This spring, more than 45 new shows are airing as anime season kicks off in Japan. To help you decide what to watch, we’ve put together a list of eight shows that stand out as being interesting for both newcomers and diehard fans. Thanks to streaming services like Amazon, Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix, most of these shows are available for viewing internationally within a day of their original airdate.
One show from our winter season preview (Dorohedoro) should come to Netflix internationally this season. We’ll continue to update this post with streaming and availability info.
For viewers with kids
Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
The first season of Ascendance of a Bookworm aired late last year and made it on our list of best anime of 2019. The series follows Myne — or rather, an aspiring librarian from our world who died and woke up as sickly five-year-old Myne — in a fantasy world where normal people don’t have access to books. Season 1 saw Myne trying to achieve her dream of making books using her knowledge from our world, but her unknown aliment constantly held her back. Now, it seems Myne will achieve her dream, along with a way to handle her illness, but not without a new set of complications.
Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2 will stream on Crunchyroll, and it starts streaming April 4th.
If you like Promare and Zootopia
BNA: Brand New Animal
BNA: Brand New Animal is a new series from animation studio Trigger (Promare, Kill la Kill), director Yoh Yoshinari (Little Witch Academia), and writer Kazuki Nakashima (Promare, Gurren Lagann). It follows Michiru, a high school girl who one day mysteriously becomes a tanuki person. She moves to Anima City, an entire city of humanoid-animals like her, to uncover what caused her sudden change.
BNA: Brand New Animal will start airing in Japan on April 8th, and it will stream on Netflix in North America later this year.
If you like romance, drama, comedy, and cute animals
Fruits Basket season 2
Fruits Basket is a romance / drama / comedy about orphaned high schooler Tohru; she goes to live with two of her classmates, a pair of cousins from the incredibly rich and powerful Soma family. The cousins, along with several other members of the Soma family, are cursed to turn into different animals of the Chinese zodiac when embraced by someone of the opposite sex. Season 2 will delve further into trauma that the curse has caused those afflicted with it as well as the deep-rooted issues of the Soma family.
Fruits Basket season 2 will stream, starting April 6th, subtitled on Crunchyroll, and with subtitles and dubbed on FunimationNow.
If you like action-packed philosophical cyberpunk political thrillers
Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045
This third season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex takes place 13 years after the events of the second season, which originally aired until 2005. After a global financial crisis Japan’s Public Security Section 9, a special cybernetic crime SWAT team of sorts becomes involved in trying to stop an AI-driven sustainable war from engulfing the world. The move to only 3DCG animation is a first for the series, which is being produced by both Production I.G and Sola Digital Arts. It is being co-directed by Kenji Kamiyama, who directed the earlier seasons, and Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed).
Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 will be available to stream on Netflix on April 23rd.
What if a romance story was a comedy written like a thriller?
Kaguya-sama: Love is War season 2
Season 1 of Kaguya-sama: Love is War was on our list of best anime of 2019 for its stylish animation and unique spin on a romantic comedy about two overachieving high schoolers who like each other but will do whatever they can to get the other one to admit it first. Season 2 promises further shenanigans and some new characters to escalate their ridiculous romantic scheming.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War season 2 will stream on FunimationNow starting on April 11th.
If you like the sentence “dystopian rock music anime with mechs”
Set in a world where people have lost the concept of music, special humans called Players battle against monsters called Miminashi to protect humanity. One day, a boy named Echo comes across a mysterious woman buried in a scrapheap. Myuu has no memory of who she is; strangely, she has a large headphone jack in her lower back. After plugging her into an amp, they discover she might have the power to change the world. The sci-fi / rock music concept for the series comes from musician JIN (Kagerou Daze), anime screenwriter Dai Sato (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo), and producer Taichi Hashimoto. It is being animated by MAPPA (Yuri!!! On Ice, and Zombie Land Saga).
Listeners will stream on FunimationNow starting April 3rd.
If you like your complex fantasy worlds with stylish action
Tower of God
Bam and Rachel lived outside of a giant enclosed structure called the Tower, until Rachel found a way to enter it. Not wanting to be alone, Bam manages to open a door to the Tower. Inside, he finds each floor is the size of North America and filled with different nations and cultures; in order to ascend to the next floor, you have to pass various trials to prove yourself worthy. Tower of God is the second Crunchyroll Originals series and is being made in collaboration with internet comic platform Webtoon, which published the original comic on which the show is based. Telecom Animation Film, best known for its recent work on Lupin the 3rd Part 5, is animating the show.
Tower of God will stream on Crunchyroll starting on April 1st.
If you like romance stories that are light on romance but high on work drama
Wave, Listen to Me!
Based on a manga series by Blade of the Immortal creator Hiroaki Samura and animated by Sunrise (Gundam, Code Geass, and Cowboy Bebop), Wave is about a waitress named Minare Koda. Minare complains about her current life situation and ex-boyfriend to a radio producer at a bar after she’d been drinking too much. When a recording of her diatribe airs on the radio the next day, she angrily confronts the producer, only to have him put her on the air live.
Wave, Listen to Me! will stream on FunimationNow starting April 3rd.
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