Welcome to the second in our Anime round-up articles, where we’ll be looking at the opening episodes for many of the new series airing in the Spring season
A Couple of Cuckoos
Studio: SynergySP, Shin-Ei Animation
A strong first episode from this anime, following Nagi and Erika who were accidentally swapped at birth and grew up in the wrong families. I hadn’t really been that interested in this series from the premise (the two are pushed into an arranged marriage by their parents), but I actually really enjoyed this first episode. The character designs are very attractive and the whole anime in general looks very high quality. The opening and ending in particular has some gorgeous animation and the interactions and events were actually very fun to watch. Hard to say if this anime will keep up the quality given this is clearly going down a problematic harem route but our two protagonists are likable in their own ways and have interesting motivations so far so A Couple of Cuckoos definitely stands out from the other rom-coms airing this season.
My Rating: 8/10
Aharen Is Indecipherable
Studio: Felix Film
A fairly relaxed easy first episode which introduces our main pair – a boy whose scary appearance has made it hard for him to make friends, and a girl whose very quiet and distant. This first episode was very cute and whilst nothing particularly exciting happened, the characters were very likable and there was a lot of good comedy gags. The joke generally centres around our protagonist’s attempts to connect with Aharen, made all the more difficult by that she speaks so quietly he can’t hear her most of the time. The animation is nice but ultimately this is just a cute cosy series and much more slice of life then having any real plot so far.
My Rating: 6/10
Ya Boy Kongming!
Transported from his death bed to present day Shinjuku on Halloween Night, Three Kingdoms military strategist Kongmong Zhuge naturally things he’s fallen straight into Hell. Things take a turn however when he meets aspiring idol, Eiko, whose singing entrances him and the two form an unlikely friendship. Can this age old tactician help Eiko take the music world by storm?
Is this series as bonkers as it sounds? Yes. Is it a thoroughly good time, though? Hell, yes.
Birdie Wing: Golf Girls’ Story
Studio: Bandai Namco Pictures
Golf isn’t a sport that’s been adapted much into anime but this season’s offering follows female golfers, most particular an amateur golfer called Eve who plays golf for money in the criminal underground. The first episode of this series was a pleasant surprise, with lots of flair and moments which brought to mind other over the top sports anime like Prince of Tennis. The animation is a little rough in places but overall the characters were very likable and this was a strong first episode with a lot fun.
My Rating: 8/10
Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness
Studio: Encourage Films
Genre: Slice of Life
I’m such a sucker for series about older characters with troubled pasts having to look after a younger child and Deaimon is exactly up my alley in this case. Following a failed attempt at making it big with a band our protagonist, Nagomu decides to return to his family’s sweet shop only to find that whilst he was away a new successor to take over the business has been found. Itsuka is only a young girl however and the first episode showcases the two getting over their first grievances with one another to eventually beginning to respect one another. It’s very wholesome so far though some hints at both their dark pasts coming to haunt them in the future does mean this show likely isn’t afraid to tackle some more adult topics such as abandonment and failure. Overall though, this first episode was very cute and cosy and a truly adorable watch.