What’s Wrong With The Spring Anime Season?

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I know the headline is a little dramatic and realistically the Spring anime season isn’t any better or worse than any other, and yet for a lot of bloggers there seem to be slim pickings this season when it comes to creating a review list. With my travel overseas making my start to the season a little late, I kind of expected that I’d have too many shows to catch up and that I’d be fighting to narrow my list down to 15 or 16 titles. Instead I’m struggling to find even 14 anime that I might last the season with.


Now that doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the Spring Anime season. There are actually quite a number of anime out that people have been anticipating and are excited about. The Fruits Basket reboot being a great example of something lots of people wanted and the first few episodes haven’t really disappointed. While some viewers aren’t thrilled by the toned down comedy, I’m preferring the tone of the reboot and the visuals and sound are miles better than the original series.

Fruits Basket

There’s also the return of Bungo Stray Dogs, Attack on Titan, and One Punch Man that all have their fans and detractors at this point and all of these anime have made a pretty reasonable start to the season, even if Attack on Titan entered the anime season later than I did.

Bungo Stray Dogs

However, this season seems a lot more scattered in how it has been distributed across streaming services. I have subscriptions to Crunchyroll and HiDive, access to AnimeLab a week after release (as well as a Netflix subscription I rarely use for anime viewing) and yet there are still a plethora of titles I’m just not able to watch yet. Carole and Tuesday, Fairy Gone, and Shoumetsu Toshi were all titles I was interested in checking out but they are either locked behind paywalls of services I don’t use or region locked so I won’t be seeing them any time soon. Every season there are one or two shows I just kind of miss out on that I was curious about but this season this has become a larger problem.

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It certainly brings us back to why there is an anime piracy problem still. Access to anime has certainly improved since the early 2000’s but there’s only so many services someone can subscribe to before the cost definitely outweighs any potential benefit. And region locking just feels like people haven’t woken up to the fact that the world is actually all connected these days (okay, I know there are actual legal and political reasons for region locking but it really does feel like something we should have moved on from at this point).

One Punch Man

For me, while I’m mostly feeling this season is weak, is because while there are a number of shows I’m enjoying to watch, when I think about which ones will probably end up on my DVD purchase list, I can’t think of a one outside of Fruits Basket.

Midnight Occult Civil Servants hits all the right genre notes for me but just isn’t objectively very good. That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying it, but it isn’t the kind of anime you go to watch again. Unless it does something amazing in its second half but to be honest I’ll just be happy if it manages to maintain where it is and doesn’t implode. Demon Slayer might end up being quite good but it is very classic shounen and realistically the only one of those I ever bought the DVD’s for was Bleach. It just isn’t a genre I get super excited about even though the few episodes I’ve watched have been good enough.

Midnight Occult Civil Service

Then there are the school based anime. Hitoribocchi with the shy girl and Senryuu Shoujo with its girl who doesn’t talk gimmick. Both are cute in their own way. They’ve got some good points. But neither is something I’d ever go for a rewatch of. Again, they just aren’t the kind of show I’m likely to remember after they finish airing.

Senryuu Shoujo

While there’s certainly still a few titles for me to try, and I am curious about one or two, I’m definitely finding the spring anime season is coming up a little empty.

Still, I’m sure there are other viewers who have found shows they love this season and as always, another season is just a couple of months away.

Kimetsu no Yaiba

In the meantime, a low watch anime season is an opportunity. It means I get to pick some older anime that I didn’t get to review or watch and fill in some gaps in my anime knowledge.

But that’s enough rambling from me. How are you finding the spring season so far?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

20 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With The Spring Anime Season?

  1. I know for Australia, Fairy Gone and Afterlost (Shoumetsu Toshi) are under Funimation (which have the “one week late” thing if you don’t subscribe – they just don’t always say it on their schedule, that’s all). Sometimes Funi videos don’t show the subs if you’re using an ad blocker, though.

    I’m not using Funi this season now that I’ve had to accelerate how fast I compile the watchlist, but Kono Oto Tomare (as suggested by MIB) isn’t that bad and I didn’t find Fairy Gone that bad either, although it seems people are complaining about it a bit now. (That’s on the basis of one episode of each, though.)

    Sarazanmai (on CR, as of this comment I’m 2 eps in) I’m actually having more fun with than I thought I would, since one of its main gimmicks is what people term “Butt Stuff” (which historically doesn’t go down well with me), but that might be because I don’t have much experience with Ikuhara in general.

    On a more general note, I restrict myself to 6 seasonal shows as a guarantee there’ll always a plethora of anime to check out even if I’m going through a rough season, so the only time I found it enough to complain about was summer 2017 (basically, it was Revenge of the Paywalls).

