The Most Anticipated Anime of Spring 2024


With the end of one anime season comes the start of another. As we look in despair to a future without new episodes of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, you may be wondering what could possibly fill the hole in your heart (and your anime viewing schedule). Luckily, the ANN editorial team is here to help with this list of shows we are looking forward to in Spring 2024.


Steve Jones

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Most Anticipated: Train to the End of the World

Tsutomu Mizushima nation, we are so back. He and his frequent collaborator, the screenwriter Michiko Yokote, return with a new original series about girls doing stuff. That’s all I need to know to get hyped. But just in case walking in the footsteps of Shirobako and The Magnificent KOTOBUKI isn’t enough, Train to the End of the World‘s orthogonal post-apocalyptic premise has me intrigued on its own merits. Four girls hop on a train to reunite with a lost friend—and also I think the world recently ended. It has shades of Kemurikusa, Galaxy Express 999, and A Place Further Than the Universe, but moreover, I like how difficult it is to get a read on the series’ tone or direction from the PVs alone. Is it going to be a surreal comedy? A melancholic pastoral rumination? Japan Railways Group propaganda? I couldn’t tell you but Mizushima is a consistently great director who has proven himself adept at many genres, so I’m sure he knows what he’s doing. Plus, I trust the gumption of any series that announces its existence by painstakingly illustrating the contours of a cartoon dog’s butthole.

Runner-up: Laid-Back Camp Season 3

I adored the first two seasons of Laid-Back Camp, and its film, which featured the girls as adults, made me more emotional than any other movie about a town revitalization project. My normally unfettered enthusiasm for a third season, however, is a tad fettered by the change of studio and staff. So much of Laid-Back Camp‘s appeal came from the keen adaptation by director Yoshiaki Kyogoku and the folks at C-Station, who honed the series’ rural winter vistas, delicious campfire meals, and soft character designs into a singularity of supreme coziness. That’s a tough act to follow. Still, the PVs have left me reasonably hopeful that Shin Tosaka and Studio 8-Bit can find some of that magic themselves. Hopefully, their experiences with Encouragement of Climb will steer them the right way. It helps, too, that the cast are reprising their roles, and that Akiyuki Tateyama is returning as composer. I wouldn’t want to imagine Laid-Back Camp without his folksy soundtrack and a warm Cup Noodle by my side.


Christopher Farris

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Most Anticipated: Go, Go, Loser Ranger!

Look, I know that as the frequency of them has increased in recent years, it seems like every other season I’m coming in here declaring my excitement for another anime take-off on my beloved tokusatsu hero genre. But this one, this is the one! Go, Go, Loser Ranger! is a manga I checked out a couple of years ago, and instantly became enraptured by. It’s got a stylish, subversive take on my favorite multicolored transforming superheroes. But beyond mere parody, this is a series that uses its setup to play with the ideas of the genre. What does it mean for a group to be designated as “losers” as far as the narrative of the world is concerned? How similar is a multimedia merchandising empire to an old-fashioned oppressive type of empire? Wouldn’t a Super Sentai need a huge crew of support personnel to manage all their battle protocols and equipment? Truly, this one is asking the big questions.

There’s a ton that goes on in Go, Go, Loser Ranger! It’s to the point that I question how far a single season of an anime could get into this wild ride. Regardless, know that this series will be worth watching even in its early stages. It’s not just a fanservice showcase for toku-heads (though they’re the ones who will appreciate the gag of casting M.A.O. as one of the Rangers). Plus Yostar Pictures has the workhorse that is Keiichi Satō on directorial duties, so this adaptation should be in good hands. They’re going to introduce anime viewers around the world to my newest Best Girl Yumeko Suzukiri—I can’t wait for you all to meet her.

Runner-up: Wind Breaker

I’ll let you stifle your laughter at the title of Wind Breaker so I can properly pitch you on this one. Delinquent anime are in a bit of a renaissance, with Tokyo Revengers as a steady flag-bearer, and just coming off of Bucchigiri?! this past season. Wind Breaker is very much in the spirit of that, starring strong-willed schoolboys throwing down in the name of showing off their hearts of gold. It’s cool, it’s thrilling, and it has just enough swerves in its initial setup to sell itself as its own thing.

