Hype Train: Winter Anime

Kevin’s Picks:

Drifting Dragons

Based on the manga series, Drifting Dragons gives off strong Last Exile feels in both setting and animation. the series is done from the director of Blame!, Sidonia and the Godzilla animated films on Netflix. As a series, I largely enjoyed watching Last Exile and grew up watching it and Gurren Lagann. Seeing another series with fantasy and steampunk elements, like Monster Hunter meets Last Exile, this show looks super fun to watch and hopefully is comparable to Last Exile in a way to satiate my desire for more series like that.


From the studio that brought you Tsugumomo and My Roommate is a Cat, RikeKoi is an adaptation of the web comic about two scientists using logic to explain their feelings for each other. While the studio involved has yet to do any outstanding series, this adaptation looks promising as a comedy series that appeals to me like Magical Sempai did or other 4-panel series that’ve been adapted. Another good aspect of this series is that they have the director of Hinako Note and Boku Wa Tomadachi behind this project. The director has worked with Slice of Life, Romantic Comedy series before, so having him handle another romantic comedy with a unique take on the genre should prove entertaining. I hope this series fills the void and is the funniest show this season.


Set in a gritty world where magicians test on those in the slums, a mostly lizard man, armed with bayonets, must track down and kill magicians in order to find a way to reverse his condition. This is a gritty series, that’s animation reminds me of content like Berserk. The series is made by Mappa, the people who gave us shows like Kakegurui, Yuri on Ice, Zombieland Saga and more. Mappa has delivered in the past and this time, they brought out the Kakegurui director to helm this project. Based on both the studio and director’s previous shows, I think that they’ll be able to do this series justice, despite the poor adaptation of To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts. Kakegurui was well done and followed the manga closely, so I expect the same quality and effort towards this series.

Connor’s Picks:

Magia Record

Based off the popular mobile game, Magia Record is a side story from the Madoka Magica series. In a separate timeline from those events, this is a story about Iroha as she searches for her missing sister, Ui in a city called Kamihama. She is led to this city by her friend that is also a magical girl and the two quickly learn that the city isn’t the promised utopia they thought it to be. This story also focuses on a similar premise of magical girls fighting witches but if this series follows the game, there will be much more than that at play. In a world were the population of witches are dwindling, magical girls are lured to Kamihama by a dream that they will be safe there. For those similar to the original series and works done by studio Shaft, you can expect this to be just as trippy and visually appealing as Madoka Magica. Unlike the original series and other works like Fate Extra: Last Encore, Magia shows a more matured studio Shaft as they perfectly blend the choreography of the fights with a magnificent musical symphony. I believe this will be a great show for veterans of the series, the mobile game and people just looking for the best dark magical girl series out there.


After watching the first two episodes that aired back to back, I can safely say that if you are craving a different kind of anime that is unlike what most of the season is comprised of, then ID:Invaded has you covered. This series is a supernatural, crime-mystery genre that is similar to Psycho Pass with being psychological in nature and making you think. The series just throws you into the story with no beginning built up. As the protagonist builds the mystery around the murder, as the viewer you are trying to decipher the situation and the setting around them. For those that love mystery and love to think for themselves as they watch a show, Invaded will scratch that itch left by Psycho Pass.

Somali and the Forest Spirit

If you liked Made in Abyss, Somali and the Forest Spirit will be the anime this season most like it. This is a series that appears wholesome on the surface following a young human girl as she journeys with a Golem to explore the world and find other humans. In this world humans have been outcast and are on the brink of extinction after a war with the mystical creatures that now populate it. Humans are now seen as food or slaves to these demi-human like creatures and since they are treated as such, the Golem hides her identity and presents her as a Minotaur. The series is extremely wholesome with its slice of life genre as it follows the growing parental bond between the two characters. The atmosphere and visuals are stunning and present the world as a beautiful and colorful one full of life. Everything feels very happy at first until you noticed that there is a sinister undertone lurking in the shadows.

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