatari!! and Maid-sama!, which have 24 and 26 episodes respectively, eleven just doesn’t seem to be enough. At the end of the day, it’s quality not quantity that should be most important, and WotaKoi seems to have all the makings of a fun romcom romp, so no matter how many episodes it is, this is a series that looks pretty promising.


17 thoughts on “Anime Spring Season 2018: First Impressions

  1. This season seems pretty sparse compared to last season – which has gotta be one of the best seasons for yuri in a long time!

    Mahou Shoujo Site has enough edge to keep my sated but… then some more! It’s a difficult watch, but on the bright side (hah) the 2nd episode is significantly less depressing. It’s still morbid, but less-so. In many ways, it’s probably peaked at episode 1.

    Caligula has almost no yuri potential, but it’s definitely got me interested. That paranoid feeling was great! I’m just concerned that the MC and his psychology/philosophy spewing antics aren’t gonna get called out and I’ll have to put up with him being a pretentious douchebag all season. If that isn’t the case, I’ll probably enjoy it a lot!

    Uma Musume is pretty great! I’m just real concerned about the Trainer. It seems like iDOLM@STER’s Producer so in-game they’re probably all shipped with him but… hopefully that doesn’t come across in the anime. As is, I enjoy him getting beaten up even if, as of Episode 3, I like him!

    Gun Gale Online is really enjoyable. Episode 2 is oozing with yuri potential so I’m hyped for more!

    I don’t know if you’ve managed to see it yet, but there’s a lot of promise of a good show in Hisone to Maso-tan, but it’s locked behind Netflix for a good few months (whooo for fansubs!). That was an incredible premiere, but I’m not entirely sure if there’s much room for yuri in there (even if it’s written by Mari Okada who very regularly pops an LGBT character or sequence into her scripts). If you like dragons, give it a try! It was my favourite premiere of the season and it ain’t even close.

    There’s only 1 series you’re missing out on – Fumikiri Jikan, and it’s a short. The first episode is full-on yuri (though from what I gather it’s going to focus on different people each episode) so definitely, definitely, definitely watch that first episode! It’s probably the cutestly, gayest thing we’ll get for years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe, but at least there still might be enough good shows, overall~

      For now, I’ll take your word for it. I’ll get back to it later in the season, but until then, I can probably do without. 😛

      The synopsis for Caligula sounded pretty interesting to me, and it has some potential. I’m not getting my hopes up, but I’d like to be proven wrong and have it be a pleasant surprise.

      The trainer seemed pretty shady, but at least he isn’t a jockey, amirite? 😀

      You were right about Houseki no Kuni (TV), and you could be right about Sora yori mo Tooi Basho as well, so maybe I’ll take a look later in the season or once the season ends. 😛

      Just downloaded that episode. It has a lot to live up to now! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just finished Further Than the Universe based on B-M’s suggestion. It was wonderful! There’s a couple of subtexty relationships in there, and just a great all around story, you can’t go wrong with this one.

        I think yuri in GGO is quit possible, after all we got a bit of a hint of it in the Mother’s Rosario story arc (depending on how you look at it). So am digging in to that one all season.

        Liked by 1 person

      • > he isn’t a jockey

        I’m gonna be right 3 seasons in a row and you know it!

        Oh btw just out of nowhere but there are fansubs out for the new Nanoha Reflection movie! I haven’t got time to watch it for a few days, so go watch it and tell us how it is (unless you’ve already seen it, of course!)

        Liked by 1 person

        • I only found a 28.7 GB version of Reflection. That’s crazy huge, and a few years ago, I got into some hot water with my ISP for… let’s just say downloading the first two Pitch Perfect movies in less-than-legal ways, so I think I’ll save myself some time, hard drive space, and maybe money/jail time by waiting a bit. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

        • OMG!! The new Reflections movie is all kinds of awesome! So so great!
          *melts into a puddle*

          It’s younger Nanoha and Fate, so it picks up shortly after A’s it seems.
          This is a new studio right? I think they did a great job on it. 🙂

          Very light spoiler:
          There’s a really cute moment between Fate and Nanoha’s cheek 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • This is the studio that did Vivid Strike actually, but they didn’t do the original series no. They did do a good job indeed! I loved the bit about Fate being gentle, that really made me laugh. What was the bit between Fate and Nanoha’s cheek? I can’t remember that off the top of my head… maybe give me a timestamp?

            It’s leaving a lot of storytelling up to the next one and I’m not entirely happy with where they cut it, but otherwise I really liked it! Great action for pretty much… the whole movie haha

            Liked by 1 person

  2. So far the only thing I’ve checked out on this list has been Comic Girls. I like it well enough as a cute girls doing cute things show – reminds me a bit of New Game! – although I don’t think we can expect much in the way of yuri beyond some mild subtext and the occasional unwanted boob grab. I’m also interested in Amanchu, although I’ve only just started on the first series. I’m not sure what to make of the weird Muppet faces, but the relationship between the girls seems like it’s going to be sweet, and I’m a big fan of slow-paced Non Non Biyori / Yurucamp style shows, so it definitely has promise. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up before the new season is finished.


  3. Wait…Magical Girl Site. Why would ANYONE watch this!? The summary already gives away the depression already! Subject to bullying, even by her older brother!? That’s just beyond cruel! I know I’m not watching this.


    • According to people who have been reading the manga, it’s supposed to have yuri in it. For me, that’s really the only reason I’m watching it.

      As was mentioned in the comments above, the second episode apparently isn’t as messed up as the first, but I’m afraid to see for myself. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • As a manga reader, all I could say is that there is some yuri but the mangaka really just loved focusing on those feeling of dread and splashing blood everywhere instead of conducting a coherent story and gave enough characterisation for people to care about most of the characters. Our main duo (Aya & Yatsumura) is the best for sure but everyone else is just forgetteable, or at the very least, marked their existence for doing something awfully stupid. Let’s just hope that the anime version change some things here and there, because most of the senseless violence is already reduced and his brother doesn’t get more screen debuts, which is for the best. He’s one of a kind scumbag.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Even before I started watching it, I never really had high hopes for this. I can live with it being shitty, just as long as there is some yuri that at least makes it redeemable, in some form~

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This season seems to have a strange mix of yuri. From a real, yet very short, yuri anime like Tachibanakan Triangle to the Latest Cutie Honey, this season seems a bit all over the place to me. Tachibanakan I will for sure download and watch. I’ll have to wait and see how good Cutie Honey turns out to be. I am hoping SAO will surprise us with some yuri as I had heard on 4chan /u/ but that is no guarantee. The one show with yuri I will most likely skip over is Mahou Shoujo Site. Yeah it has yuri but a lot of the elements I have heard about are things I dont think I can stomach in my yuri. Will probably just watch clips of the yuri moments on YouTube though! 😛


    • It makes it kind of exciting. There’s a little something for everyone~

      I’m still on the second episode, but maybe that’s what I should do! even though I probably won’t 😛


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