The thing I’m most excited about with Wind Breaker is its potential to be a showcase. The fights in the manga are the kinds of raw, fist-pumping sequences that dudes will see and just say “Hell yeah.” There are snippets of this strong action shown off in the trailer, but I’m eagerly curious—optimistic even—to see how CloverWorks and director Toshifumi Akai are up to the task of bringing these fight boys to life. Hopefully, they do their best to make sure Wind Breaker lets it rip, instead of settling for just passing gas.


James Beckett

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Most Anticipated: Kaiju No. 8

Something that anyone who I speak to for longer than a few minutes will undoubtedly learn about me: I freaking love kaiju. Godzilla is my homie, Gamera is my best little big bro, and Mothra is the only queen who has fully earned her God-given right to rule. When Gozilla Minus One scored its well-deserved VFX Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards, I jumped out of my seat and screamed in triumph; when the Academy Orchestra began to play Akira Ifukube‘s legendary score as the Gozilla Minus One team accepted their trophy, I started to cry.

I say all of this to hopefully make it obvious that there was never any chance of another show earning the spot of my most anticipated anime of this spring over Kaiju No. 8. It’s about a man who fights kaijuby transforming into a sick-ass Skellington who punches things real good. Its production is led by Studio I.G. with design input by Studio Khara—aka the team responsible for the Rebuild of Evangelion. The team of human Anti-Kaiju fighters uses kaiju corpses to power their superhuman abilities! If all of that wasn’t enough, the production values look slick and filled with just as much humor and heart as raw spectacle, which is exactly the balance that a big monster-smashing showdown needs to strike if it isn’t going for the doomy allegory the genre’s more serious-minded standouts.

The only reason I haven’t devoured the manga seven times over already is because I was holding off in the hopes that I would get to experience this story for the first time in the form of a properly realized adaptation. I don’t want to count my Rodans before they hatch or anything but this series looks like it will be everything I’ve been hoping for. Fingers crossed.

Runner-up:Spice and Wolf: Merchant Meets the Wise Wolf

Spice and Wolf is one of those shows that I unfortunately missed the boat on when it originally came out in the mid-2000s. This was because my library never had the early volumes of the DVD in stock, and they were too expensive for me to buy on my own. I’d be lying if I said that Teenage James wasn’t just a little turned off by the series’ supposed focus on “economics” and “business theory”, despite how cute I thought Holo was every time I got a peek at the box art. 2024 is a very different time! Not only has streaming made it impossible to miss out on big premieres like a Spice and Wolf remake, but 30-Year-Old James is a man of taste who would never disrespect Holo, especially when her story is filled with subject matter as interesting and unique as “economics” and “business theory” (and not a single reincarnated dweeb protagonist in sight!).

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that much of my hype is due to the involvement of Kevin “The GOAT” Penkin as the series composer. If you told me that Penkin scored a 12-hour documentary about the ins and outs of cellular mitosis, I would be compelled to watch at least a few of those hours (and then immediately buy the soundtrack). The fact that his ear-meltingly luscious tunes are going to help retell the story of anime’s premiere Sexy Wolf waifu just means that I’ll be able to gorge myself on a new Kevin Penkin OST while enjoying a fun story, all at the same time.


Rebecca Silverman

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Most Anticipated: Whisper Me a Love Song

Even though I have some serious reservations about Himari’s voice (I don’t like how breathy she sounds in the trailers), the adaptation of Eku Tamashima’s Yuri manga Whisper Me a Love Song is far and away the series I’m most looking forward to this spring. The simplistic way to describe it is a cross between Given and Kase-san and… Yamada—it intertwines music, strong emotions, and adorable romance into a braid of something wholly its own.

