The spring season may not have as much of a kick in terms of sheer adrenaline and mind-bending shows as the winter season, but don’t count it out! We’ve dug through a mountain of shows to find the season’s cream of the crop (and some of the trash, while we’re at it). Join us as we discuss some good, wholesome fun with Hitoribocchi, Senryu Girl, and Fruits Basket, talk about the weird side of spring with Sarazanmai and Midnight Occult Civil Servants, and dissect some truly heinous garbage.
There’s no better way to start off Spring season than with a show that seems to truly capture the perfect essence of the meaning of “spring time”. You have the trees and flowers blooming, the lack of any sort of “hey, it’s cold and miserable” mood that always seems to come with many anime based in the winter months, and most importantly (for anime at least), the general school romance that seems to always flourish during this time of year.
When someone mentions the words “comedy anime”, this is often one of the first recently airing shows that will be brought to the table when tossing out names for recommended lists or “must watches”. Not quite an MMO anime of the years past, and not quite an isekai anime of the current years, KonoSuba manages to both cater to the fans of those types of shows, while also simultaneously poking fun at all the ridiculous concepts behind said shows. It may even be tempting to call this type of show a “parody” or a “subversion” of the genres its mimicking. Honestly though, I don’t think either of those terms really fit what this show is.
If you’re anything like me, you may have given this anime one glance and thought that it looked like a strange concoction of what people would regard as a “generic fantasy show” with very under-stellar elements regarding animation and effects. There’s nothing really that makes this anime stand on its own from just reading the synopsis and watching the PV. To older anime viewers such as myself, it almost looks like a cross between Aldnoah.Zero and Chaika: The Coffin Princess in terms of both style and elements presented to us throughout the show. Both of those shows were at varying levels of popularity and quality, but I think that while comparing Price of Smiles to those shows may be accurate in terms of plot setup and world-building elements, it’s also disingenuous to say that this show is exactly like either of those, as it does have a wide array of differences in terms of execution and tone that keeps it apart as its own entity.
Violet Evergarden continues to surprise me on several different levels, pulling out some of the biggest emotional gut-punches that I’ve seen from a single anime in a while. While other anime of Winter 2018 such as A Place Further Than the Universe have also had some huge emotional moments, I think Violet Evergarden has one over every show of the season, especially with some of the previous episodes and how they’ve ended. The show is still far from perfect though, and while I still love the show dearly, it’s obvious where some of its problems lie within these two episodes.
While we as a community are still wrapping up from the absolute craziness of the Winter season and its amount of just amazing shows, the spring season just comes in like a lion right after in another feeble attempt to create after-season/pre-season chaos amidst all the shows that are being talked about at once. One of these new spring shows, which I’m sure you’ve seen countless pictures of at this point, is Umamusume: Pretty Derby, an anime about girls that are also horses, but also idols.
Violet Evergarden is one of these shows that I feel at odds with when trying to discuss, as I feel while there’s so many good things to say about the series and how much I enjoy it and what it does, there’s an equal amount of criticisms I have for the show, yet it never detracts from my enjoyment of the show as I’m watching. It’s a complicated feeling for me, as I do deeply enjoy the show, but at the same time, cannot bring myself to call the show anything more than “good” as I’m watching it. I feel there’s plenty more the series could do with itself than the story is showing me at this moment. “Why is that?” is always what I ask myself in these scenarios, and I think episodes 5 and 6 are perfect to discuss why I both love this series and also feel like it could improve upon itself.