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Our Favourite Shows Of Spring 2016

Tuesday 26th April 2016

Jordan and Fray have been checking out the new series that are being simulcast this season and have tried their very best to narrow down their favourites.

The Spring season is now a few weeks in, so it’s a great time to share our thoughts on which are the most promising series so far. With such a great line-up this season it was impossible to pick just five, so we've included an honourable mention.

This post will contain spoilers for the first few episodes.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Part 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable is the latest anime in the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series and is sure to be on many anime fan’s watch list this season. David Production are responsible for this anime adaptation; though they will be most known for their work on JJBA, they have produced other anime, such as Ben-To and Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation, in the last 5 years. This is the fourth story arc in JJBA, focusing on naïve teenager Jousuke “JoJo” Higashikata who is sought out by Part 3 protagonist Joutarou Kuujou.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable is being simulcast over at Crunchyroll on Fridays.


Big Order

Big Order
Big Order shares both original creator, Sakae Esuno, and animation studio, Studio Asread, with the Future Diary anime series. The show focuses on Eiji Hoshimiya, an “Order User” who wished for the destruction of the world ten years prior. By the end of the first episode we have already learnt that his wish was not quite as it seems, and his sister has been abducted by another Order User, assassin Rin Kurenai. Visually, the show is stunning and it’s one we’ve actually been looking forward to for a while - so we’ll be eagerly awaiting each new episode going live.

Big Order is being simulcast over at Crunchyroll on Fridays.


My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia
Here we have My Hero Academia, which is our favourite of the three anime from Studio Bones this season. Studio Bones have previously animated such titles as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Noragami, and Chaika – The Coffin Princess.

This is a title we’ve been enjoying the manga of and we're glad there’s a way to watch the anime in the UK as a simulcast. It’s based in a world with quirks, a type of superpower, and focuses on Izuka Midoriya, a boy born without a quirk. The first couple of episodes were a slow, though enjoyable, start, but with the entrance exams upon us - it’s going to be great seeing how Izuku makes use of his newly acquired quirk.

My Hero Academia is streaming over at Funimation Now.

The My Hero Academia manga is available as a simulpub in the Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine.


Re:Zero –Starting Life in Another World-

Re:Zero is based on a popular light novel series, and animated by Studio White Fox. White Fox are a relatively young animation studio, but have already been responsible for some impressive anime, including Steins;Gate, The Devil Is a Part-Timer! and Akame ga Kill!.

Re:Zero follows Subaru Natsuki, a boy who is transported to a magical world on the way home from the convenience store. The anime started with a double-length episode, and managed to impress within that time. We’re now four episodes in and looking forward to seeing how Subaru makes use of his ability, known as “Return by Death”, which allows him to go back in time when he dies.

Re:Zero is being simulcast over at Crunchyroll on Sundays.

The light novel series, and two of the manga adaptations, have already been licensed by Yen Press.


Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
The studio behind the Attack on Titan and Seraph of the End anime series, Wit Studio, bring us an anime original in Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. Prior to this series, their only TV outings were manga adaptations.

Kabane are undead creatures that infect humans with their bite and are defeated by piercing the iron-protected heart. Main character Ikoma is bitten by a Kabane in the first episode, but manages to prevent the virus from reaching his brain, allowing him to remain in his human form. The series has gotten off to a strong start and we can't wait to see what will happen next.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is being simulcast as part of Amazon Prime Instant Video. There is not yet a monthly payment option in the UK, but with so much to buy on Amazon, a Prime subscription is easily worth it for next day delivery on manga, anime and video games. An anime simulcast is just the icing on the cake.


Honourable Mention

Bakuon!! is the latest anime from TMS Entertainment, the studio behind anime films Akira, The Princess and the Pilot, and the long-running Detective Conan and Lupin III, including The Woman Called Fujiko Mine anime series. These are among many other productions dating back to the mid 1960s.

At a glance, Bakuon!! is just another “cute girls doing cute things” anime that we see more of every season. However, the beauty of Bakuon!! is that the “cute thing” they're doing is  riding motorcycles, which really works as a slice of life anime. The comedy is just right and the characters keep us coming back for more every week.

Bakuon!! is being simulcast over at Crunchyroll on Mondays.

Have we missed your favourite new show? Feel one of our choices isn’t up to scratch? Comment or tweet us and share your favourite Spring shows with us.