Bubbly high school first-year Himari, who has never really given romance for herself much more than a passing thought, falls hard for upperclassman Yori when she hears her sing at a school assembly, which utterly floors the older girl. In part that’s because Yori doesn’t think of herself as a singer; she’s just filling in for a school club. But Himari quickly wins her over, at which point they hit a roadblock: Himari’s and Yori’s definitions of “love” don’t seem to match up. While at first, this looks like Himari being hopelessly naïve, as the early parts of the story unfold, it becomes open to other interpretations.

I firmly believe that everyone should get to see themselves in their media at least occasionally, and Himari’s journey allows for the possibility that she’s demisexual and demiromantic. It’s not that she doesn’t feel attraction, it’s that she’s not allosexual/romantic with frequent crushes. It adds a layer to her and Yori navigating their early relationship, with Yori’s anxiety and shyness also factoring in. It’s not overly melodramatic and allows us to grow with the characters as they grow closer… which means that the drama largely comes from the other half of the plot: the music.

As I mentioned, Yori is filling in when Himari falls for her, and there’s a secondary storyline about the various issues that the club she’s helping is struggling with, all wrapped up in one of the best high school villains, Shiho. Shiho’s awful—but she’s complex and believable—while the threats she brings are multipronged. To be perfectly honest, I’d be happy if this adaptation just covered the first three manga volumes, which are before Shiho comes into the spotlight. This part is a very satisfying story arc, but if it goes further, Shiho’s role is something to look forward to as well. The manga is a whole package and I hope the anime can do it at least a little justice, Himari’s voice notwithstanding.

Honorable mentions:

I’m curious about the raven ayakashi-themed Karasu wa Aruji o Erabanai. It’s a historical fantasy involving folklore, which, if you know me, is pretty much all it needs to say to pique my interest. My concern is that it appears to be adapting a sequel novel in a series, but the imagery alone is enough to make me very interested in it, which stands in opposition to my usual way of choosing shows I’m looking forward to—which relies on familiarity with the source material.

On that front, I’m looking forward to Unnamed Memory as well. The light novels can get dense, but there’s more than enough story to fill out multiple seasons of anime, and the lore is fascinating in the way it handles witches and its pseudo-European setting. It stands to be a welcome change from the flavor of fantasy we’ve been getting recently. But even if none of these pan out, there look to be enough new series coming out that we’ll all find something to watch.


MrAJCosplay

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Most Anticipated: The Duke of Death and His Maid Season 3

It is a shame that The Duke of Death and His Maid hasn’t been as popular as I feel like it should be. It is a charming series that deceptively makes you think that it is about just a bunch of playful teasing. In reality, it’s a rather sweet yet tragic fantasy story about two people who want nothing more than to embrace each other but are forced to keep a distance due to unforeseen circumstances. Despite the bright colors and goofy antics, there is an underlying sadness to the series—but it manages to ride that line without being overly cynical. It’s a balancing act difficult to maintain for a lot of shows and I think The Duke of Death and His Maid manages to accomplish something worth celebrating and paying attention to.

The first season was about the character arc of the Duke where he accepts his feelings for Alice early on, while also realizing that he’s not as lonely as he thought he was. The second season wasn’t as strong but opened up the grander mystery about where the curse came from while also giving some much-needed development to all the side characters. From the looks of it, season three will focus on the unanswered questions regarding the Duke’s curse. I want to see these mysteries unfold as much as I want the Duke and Alice to be happy.


Nicholas Dupree

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Most Anticipated: Jellyfish Can’t Swim in the Night

I am spoiled for music-focused shows this season, and based solely on the style of music, I figured Girls Band Cry would be my most anticipated show. Unfortunately, the animation on that show looks to be… let’s say, an acquired taste which I have yet to acclimate to. So instead I’m going with the gorgeously stylish Jellyfish Can’t Swim in the Night, and its promise of neon-drenched Shibuya song-crafting. Everything about the trailer, from the colorful and evocative environments to the beautifully blobby character designs—and especially the ambitious animation—screams joy with every frame. Director Ryohei Takeshita delivered some fantastic work on Eromanga Sensei, and I’m excited to see that magic applied to material that (hopefully) won’t make my eyes want to burrow backward and explode inside my cranial cavity.

