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9 New Anime Series You Need to Watch This Spring

Between Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, and X-Men: Apocalypse, it can be very taxing to see our favorite heroes fighting one another all the time. So this week on The Dan Cave, we’re taking a departure from the spandex-clad theatrics of superhero cinema to voyage into the swirling eddy of batshit insanity that is anime. So, without further ado, here are nine of the best new anime of spring 2016 that you won’t want to miss.

Joker Game

When does it premiere? April 5, 2016. New episodes every Tuesday at 10AM PDT.

What is it? A mystery set against the backdrop of World War II Japan following the members of the “D Agency,” an elite spy training organization. They have only two rules: “Don’t die. Don’t kill.” Easier said than done when conducting all manner of globetrotting skullduggery during an international conflict.

Why should I watch? It’s a hard-hitting espionage anime with slick animation from the masterminds at Production I.G., but it will also scratch that period drama itch in a different way than something like another upcoming spy series like The Night Manager.


When does it premiere? April 5, 2016. New episodes Mondays at 9AM PDT.

What is it? A story about the motorcycle club at an all-girls school. When Hane Sakura sees her adventurous classmate Onsa Amano riding a motorcycle to school, Sakura develops a need for speed, gets her motorcycle license, and joins the club. Of course, she never expected the speed bumps, both literal and figurative, that lay on the road ahead.

Why should I watch? It’s moe meets motorcycles. All jokes aside, it looks like a spirited, good-natured sports comedy that should bridge the gap between K-On! and Sons of Anarchy.

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096

When does it premiere? April 3, 2016. New episodes air Saturdays at 3:30PM PDT.

What is it? The anime with the longest name I’ve ever read. It’s a TV adaptation of the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OVA, which was based on the Harutoshi Fukui novels set during the Universal Century timeline. Basically, it follows a boy living in a manufacturing colony named Banagher Links who meets a mysterious girl named Audrey Burne. When a battle breaks out in his colony, Banagher discovers a mysterious mobile suit, the Unicorn Gundam, that sets him on a path to find Laplace’s Box, an item that holds the secrets of a nearly hundred-year-old war.

Why should I watch? Because just like there must always be a Stark in Winterfell, there must always be a Gundam anime on the schedule. This OVA was generally regarded as one of the best Gundam series in recent years, and the television adaptation looks like it won’t disappoint fans of serialized mecha storytelling.

Magi: Sinbad no Bouken

When does it premiere? April 16, 2016

What is it? A spinoff prequel series of Magi taking place 30 years before the main events of Magi. The series will focus on a young Sinbad on his journey to become the King of Sindria.

Why should I watch? Because you can never have enough Magi or adventure in your life. If you’re a fan of the main Magi series or the Magi: Sinbad no Bouken manga, then this will be right up your alley. Live vicariously through Sinbad on his seafaring, magic-filled adventure until you can take a vacation yourself.

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou

When does it premiere? April 10, 2016.

What is it? A goofy music comedy about a dumb but honest guy named Agetarou who works at his family’s tonkatsu (delicious breaded pork cutlet) restaurant by day and is an aspiring club DJ by night.

Why should I watch? If the combination of hip-hop and fried pork doesn’t get you going, then I don’t want to know you. The animation style reminded me of Ed Piskor’s Hip-Hop Family Tree by way of Crayon Shin-chan. It has a lot of heart, a lot of laughs, and a lot of potential. It’s unlike anything else out there.

Aggressive Retsuko

When does it premiere? April 2, 2016.

What is it? Rachel Heine’s life story. It follows Retsuko, a red panda who works in the accounting firm at the company of her dreams… except her co-workers are morons and her workload is damn near impossible. So to relieve stress, she goes to karaoke by herself and sings death metal.

Why should I watch? Because an adorable red panda sings death metal karaoke. Seriously, though, it looks like a cute slice-of-life comedy and the episodes are only like 90 seconds long. You have 90 seconds.

Flying Witch

When does it premiere? April 10, 2016.

What is it? Also Rachel Heine’s life story. Makoto Kowata isn’t your average 15-year-old; she’s a witch. And like most teenage witches, she needs training. So along with her black cat Chito, Makoto moves from Yokohama to live with her cousins in Aomori in northern Japan.

Why should I watch? Because someone needs to fill the void left behind by Sabrina and Kiki. And the trailer was so calming that it lowered my blood pressure by at least 45%. I may just survive 2016 yet!

Attack on Titan, Season 2

When does it premiere? Hahahahahahaha, great question.

What is it? The long-delayed, nigh-legendary second season of Attack on Titan. Like Half-Life 3, we may never see it.

Why should I watch? Because you’ve waited this long. Actually, you know what? Just watch the next one on this list because it comes from Studio Wit, the makers of Attack on Titan.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

When does it premiere? April 8, 2016.

What is it? In world in the throes of an Industrial Revolution, humanity has been forced to hide in massive, fortified train stations from monstrous, zombie-like creatures known as Kabane. These things cannot be killed unless their hearts, which are protected by a layer of iron, are pierced. The only way to get from station to station is via armored trains. But all hell breaks loose when the staff on one of the trains turns into these nightmarish beasts.

Why should I watch? Because it looks like Snowpiercer meets Attack on Titan, and who knows when we’ll ever get another of either of those. And it’s made by the same people that make Attack on Titan! Just call it Attack on Train. Doesn’t that sound good? Yeah, that sounds real good.

Now, this is obviously a small fraction of the animated awesomeness coming your way this spring. What new and returning titles are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments below.


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Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter and ask him about all things anime (@Osteoferocious).

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