My thoughts on the Spring 2023 anime I watched

Ah, spring anime season.

To be honest, up until a couple years back, I’ve never really followed and watched seasonal anime as they broadcast. Mainly because I already have a to-watch list longer than my life expectancy. My exception to this would be, of course, for highly anticipated adaptations I’ve been looking forward to watching.

But whilst I was going over which two or so shows I’m choosing to watch from this season, I realized there were a significant amount of shoujo and/or romcoms coming out this spring. As an avid supporter of shoujo, and constantly hoping for the second shoujo anime renaissance to happen soon, I’m more than happy to check them out.

Now that we’ve had most of this season’s anime broadcasted, I want to share some quick thoughts on the shows I’ve seen so far.

Why Raeliana Ended Up in the Duke’s Mansion

Admittedly, this was not something that I was keeping an eye out for this season. I decided to watch it out of curiosity and I’m glad I did. It has a lot of what I love in reincarnation and/or transmigration romance stories: subversions, political intrigue and, of course, fake relationships. Like at this point, is it truly even a classic reincarnation romance if there’s no fake relationship happening?

The small detail that personally caught me off guard was the voice casting choice for the Duke. I haven’t read the manhwa this was adapted from yet but I imagine a specific voice whenever I encounter dark-haired male love interest archetypes and the Duke’s deep, charismatic, almost-hinting-something-sinister voice performance was nothing close to what I expected. In fact, I’m relieved it wasn’t how I thought he would sound at all. The more I watch this anime, the more I’m certain that Noah is a cunning man with a clear goal. What goal, you may ask? We do not know. At least anime-onlys like myself don’t. And I love how Raeliana is the kind of character with the mental fortitude to endure, or even take on, Noah and his mind games head-to-head. I’m looking forward to how things will pan out for her.

Look at this man and tell me he is not playing 3D chess at you. (Image from the official Twitter account @koshakutei)

Where I watch it: Bilibili

My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999

I’ve seen this series here and there in the TL but I didn’t know it was shoujo until they announced the anime. After watching the first three episodes, I will say it doesn’t give the impression that it’s going to be a slow burn but I am getting some “it will take awhile” vibe. So far though, I’m fully enjoying Akane recovering from her heartbreak and making new friends. She’s a very likable and relatable main female character that I enjoy watching on modern romcoms like this.

I’m not 100% sold on Yamada yet, though – surprising everyone who knows me, myself included, because I am always immediately 100% sold on a Tobio Kageyama variant. But it makes sense in the story so far as well; right now, he’s just your typical hot character who’s oblivious to their hotness and doesn’t know how to deal with the opposite gender. There’s not really much else happening on Yamada’s side of the story as of yet. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see how his character development progresses, so I’m just about 60% sold. The voice actor, Kouki Uchiyama, is definitely responsible for, like, the 50% of that. Mans really gave us ASMR boyfriend performance in this anime, shoutout to him. <3

Where I watch it: Bilibili

Skip and Loafer

Definitely my most anticipated anime this season. I already knew from the PV/trailer released a few months back that I was going to love the color palette they’re going for. And then, seeing the first episode for the first time and seeing everything from the screenplay, the animation, the soundtrack and the voice performances all come together perfectly? My heart was SINGING. They not only captured the manga creator Misaki Takamatsu’s style with the character design, but P.A. Works studio really understood the essence and charm of the series. That opening theme with the dance sequence? Everything that I could ever hope for in a spring anime.

LOOK AT MY CHILD. <3 (Image from the official Twitter account @skip_and_loafer)

Where I watch it:  Bilibili

A Galaxy Next Door

This was actually the first anime I watched this season… and I honestly had a “meh” impression on the first episode. Definitely why, though it’s been weeks since it’s airing, I’ve only watched the first episode so far. What’s even more shocking to me is how the manga was originally made by Gido Amagakure who also created Sweetness and Lightning, one of my favorite food-centric manga series of all time. And though they do have similar premises – guy suddenly becomes the sole guardian/caretaker of a young child/ren and awkwardly learns how to become a parent – they feel very separate in my head.