The characters are also attempting something a little more ambitious than just forming a band—they’re planning a music and art collective for a virtual musician, which is a distinctly modern take on the formula that holds a lot of promise. Much as I love being packed into band halls and dive bars for my musical media, there’s a whole new world of online musicianship out there and I’m dying to see how they can tackle it. Combine with what looks to be one of the best productions of the season, and this series probably has the highest ceiling of anything on the list.

Runner-up: Whisper Me a Love Song

There’s always room for the classics, and there’s nothing more quintessential than falling in love with a pretty girl who can play guitar. While not an all-time favorite, Whisper Me a Love Song is a rock-solid romcom that, if done right, could be an absolute blast as an anime. The main couple are funny and cute in equal measure, brought together by the power of music and the even greater power of crushing on musicians. With the chance to hear the dulcet tones and guitar melodies that first captured Himari’s heart, as well as the rest of the music that’s so integral to the story, this has a chance to be a real treat for any romance fans out there. My only apprehension is that the adaptation is in pretty shaky hands – a co-production between a studio that has never made a full-length series and an already overburdened Yokohama Animation Lab. This isn’t the kind of story that strictly needs immaculate production but it would still suck to see such a charming series get churned out like a barely-animated seasonal paste.

Outside of that, I’m excited to see the highly-touted adaptation of Kaiju No. 8 in action, even if I’m baffled by the choice of theme song artists. I’m very wary about Girls Band Cry‘s character animation but very excited to hear that soundtrack. Go, Go, Loser Ranger! and Wind Breaker look promising as lighthearted action fairs. And as always I’m glad to have My Hero Academia returning, even if I’ll have to wait until May. This seems like an unusually sedate Spring season, but there’s a lot of potential that I hope will flourish.


Kevin Cormack

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Most Anticipated: Kaiju No. 8

Kaiju No. 8 is the latest in a long line of high-profile Shonen Jump+ adaptations, following such hits as SPY x FAMILY, Oshi no Ko, and Hell’s Paradise. Set in a world where monstrous kaiju attacks are commonplace, it follows the misadventures of 32-year-old Kafka Hibino, newly inducted into the Japanese Kaiju Defense Force. Kafka’s an underdog—having failed the entrance exams on multiple occasions, he succeeded on his final attempt. He hopes one day to achieve equality with his childhood friend Mina Ashiro who is now captain of the Defense Force’s third division.

Complicating matters is that after randomly swallowing a tiny kaiju, Kafka now can transform into a human-sized kaiju himself. Designated “Kaiju No. 8” by the Defense Force, Kafka must keep his monstrous alter-ego secret from his colleagues, while helping to destroy the enormous kaiju threatening his city, using his amazing new powers.

The manga is hugely entertaining, filled to the brim with awesome action, fun characters, and cool monster designs. The anime should be a big draw for tokusatsu and kaiju fans looking for an excellent way to satiate their monstrous desires. As it’s produced by top-tier studio Production I.G, I have high hopes this adaptation will do its source justice.

Runner-up: The Duke of Death and His Maid Season 3

How often do anime romcoms receive a definitive ending? There aren’t many, and even if they do, they’re not often satisfying. The Duke of Death and His Maid‘s manga ended a while back, and considering the first two seasons’ rate of adaptation, one final chunk of a dozen or so episodes should be sufficient to animate the remaining chapters.

The Duke of Death and His Maid is essentially the anime equivalent of (heartbreakingly canceled) US TV show Pushing Daisies. The nervous protagonist Viktor (the titular Duke) is cursed to kill everything he touches, so is unable to lay hands on his beloved maid Alice. There’s no “will they/won’t they” with this story, as it’s clear from the beginning that Viktor and Alice’s love is deeply mutual. Alice adores tormenting her besotted employer with dangerously close levels of physical closeness and teasing.