    1. Thank you. Normally funimation just tells me everything I want to watch is not licensed for my region so I just stopped checking it but it looks like those one are available with the week delay so looks like I’ve got a couple of extra titles to check for the season. Thanks.

  2. It has been a weak season and overall a weak year, with a handful of home runs.

    That is probably the case because the last two seasons of anime were some of the best on record, and you can’t follow that up every time. You can’t consistently be hitting holes in one, sometimes you gotta be happy with just getting Par.

    There are some great animes coming up though, and I do think the heavy stuff is coming in Summer and Fall. Shows likes Detective Waver, Isekai MILF, Dragon Maid S2 and ReZero S2 are gonna be stuff to look forward to.

    1. Other than knowing that a second season of Danmachi is coming at some point, I haven’t really looked ahead at what is coming. I tend to just focus on the now because I don’t like to get my expectations up to then not have access to something anyway.

      1. Fully agreed. I don’t do, and never will do “hype” or engage in “hype culture.” I have little love for it, and I prefer to keep expectations low, so I can be surprised.

  3. Maybe you need to step over to the dark side to get your anime fix….Mwahahahaha! 😉 😛

    Anyway, I’m enjoying a slice-of-life show “Kono Oto Tomare!”, a typical school club on the verge of extinction, saved by a rag tag collective, this time based around the traditional musical instrument, the Koto. It breaks no new ground but the tone is gentle and the comedy is fun enough to give it a Chihayafuru vibe for me. 🙂

    1. That one was on my list to try and check out but well… also in the not currently accessible category. I wasn’t overly hyped for it. School club anime are all very low on my priority list even when I end up enjoying them. But still, it could have been fun.

  4. Hey, I’m not well versed in the knowledge of being an avid anime watcher and I’ve had a question on my mind and I respect your expertise on the subject. When people refer to Anime seasons I understand that they are based on the 4 seasons such as spring but is there any trends in genre or production studios during these seasons? Where with movies we understand summer is the time for big budget blockbusters or later in the year is Oscar season. Is there any expectations for what will come out in certain seasons compared to others or is it just more for organizing and categorizing purposes? If you end up answering this I’d greatly appreciate that.

    1. As far as I know there’s no real sense that particular shows come out in any season for any reason. I think it is just that most anime run for the three months and then finish (12 episodes) and then the next lot of anime start and the seasons just help us discuss the current group of anime. Maybe it is more complicated then that but as I said, not that I know. Now you’ve made me curious if there is more to it.

  5. Licensing is so frustrating sometimes, isn’t it? Sometimes it feels like you’re begging these publishers to take your money and they won’t do it. I saw the announcement today that Yen Press is licensing the Bunny Girl Senpai manga, and all I could think was, “What about the novels?” I’ve read enough of the fan translation to know I’d buy those novels in a hot second if I could, but I’m not really interested in a manga version.

    And yeah, this anime season is the same kind of thing. Everything I was interested in ended up on either Funimation or Netflix, and I only subscribe to Crunchyroll. I don’t like pirating anime unless it’s something I’m desperate to see and there’s no other way for me to get it (like Hi Score Girl last year, or every new Nanoha for the last decade), and nothing this season was that urgent. So out of the five or six shows I had some interest in I was left with just Fruits Basket, since Funi and CR are thankfully sharing that one.

    1. Yes, I’ll admit I did watch Banana Fish last year but I didn’t cover it on my blog because it isn’t on any of the services I use. So when I really want to watch something I’ll find a way to watch it, but there really wasn’t anything that urgent this season. Quite a few I would have been happy to check out but I’m equally happy to wait and see if they become available later.

  6. You’re such a good person. Here I am just watching someone’s illegal stream of Carole and Tuesday on a random ad-riddled website… maybe I should stop. :/

    1. I think everyone makes their own call on the issue of streams legal or illegal. I just think the industry as a whole needs to improve rather than continuing to lament and try to put in more punitive measures for piracy. If they actually just made it easy to legally pay for and access anime in an affordable manner (and not having to have a thousand different services) then the majority of fans would make the choice to watch legally.

  7. You’re really not missing anything with Fairy Gone. I decided to just watch three this season so that I could do episode reviews and that was one of them. Hopefully, it’ll get better over the next 20 episodes though… I’m really enjoy Fruits Basket and Demon Slayer though so 2 out of 3 isn’t that bad.

    1. Yes, the early reviews of Fairy Gone have not been promising. That said, there’s something about seeing it for yourself. I still wouldn’t mind being able to try it at some point but my expectations have been significantly lowered by reading reviews of it.

      1. That might be a good thing. I went in with high expectations and so far its failed to live up to those.

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