3 Anime You Should Be Watching: Spring 2018
Mahou Shoujo Site, Megalo Box, Persona 5
Mahou Shoujo Site
Mahou Shoujo Site is classified as a psychological horror anime that will feature 12 episodes during the spring 2018 season. If you know anything about Madoka Magica and the psychological twist put in that series, then you must be excited as I was to see a new magical girl series tagged as Psychological. If you miss the dark edgy style to anime this is one you will want to check out.
The Story follows Aya Asagiri a magical girl in middle school with a unique power of transporting people to a location she thinks of. Aya is bullied at school and abused at home, but that doesn’t stop her from pushing through each day. As she spends her days browsing the computer she comes across the magical girl site. There are many magical girl sites that give powers in the form of a tangible item to girls who are deemed ‘having a bad life’. Each item is known as a stick and shortens a magical girls life span each time it is used. With the help of other magical girls Aya learns that she must stop the Tempest from destroying the world.
Aya is a transfer student that has trouble getting along with others. After making enemies with one of the class’s most popular students Aya is bullied to the point where every day becomes a struggle. Pushed to the edge she perseveres to make it through each day, finally making a friend. Aya is constantly put in situations where she must use her inner strength and comes face to face with potential death multiple times. However, at times, Aya has problems using her stick.
Stick Type: Gun
Stick Power: Teleportation
Blood Flow: Eyes
Yasumura is a magical girl that has much more experience then Aya. With a tragic backstory it’s easy to see why Yatsumura is the way she is. She has had to endure tragedy with her parents, her only friend, and even has her house destroyed. Yatsumura ends up covering for Aya many times as she has no problems using her stick to kill. She is witty and has very little patience for people she doesn’t like.
Stick Type: Smartphone
Stick Power: Temporal Stasis
Blood Flow: Mouth
Sarina is a classmate of Aya and a personal enemy. After trying to be nice to Aya, Sarina becomes irritated never receiving a thank you. She sees Aya as ungrateful and bullies her. Some of her tactics include putting suicide paraphernalia in Aya’s locker or writing hate speech on her desk. After discovering the power of a magical girl she vows to herself that she will be the end to Aya.
Stick type: Yo-Yo
Stick Power: Slice
Blood Flow: Ears
Art and Sound
The art is what I would expect would turn people off of the series. Although the art style doesn’t feel “2018” don’t let this discourage you from the elements of the story. This disturbed feel gives the plot a more distressed feel to it after different events unfold.
Mahou Shoujo Site also combines the use of live-action film with animation. This stresses the importance of life or humanization that plays crucial to the theme. These live action clips of real people are portrayed with the ending song “Zenzen Tomodachi” by Haruka Yamazaki is played. Tomodachi means friends and is often paired with a life. These dark animations paired with real people is a style not seen in anime often.
Mahou Shoujo Site isn’t for everyone. As it may or may not live up to the potential of Madoka Magica, it is contributing to a new wave of magical girl anime that is quickly becoming the new norm. Gone will be the days of the Sailor Moon type magical girl and in are the days of the dark and edgy. If you heavy themes such as rape, suicide, self-harm, and abuse spark your curiosity; this is the anime for you. Shock factor aftershock factor is crammed into this series and each episode has no problems leaving you feeling uncomfortable.
Megalo Box is for the sports fans. The fans that want a good underdog story. The fans that are tired of the moe, the slice of life, even the shounen with the OP protagonist. Megalo Box is a boxing anime that doesn’t require a knowledge of boxing. If you want to watch your Average Joe (pun intended) rise up the ranks to give his city the comeuppances it deserves then this is the anime for you.
Megalo Box follows a fighter who starts by the name of Junk Dog but changes his name to Joe so that he can be recognized as the number one fighter of Megalo Box. Megalo Box a new style of boxing where you fight with mechanical limbs much representing Nintendo Labo… don’t worry its better than it sounds. Despite being involved with Megalo Boxing illegally and having a manager who relies on throwing matches to payback the Yakuza. After getting into an altercation with Yuuri the top Megalo Box fighter, Junk Dog promises to work his way up and beat him one day. He does this by entering himself in Megalonia, a tournament that pitches the best Megalo Boxers against each other.
Joe (Junk Dog)
Joe is an illegal Megalo Boxer who begins fighting under the name of Junk Dog. Majority of Joe’s fights are predetermined due to his manager, but he always feels like there is potential to be greater than what he is. After getting destroyed in a fight by Yuuri, Joe vows that he will work his way to the top to win Megalonia and even the score with Yuuri.
Nanbu is Joe’s scum of the earth manager and coach. He fixes Joe’s matches so that he is always earning a profit in order to pay back the Yakuza he is in debt to. When Joe becomes tired of throwing matches they enter Megalonia together in hopes that winning would be enough to cover Nanbu’s debt.
Art and Sound
If Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo had a child, it would Megalo Box. This art style resembles the great anime in the 90’s/00’s era. Just look at the beautiful effects as Joe deflects a punch. Speaking of Joe, it’s not common where we have a dark-skinned protagonist. Afro-headed and all, Joe is quickly becoming a popular candidate for best-designed character of spring 2018. Megalo Box as a whole looks beautiful and is complemented immensely by an extensive variety of soundtracks. From upbeat fighting songs to a mellow consonance used during flashbacks, the soundtrack will leave you captivated each episode.
Megalo Box is a series that each week I cannot wait for. While immersed in each episode I can’t help, but stand behind Joe. Joe has the fighting spirit that keeps me committed each week, paired with the character development from Nanbu makes a beautiful combination. It would not surprise me to see this anime gain a sequel or even a fighting game adaptation. I vote Joe for Smash Bros. Make it happen Nintendo, make it happen.
Persona 5 is a title that you probably heard of before. Although, you don’t have to watch the Persona series in order to understand what is happening I recommend playing the game before or after watching this series. This series is going to be 24 episodes so it will run into the summer 2018 season.
Persona 5 follows Ren, a student in high school at Shujin Academy. Ren is captured by the police and contained in custody. We look back at the different events that got him here. His life changes forever when he joins the Phantom Thieves a group that lives within a dream world accessed by the Meta Nav. As we embark on Ren’s journey we learn how the Phantom Thieves changed the hearts of many.
Amamiya “Joker” Ren
Ren is the protagonist and a second-year student. Arsene the pillager of light has possessed Ren’s soul and giving him his Persona he has. Ren is also able to access the dream world by using an app on his smartphone called the Meta Nav. In this world, he fights as a Phantom Thieve to change the hearts of bad people. Ren currently resides in the upstairs of a bar where his caretaker feeds him in exchange for help at the bar.
Art and Sound
Much like Mahou Shoujo Site, there is a unique use of CGI used in Persona 5. The CGI, used mainly in fights, adds a cartoon-like feel which normally wouldn’t be fitting. However, because of the popularity of the game and the way the anime feels when watching makes the use of CGI an acceptable addition. The video game type feel adds a layer of depth that goes beyond standard watching. At times, it is overdone and can take away the immersion with the anime, but credit to the studio for implementing this effect. The opening and ending theme are both done by the singer Lyn. Lyn is a South Korean singer with ten studio albums. She has won numerous awards and was nominated for ‘Best Vocal Performance’ in 2013.
Persona 5 is an anime that I would recommend for all types of audiences. Its story based structure allows for newcomers to anime to enjoy. Being a 24 episode anime also gives us something to continue into the summer season. With 2018 being the year of sequels, whats one more to add to your list.