With a colorful cast of witches, weirdos, and strange extended family members, The Duke of Death and His Maid is a whimsical joy to watch—many episodes feature musical interludes and fairytale-like digressions. Although studio J.C. Staff‘s decision to produce the show with somewhat janky bargain-basement CGI is questionable, the story’s inherent charm and quirky humor elevate it above the awkward visuals. I’m very excited to witness the (hopefully satisfying) conclusion of this delightful, mysterious show.


Lucas DeRuyter

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Most Anticipated: Mission: Yozakura Family

There are more than 200 chapters of Mission: Yozakura Family manga available on the Shonen Jump app and I haven’t read a single one of them. SPY x FAMILY was released shortly before this series and, with their shared focus on espionage and family dynamics, reading both felt redundant to me. I didn’t give Mission: Yozakura Family a second thought thanks to SPY x FAMILY‘s stellar opening chapters and ensuing cultural dominance.

However, the SPY x FAMILY anime is now running into the issues that cropped up in the manga after the first volume or two. While the characters and their antics are incredibly lovable, their dynamics and circumstances don’t change after any of their outings—and that makes their actions feel inconsequential. With this juggernaut waning, I’m hopeful that Mission: Yozakura Family can step up and satisfy my need for some introspective espionage action. I want nothing more than for my initial dismissal of the series to be proven foolhardy—and for this anime to inspire me to binge through the entirety of the manga.

Runner Up: Go, Go, Loser Ranger!

I was a kid during that weird time when a bunch of US media companies brought over super sentai series on the cheap, Americanized them with some new footage, and then released them and related toys to middling or wild success. I am not a tokusatsu buff but I enjoy series that recontextualize media I grew up with and use it to explore more adult themes and issues. The Handsome Men from Killer 7 was one of my favorite elements of that game and I enjoyed how Miss Kuroitsu From the Monster Development Department explored workplace issues and office culture through the lens of an evil sentai organization. And, of course, I found the leads of Love After World Domination to be as adorable as everyone else.

Go, Go, Loser Ranger! is set to be edgier than any of these series and I’ve heard it described as The Boys meets Power Rangers…which sounds super interesting to me! The first season of The Boys was a great examination of post-9/11 American culture and lampooned some superhero tropes without ever feeling too snarky. If Go, Go, Loser Ranger! manages to be as socially critical and evocative as the first season of The Boys, I would have a great time with it. Not to mention that, with such a broadly recognizable premise, if this new anime is a hit I might be able to get my non-anime-watching bros to check it out.


Richard Eisenbeis

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Most Anticipated: Go, Go, Loser Ranger!

13 years ago, an army of mysterious invaders appeared and devastated the city. Luckily, the Dragon Keepers—a group of color-coated transforming heroes with the power to put evil in its place—fought back. Even now, the invaders attack each Sunday—only to be defeated every time. Over the years, the Dragon Keepers have grown into a massive organization with regiments of color-coated warriors protecting the people and working to improve society—or at least that’s what the public believes.

In truth, the invaders were defeated within the first year of the invasion and only the lowest rank foot soldiers remain. Since then, the invasion has been nothing but an act to keep the hedonistic Dragon Keepers in power. Every week, the foot soldiers are forced to fight—only to be painfully slaughtered by the Dragon Keepers before regenerating back at their headquarters. But one day, a foot soldier named “D” decides he has had enough. Despite being weaker than many humans, he sets off on his mission: to kill the Dragon Keepers and fulfill his purpose of taking over the world. The first step? Going undercover as a cadet at the Dragon Keeper’s academy.

What comes out of this is an amazing deconstruction of the “sentai superhero” genre. Go, Go, Loser Ranger! is a story without any true “good guys.” Instead, it’s a story where the closest thing we get to a hero is the most pathetic of villains—a mook who doesn’t even truly understand what world domination would mean. While he’s evil by nature (and by choice), in a lot of ways, he is innocent. His idea of “evil” is what a young child would imagine.

