As a fan of manga, I always search for anime, the animated adaptations of manga, to watch. Unlike American comics, manga is such a big part of Japanese culture that most television studios develop anime to air as part of their regular lineups. As a result, many anime of popular manga get released, allowing me to further experience the stories I regularly read. Anime provides viewers a greater experience by adding in colors, voice acting and music to depict stories in a more fleshed out manner.
Since the quality of an anime largely depends on the company that produces it, I am always wary of animated adaptations of manga that I read. After all, an anime can enhance or diminish the source material of the original manga. However, this spring, there will be adaptations of several manga that have the potential to be special, so I look forward to see how those studios will do these series justice.
1) “Digimon Adventure Tri.”
Unlike the other anime that I will recommend, this anime will not be based on a manga; rather, it is a direct sequel to “Digimon Adventure,” a series that aired in 1999. “Digimon Adventure Tri.” will be most likely a huge nostalgia fest for those who grew up with “Digimon Adventure.”
For those who are not familiar with this series, it follows a group of kids who are transported to another dimension called the Digital World. There, they are partnered with several creatures called Digimon, and the kids work with their partners to find a way back home, while simultaneously saving the Digital World from evil Digimon. Though the original anime’s target audience was those under the age of ten, I was such a big fan of this show, that revisiting this series will be a fresh experience for me.
Unfortunately, this show was never as popular in the United States because it clashed with another “mon” series, “Pokemon.” However, I always found that “Digimon Adventure” was far superior as an anime series, and though both series deal with kids working with strange creatures that have the potential to evolve, “Digimon Adventure” had an overarching plot for its characters to go through. This new anime series will deal with the main characters six years after the events of the original series, and I am excited to see not only how the main characters have changed after the time-lapse, but also how the increase in the quality of technology after 15 years will elevate the series, especially for scenes that show Digimon evolving. I highly recommend this series for anyone who is looking for a lighthearted adventure.
2) “Ore Monogatari!!”
Translated as “My Love Story!!,” this series follows a character named Takeo, a high school freshman who is down on his luck when it comes to romance, in contrast to his best friend Makoto. However, Takeo soon meets a girl named Rinko Yamato who doesn’t fall for his best friend and actually shows interest in Takeo for the first time in his life. As you can probably guess from this initial description, this anime will be a romantic comedy.
But don’t let this throw you off; this anime is an adaptation of a manga that is self-aware of its genre and pokes fun at its stereotypes. To start off, the main character does not fit any portrayal of a male protagonist in a romance series; instead of being an archetype like the pretty-boy, the clumsy nerd, the bad-boy rebel or the hapless everyman, Takeo is a burly, muscular student who looks like he should be on a wrestling team. Yet, although he scares many girls away with his physical features, he has a heart of gold that attracts the female protagonist, Rinko. Many romantic situations often go awry due to the interactions between Takeo, Rinko and Makoto, but the comedy comes with these ridiculous situations and people’s reaction to them. Despite these comedic elements, the show captures heartwarming elements with both the romance between Takeo and Rinko, and also the friendship between Takeo and Makoto. Because the show will be animated by Studio Madhouse, a studio that developed other famous anime like “Death Note” and “Hunter x Hunter,” I hope it will properly depict how “Ore Monogatari!!” defies tropes commonly seen in the genre of romance, while celebrating the unexpected charm that comes with Takeo’s oafish, but kindhearted manliness. This series began to air on April 9, 2015.
Having returned on April 8, 2015, this anime is quite different from the other series that I am looking forward to because it had already aired six seasons after it was cancelled several times.
Unfortunately, “Gintama” is the type of show that a newcomer in anime might find hard to be fully immersed in, because at its core, it celebrates and ridicules the medium of manga and anime. Even the premise of show is wacky; it is set in a futuristic Japan with aliens, but has past and present elements like samurais and video games. Yet, for those who do watch anime, “Gintama” is a superb show because it defies clichés, makes outside references that make the fourth wall almost non-existent and introduces characters and story lines that are very memorable because of their irreverent appearances and quirks. In its approach, “Gintama” doesn’t take itself too seriously, with the content of many episodes being outrageously crazy, but when it does, it becomes a heart-pumping, emotional drama that blows expectations away. Studio Sunrise is perfect with its smooth artwork and exciting music, and I am confident that with so much source material in the original manga series, the newest season of the anime will be amazing.
There are many more anime arriving this spring that I am excited for, but these are my personal favorite choices. You can search for the others that will be aired, and hopefully, you’ll try watching a show. Anime is a world that a lot of people hesitate to be involved with, and although it might seem intimidating at first, it is a world worth venturing into.
-Jake Choi, Staff Writer