One of my main issues with A Galaxy Next Door was this idea that this dude just so happens to find this perfect girl who would do exactly what he’s looking for in an assistant (and also possibly a wife? idk). Beyond that, I couldn’t find anything interesting in the first episode that would motivate me to continue watching. Don’t let it stop you from watching though! And if you want to change my view, feel free to comment your thoughts. I’ve totally formed this opinion after only watching the first episode and I’m well aware it could just be my moody viewing attitude that’s making me not enjoy this show as I’d thought I would. 

Where I watched it: Ani-One

Oshi no Ko

Have you ever experienced a media being hyped so much months towards its release and you just can’t help but go with the flow of the hype as well? Oshi no Ko is exactly that anime for me this season. My problem with incredibly hyped media is often I end up feeling disappointed or underwhelmed with them when I finish. I’m happy to report that this anime exceeded my expectations in the best way possible.

All I knew going into the hour-long first episode/prologue is that the manga was written by Aka Akasaka (creator of Kaguya-sama: Love is War) whose stories I love because of the way they subvert and deconstruct the topic or genre they write about. Also, I knew it’s about the idol/entertainment industry, which is one of my favourite subgenres in anime/manga. Think Idolish7, Uramichi Onii-san, and Sunrise Snack Bar. So those two facts already informed me enough that this was going to be a wild ride. And yet, I didn’t think it was going to be this wild a ride. I was blown away by the story and the twists and turns throughout. Shoutout to whoever decided and greenlit for the first episode to be an hour-long (and correct me if I’m wrong, this also premiered in theatres in Japan?) It allowed us viewers to really fully experience the roller-coaster ride that this arc went through. I feel like if it was cut into two to three episodes released weekly, the story would have lost its momentum.

Where I watch it: Bilibili

Also on: Netflix

Yuri is My Job!

I’m not going to lie, the writing I feel is not the strongest aspect of this series from the start but I still had a BLAST with the first two episodes. The third one? Not so much. I have so much hope for the story and what will happen with Hime. The idea of this girl, who masks her way into being liked by everyone, suddenly gets thrown into an environment where giving out a great performance is an important skill, and yet she is fumbling over it? That premise is interesting! I am hooked. Is it because I can kind of, maybe, perhaps relate? Maybe, who knows. I don’t know.

My major qualm with this series is why Hime is fumbling over in the first place, which I partially (if not fully) blame the writing for. Suddenly gets forced to do a job by a random stranger you bumped into on the street? Sure, I can take that. It’s not the first story of its kind that I’ve read. But letting her work without making her fully understand what’s going on and what their concept is and what’s needed to do a good job? I honestly don’t know if Hime is supposed to be an unreliable narrator or if it’s just poor writing. And my problem with episode three was they really doubled down into making Hime completely unaware of everything that’s happening around her for no apparent reason, and somehow hoped that would create necessary intrigue or tension. Either way, I feel like things are going to be a hot mess and I’m held by the thread that is “What Will Hime Do Next?”   

Where I watch it: Bilibili 

Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts

LISTEN. When word of a jingai anime that is also shoujo romance set in a fantastical world reached my halls, my Hana and the Beastman loving ass was immediately like,

Alas, after watching the first episode, I don’t think there’s going to be any spice. It’s more piquant (which is a new word I learned whilst scrolling through the food side of tiktok lmao). And by that I mean, I spotted That One Angle in That One Scene in the first episode which wasn’t exactly R16+ but it was suggesting something. Like they added that shot as a way to feed me specifically my crumbs. All jokes aside, this is a series likely broadcasted in network TV in Japan and not in AnimeFesta. It was not going to have a lot of spice. But even though they did not have the spice that Hana and the Beastman had, it does look like there will be some socio-political commentary on what it’s like to be human and beasts in this world and how one sees the other. This is one of the themes I love in jingai stories. All in all, I think Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts will be more around the area of Ancient Magus’ Bride (the second season of which is also airing at the moment, but I haven’t finished the first season yet so I’m passing on it this season), so if you like that I feel like there’s something to enjoy in this one too.

Where I watch it: Bilibili

Other shows this season that are on my watchlist

(though I probably won’t get to them until very later on; probably even in the next season)

  1. Hell’s Paradise. I saw someone half-jokingly say this is a shoujo romance and that was enough for me to add it to my list lol.
  2. X and Y. Shoutout to Nora of All Fujoshi Unite for tweeting about this series! The premise looks interesting and the art looks SHARP.
  3. Ancient Magus’ Bride. Like mentioned above, I’m passing this on for now until I finish the first season.


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