Beyond that, he knows nothing about humans, our society, or what drives us. As his undercover mission brings him into contact with more and more people, he sees the best and worst mankind has to offer. However, the fact remains that the system is corrupt and is built upon the suffering of his kind. He is, and always has been, a pawn in the hands of those stronger than him. In the end, this violent and blood-soaked tale is the story of the ultimate little guy—and it’s damn hard not to root for him.

Runner Up: The New Gate

There were more than a few years where I read no manga at all—even though I was reviewing anime daily. So I don’t know how, during that time, I stumbled across The New Gate—much less decided to read it. However, I can tell you that the concept hooked me right from the start.

A bit of context, I am a big fan of Sword Art Online. (It has had its ups and downs but I love how it can tell an overarching story while completely reinventing itself—even its genre—with every arc.) The New Gate uses Sword Art Online as a jumping-off point to ask the question, “What if, after beating the death game, Kirito didn’t return to reality but woke up in the now-all-too-real fantasy world of the game 500 years later?”

What we get is Shin (our legally distinct Kirito clone) being something between a stranger in a strange land and a person returning home after a long time away. He can see his effect on the world from back when it was a game—as well as the lasting impression he left on the long-lived NPC characters that accompanied him on his adventures. It’s a story built around exploring the unintended consequences of his actions to free the other players from the death game—that also has the added mystery of how the game world became real and why he has now reappeared in it.

Now, all that said, I don’t expect this one to become the breakout hit of the season or anything but if you’re a fan of Sword Art Online or an isekai addict, this one might just be for you.


Gunawan

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Most Anticipated: KONOSUBA Season 3

Spring 2024 is loaded with a lot of sequels to beloved series from Mushoku Tensei to Yuru Camp. But if there were a rule that said I can only watch one title every season, there is no option more obvious than KONOSUBA. It is the only isekai title I would happily watch and I excitingly anticipate the continuation. The first two seasons were a blast and it feels unfair that they consisted of only 10 episodes each. I was also worried if KONOSUBA would be moving completely away from TV to cinema after the success of its movie in 2019. There was news that season 3 was being developed not long after that but my last glimmer of hope was crushed under the weight of COVID-19, where every industry experienced a halt. Since then, there wasn’t any significant news that I had stumbled upon about KONOSUBA until a few weeks ago when Kadokawa‘s trailer visited my main YouTube page.

The gang is back: unlucky-yet-cunning pervert Kazuma, stupid goddess Aqua, hapless chuuni mage Megumin, and masochistic crusader Darkness! Everything feels like it happened yesterday. I still remember how the first episode went from start to finish—where it captured all my attention and made me unrealizingly fall in love with the portrayal of Kazuma and Aqua. Soon, another two characters entered the picture, and a “harem” was formed (as is a tradition for the isekai genre). However this time there was a catch: everyone was disgusted with one another. Their dynamics were unique for me; they are seemingly the best of friends yet they never let go of their flaws that might be disadvantageous to their friendship—and the way they react towards that always somehow feels relatable(?), wholesome(?), and most importantly funny. Kazuma is a complete jerk; Aqua is ignorant and selfish; Megumin is arrogant, a bit traitorous, and cowardly; and Darkness is masochistic and childish. Their interactions with one another—and the population of the world at large—are a gold mine of comedy.

This is a parody of the isekai genre clad in the trappings of slice-of-life storytelling. You might ask if they have a demon lord to fight or not. The answer is yes, but they are busy trying to survive in this harsh world. Like every savvy modern individual, Kazuma knows that the solution to a problem is to avoid the problem altogether and that is yet another angle to the comedy. Also, every Demon Lord general brings separate jokes along with their presence.

If you like to imagine going into isekai, stop thinking about becoming an OP protag. That’s a delusion. All of us would just end up as construction or farm workers who have barely enough money to rent a stable and sleep with the horses. However, we could still occasionally drink beer after work, puke in the alleys on our way home, and bathe in the town hall’s fountain.



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