One Piece (uncut) Collection 14 (episodes 325-348)

was £34.99
Nami, despite her desperate dash, arrives at the station too late to stop the Sea Train, but she's relieved to learn that Sanji has stowed away on board the vessel and will stop at nothing to rescue Robin! With the storm of all storms bearing down upon them, Nami and Chopper risk their lives to save Luffy and Zoro from the rapidly rising waters. Back aboard the train, Sanji is aided in his battle against the CP9 goons by the arrival of the mysterious Soge King, a wandering warrior from the Island of Snipers!

As the scattered Straw Hats fight to reunite, fate draws them ever nearer the foreboding fortress of Enies Lobby. Will our heroes live to face the hour of reckoning?!



One Piece. Pieces of Hate

Been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt....
Of the anime titles turned into T-shirts by Uniqlo, One Piece is the biggest – the reigning king of all the anime and manga franchises, pretty much unchallenged in the 16 years since Eiichiro Oda began the manga, and 14 since Toei Animation started animating it. But perhaps Uniqlo would have turned One Piece into a line of shirts even if the saga hadn’t been a world hit. Just look at those pirate designs – brash, cartoony, uncompromising. There’s no whiff of a committee, no hint of a five-year product plan reliant on changing a heroine’s hair colour (or deepening her cleavage). It just helps that the pictures are as commercial when they move as they are when they’re a cool static graphic in a manga, or on the front of a T-shirt.

One Piece: Strong World

The Straw Hats Pirates come together for an adventure like no other...
Written by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda himself, Strong World leads the Straw Hats into the deadly path of Golden Lion Shiki.

One Piece - ninja or pirates?

Matt Kamen turns video pirate!
“Ninja or pirates?” While Naruto – representing the ninja corner, of course – has proven hugely popular, UK fans have long been unable to weigh in on the other side. With the long-awaited arrival of One Piece on DVD this May, that finally changes.

One piece: Crew Manifest #1

Matt Kamen finds out who’s who in the One Piece anime
Monkey D. Luffy: The founder and captain of the Straw Hats, Luffy is a carefree soul who wants to become king of the pirates. After eating the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit, he gained an elastic body, making him near-invulnerable and able to stretch but paradoxically making him unable to swim.

One Piece: Crew Manifest #2

Back at sea for volume two of One Piece
Before you set sail on the second round of voyages for One Piece, brush up on who you’ll be encountering in this latest volume of nautical nonsense

One Piece music: TOMATO CUBE

Tom Smith on One Piece’s TOMATO CUBE
One-hit wonders. Every country has them. And, as PSY can most likely attest, very few musicians really want to be labelled as one. Sure, it’s all fun, games and fancy dinners when that royalty cheque floats through the letter box. The one with all the zeroes from that single from yesteryear that went massive. But what about the rest of your work? It must be somewhat unsatisfying as an artist to be known for one track, while everything else remains relatively overlooked, and expectations are high for that difficult follow up single. If you’re TOMATO CUBE, you do nothing. Ever again.


Escape from Vampire Island

Kim Tae-gyun's walking undead in Higanjima
Higanjima eagerly mixes the locked-room combat of Battle Royale with the viral horror of Resident Evil, with just a dash of the old-time religion of The Wicker Man, and presents that most tantalising of locations for the role-playing gamer – a private island of adventure, close to home and yet inhabiting a world of myth and magic.
This week we have three exciting releases for you! What will you be buying?
With the release of Danganronpa: The Animation just under a week away, we thought we'd share with you our trip to last year's Danganronpa event in Ikebukuro.

Mysterious Cities of Gold: The Game

Some day we will find...
The game Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths is rolling out as a digital download across multiple platforms. This month it becomes available on the Nintendo 3DS and Amazon, following launches on the Wii U, iPad, iPhone and Steam.

One Piece: Crew Manifest 5

Brush up on this latest volume of nautical nonsense!
The Skypiea arc is well underway in the latest batch on One Piece, taking the Straw Hat Pirates to a floating island where danger and adventure abounds.
Discover the origins of the Halo series’ legendary Master Chief and the Spartan program. Based on the novel that has sold over one million copies by Eric Nylund, Halo: The Fall of Reach is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Who's Who in Dragon Ball #5

Ever wonder just how Goku and friends became the greatest heroes on Earth?
Wonder no more, as the original Dragon Ball reveals the origins of Akira Toriyama’s beloved creations! The faces may look familiar, but everything else is different in this classic series!

Harlock Music: Tetsuya Takahashi

Tom Smith on the man behind the music
Shinji Aramaki’s digital reimaging of Japan’s classic sci-fi adventure Space Pirate Captain Harlock is serious business. Not only is it ranked amongst Toei Animation’s most expensive productions to date, weighing in with a mighty £20+ million budget, its staff is also a who’s-who of the Japanese animation industry.
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