The List
Our Top 5 Anime Premieres For Spring 2021

by Stephanie Donaldson, Jacki Jing, & Cartoon Cipher,

After a winter season of titanic highs and disappointing lows (who can forget The Promised Neverland season 2?) we're ready to take a moment to smell the roses with the new Spring anime season. While My Hero Academia season 5 and the Fruits Basket final may be the heavy hitters of the season, Spring is filled with some unexpectedly exciting stories which are sure to surprise viewers. From originals like Wit Studio's Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song- to sequels that we've been dying to get our hands on such as Megalobox 2: Nomad, our spring first impressions are that this is a season not to be missed. Now let's see which anime premieres have put a ‘spring’ in our step! -- But first don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Page and hit that little notification bell. Let's go!

Those Snow White Notes

Adapted from Marimo Ragawa's award winning manga, Those Snow White Notes follows Shamisen musician Setsu and his journey to find his original ‘sound’. After the death of his grandfather, Setsu stops playing his much loved instrument, and travels to Tokyo. There, in a place of continuous ‘noise’, his meetings with others rekindles his spark. We will admit that the first episode's story is a bit rushed. All in one episode Setsu loses and regains his confidence, and the emotional impact of him playing in front of a crowd is dulled by the quick turnaround. But nevertheless, it's a journey we quickly became invested in. Setsu is a passionate protagonist, and we can't wait to see how his future experiences will mold his own music. Speaking of music, accompanying the story are the dramatic beats of the Shamisen. Each time Setsu plays you're immediately carried away by the music.

86

86 opens right in the middle of battle, as awesomely animated CG mech units chaotically fight on screen as a manic voice demands them to “fight until you break”. Just as quickly as it came, the scene shifts and we're taken to the picturesque capital of San Magnolia, where striking white-haired, blue-eyed people go about their days. A news story reports that the aforementioned battle had 0 casualties from the unmanned drones. But we learn that is not true, the mech units are manned by people referred to as 86s, a diverse group of people who are used as human cannon fodder in San Magnolia's war against the Empire. Adapted from a light novel of the same name, 86 doesn't pull any punches in crafting a harrowing tale of dehumanization. There's a sharp contrast between the military of San Magnolia, shown as partying and drunk while the 86s are putting their lives on the line, setting us up for a nauseating yet gripping watch. Produced by A-1 Pictures we're confident that this story only has more shocks in store for audiences.

Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song-

From the minds of Tappei Nagatsuki, the creator of Re:Zero and Eiji Umehara of Chaos;Child comes Wit Studio's original anime, Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song-. AIs are central to everyday life, and one such AI, Diva, works in a theme park as a singer. But her days are upheaved when an AI from the future asks her to prevent the upcoming war between humans and AIs. From the opening shots of mayhem and bloodshed contrasted against the theme park's bright colors and music, Vivy showcases a tight control over its pacing and story. No scene or dialogue is wasted in building the world that Diva inhabits, from information on AI creation to policies and politics. At the center of this episode, are emotionless Diva and the brash future Ai Matsumoto - together they make quite the pair to watch. This intriguing episode is backed up by some really gorgeous visuals, that make this a must-see!

Megalobox 2: Nomad

Years after Joe's epic win over Yuri in Megalonia's title match, our hero is a lot worse for wear. After a crushing loss at an exhibition match Joe has disappeared from the limelight, now alone, addicted to painkillers and fighting in underground matches under the name ‘Nomad’. This is a gripping premiere episode, and it's impossible to turn away from Joe's destructive path as he hits rock bottom, but still struggles to climb up. In one heart wrenching scene, Joe throws away his pills before scraping them off the dirty bathroom floor. But perhaps most telling of all, is the wolf Joe encounters on a ride. Over the course of the episode it becomes a tragic symbol of where Joe's path lies if he continues on his current path. Elevating each emotional scene is the beautiful music and just like in season one, TMS Entertainment showcases fluid and dynamic fight scenes. No matter where Megalobox 2: Nomad takes us with Joe's journey, it is sure to be an emotional ride.

Odd Taxi

In Nerima City, taxi driver Odokawa ferries his passengers around the city's late night streets sharing conversations which range from the mundane to the eccentric. But each encounter provides a link to the mystery of a missing school girl that may have more to do with the taxi driver than it seems. Odd Taxi is an original anime series that on first look, with its anthropomorphised characters and stylized shots, takes a bit to get into. But from the time the taxi door opens, and we're introduced to our first passenger, we're all aboard. Conversations define this episode, not action or battles, providing insight into Odokawa, the characters that make up Nerima City, and what matters to them most (whether it be Twitter likes or romance). But these conversations don't just act as interesting discussions of societal values. Each interaction provides hints to the tantalizing mystery simmering in the background. Odd Taxi certainly has a strange setup, but it's one we're along for the ride for!

From saving the world from an AI takeover to finding your sound, Spring 2021's anime season is filled with interesting and immersive tales to get sucked into. We're sure that over the coming weeks, these stories will pluck at our heartstrings or deliver some shocking twists. But most of all, they will be memorable.


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