We say it every season: there are too many shows. It’s true of anime series just as it’s true of live-action series, especially in the streaming era. You can’t watch them all—let alone write up to-1000-word recaps and reviews about them.
So it’s always important to remember that we don’t have to watch them all. Koikimo was dropped early, followed by Combatants Will Be Dispatched! Now to separate the rest of the chaff from the wheat. All drops are final, regardless of how much better any of the below series end up.
Jouran: Princess of Snow and Blood has a very neat setting that presupposes the Meiji Restoration never happened and a new energy source enabled Japan’s technological primacy. Unfortunately, neither of those things have any bearing Sawa’s central (and frankly done-to-death) revenge story, which could have been told anywhere at any time in Japanese history, real or imagined. Instead, the alt-historical setting is just window dressing, while the big anti-shogun baddie turned out to be a clichéd mad scientist snake-man. When I was emotionally checked out of their climactic showdown, I knew it was time to say goodbye.—MagicalChurlSukui
Mars Red is probably the toughest of the Spring 2021 series to drop, because it’s a well-executed classic vampire-hunting story with genuine elements of horror and pathos. It also had one of the most striking first episodes, heavily influenced by real-life classic stage theatre. Unfortunately, I must admit that I admire and respect Mars Red more than I actually enjoy it, and it was hard to be invested in its ridiculously stoic lead vampire hunter.—Braverade
Full Dive is about a kid who just wants an escape from his shitty high school life, and had found one in his Final Fantasy-style VRMMO. Only when he gave all his money to a bully and couldn’t pay for the newest entry in the franchise, he’s hoodwinked by a merchant who is as disreputable a businesswoman as she is beautiful. So now the game he’s playing is even more unpleasant and stressful in real life. If this were Nobuyuki Sugou getting his just desserts that would be one thing, but this kid doesn’t really deserve to be tortured by a video game.—MagicalChurlSukui
For the list of remaining titles we’re both watching and reviewing, check out the top menu or consult our Spring 2021 Season Guide. A Spring 2021 addition to the Big Board is coming soon. As always, thanks for reading!