We’re less than a month away from the start of the spring 2021 anime season! There are a little over 40 series premiering next month and all of them want your valuable attention. Which series are fans around the world anticipating the most? Let’s look at the averages to find out! In order to compile this list, I compared the popularity rankings of four different sites and averaged them out.
Having won the 44th annual Kodansha Manga Award in the shonen category in 2020, this series has some right to boast its way onto this list. Created by Ken Wakui, the series has been serialized since 2017 and has 21 volumes in print in Japan as of February 2021. Meanwhile, the English release being put out by Kodansha USA is up to volume nineteen as of February 2021.
The series follows adult male Takemichi Hanagaki after he learns that the only girlfriend he’s ever had, a middle school relationship with Hinata Tachibana, has been killed by a group known as the Tokyo Manji Gang. Suddenly he is warped back in time twelve years to his middle school days. Aiming to change the future, Takemichi joins the infamous gang and aims to become their leader.
Set to premiere on April 11th, this dark drama will be perfect for fans of other time skip stories such as Erased.Advertisement
Coming from the powerhouse studio A-1 Pictures, this series doesn’t have a solid premiere date beyond “April 2021” at the time of this writing. In this sci-fi story, a war is being fought with seemingly no real casualties beyond autonomous robots, at least that’s what the public thinks. In reality, these autonomous robots are being piloted by the 86, the former majority race of the land who were eventually persecuted into slums and treated as less than human. This series will probably be a tough watch and not something you dig into when you want something light and fluffy. Also airing on April 11th, this will be a war story through and through.
Combatants Will Be Dispatched!
Originally a light novel series written by Natsume Akatsuki with illustrations from Kakao Lanthanum, the series has six volumes in print in Japan as of September 2020 (Yen Press has licensed both the light novel and manga in English).
Premiering on April 4th, the same author who brought us Konosuba created this seinen series! In the story, the main character is No. 6 (played by Yusuke Shirai) who works for a secret, evil organization and is sent to a distant planet on a reconnaissance mission with a new android partner.
What Happened When I Shaved My Beard
This is the entry on the list that surprised me the most when I saw it had to be included as I thought this series was flying under so many radars.
Adapting a romantic comedy light novel series, this series premiering April 5th is actually still relatively new and untested, which makes it an interesting choice for a title to receive an anime adaptation as it only has four volumes in print in Japan as of August 2020.
In this series, the story centers on an adult man named Yoshida (played by Kazuyuki Okitsu) who comes across a teenage girl alone on his way home from drinking one night. The girl, Sayu (played by Kana Ichinose), suggests that the two of them could sleep together if he lets her stay with him. Instead, he scolds her for the suggestion but lets her stay with him, anyway. Studio Project No.9 will produce the series and feature Manabu Kamikita, making their debut as the director.Advertisement
Shaman King originally started as a manga that ran in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1998 to 2004 and was collected into 32 volumes. It received its original anime adaptation in 2001 (produced by studio Xebec) which ran for 64 episodes. The manga was eventually license rescued by Kodansha USA, who released all the volumes digitally in 2017 before releasing them in print starting in 2020.
The new adaptation, which is being animated by studio Bridge, tells the story of Yoh Asakura who is aiming to become the Shaman King, a being who can contact a great spirit and shape the world however they wish. In order to achieve this goal, Yoh must enter the Shaman Fight, which is a battle held once every 500 years to determine who is the strongest shaman in the world.
Zombie Land Saga Revenge
A sequel, yes, however, it’s for a popular original series that found its audience and scored big when it originally aired back in 2018!
In this series, a girl is on her way to an idol audition when she meets a grisly end thanks to an encounter with truck-kun. When she wakes up, she discovers that a man named Kotaro has revived idols from various eras of Japanese history as zombies and is forming an idol group with them in order to save Saga prefecture. With animation from studio MAPPA (Yuri!!! On Ice, Kids on the Slope), the first season of this series turned out pretty amazing and gained a devoted following who wanted to see more of Franchouchou.
I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
It seems that the audience isn’t sick of isekai and overpowered main characters yet because we have one right here which matches that description to a T.
Originally a light novel series written by Kisetsu Morita and illustrated by Benio, this series follows a woman who died from overwork in her original life. When she’s reincarnated into this fantasy world, she decides to lead a simple life of killing slimes to pay the bills. Well, after a couple of hundred years, our main character finally reaches level 99, and that comes with many fresh problems and difficulties. What’s an overpowered witch to do?
Set to premiere on April 10th, this cute “at-home comedy” produced by studio REVOROOT looks like it’s going to be a fun slice of life with no real stakes on the line. Something that fans can sink their teeth into when they’re in the mood for something light and sweet.Advertisement
The Slime Diaries
Don’t be sad that the second season of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is taking a break. Be happy that we’re getting a special comedic spinoff to tide us all over until the second season returns.
In this special spinoff which will premiere on April 6th, the focus is on Rimuru’s daily life within the Jura Tempest Federation. Don’t expect the main story to be advanced at all in this series, but just enjoy the slimy slice of life.
Don't Toy With Me Miss Nagatoro
Originally a web manga, this series will be perfect for those out there who enjoyed the antics in series such as Teasing Master Takagi-san. In this series, the title character is a high school girl who enjoys teasing her senpai. What he doesn’t realize is that her teasing is actually flirtatious in nature.
Set to premiere at some point in April (exact date unknown at the time of this writing), the manga is being published in English by Kodansha USA who have released six volumes as of January 2021.
How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Omega
Despite the first season being rated just under a 7 on MyAnimeList by almost 250,000 users, this new season aims to dominate the airwaves with its fan service and huge… plot. Because we all know just how much we all love that plot!
Set to premiere on April 9th, this season will feature a changing of the crew, including a new studio producing the animation and a new director, but if the promotional videos are any indication, this sequel should be in safe hands.Advertisement
Fruits Basket Final Season
The last season of Fruits Basket will premiere on April 5th and will bring a loyal tribe of fans along with it. For the last two years, the audience has lived and died with Tohru's struggle to keep it together while everyone around her is going through their own growing pains. In this final season, we'll finally get to see the fruits (see what I did there?) of their labor.
Boasting stellar animation and writing, this series has been a whirlwind of emotions from the very beginning, which is a departure from the original 2001 adaptation. I, for one, am excited to see where this story goes in its final episodes!
My Hero Academia Season Five
Was there ever any real reason to doubt that the latest season of My Hero Academia wouldn't be the hottest title to be coming out this spring? Set to premiere on March 27th, this shonen series is coming back to tell the joint training arc which forces classes 1A and 1B to battle against each other. Fans of the franchise have been clamoring for the new season for months now and finally will get their sweet battle action shonen adventure once again.