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Read the Manga That Inspired These Spring 2018 Anime Shows

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Vernieda Vergara

Staff Writer

Vernieda Vergara is a freelance writer who loves anime, manga, and all things creepy. Her work has appeared on Den of Geek, Women Write About Comics, The Comics MNT, and other venues scattered across the internet. She lives in the Washington DC suburbs where she takes care of far too many plants and drinks even more tea. Twitter: incitata

Can you believe the winter anime season is already over? I could have sworn it just started yesterday. Hopefully, you did a better job than me keeping up with the shows you were following. I’m still not sure when (or if) I’ll finish them, because the spring 2018 anime season is here and a lot of big series are returning like My Hero Academia, Food Wars, and Tokyo Ghoul: re.

But in addition to these well-known series are some new debuts. And like many anime series, they’re based on manga. The spring 2018 anime season features many interesting stories, so there should be something for everyone.

The Birth of Kitaro cover by Shigeru MizukiThe Birth of Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki

First published in the 1960s, the original series is responsible for popularizing many of the Japanese folklore creatures, ghosts, and monsters we see in anime and manga today. The English versions of Kitaro package these supernatural stories in a child-friendly format and collect selected chapters from this highly influential series.

Devils Line cover by Ryo HanadaDevils’ Line by Ryo Hanada

At first glance, this series sounds like your classic forbidden vampire love story between a human woman and a half-vampire man. It certainly gives that impression in the first volume. But as the manga unfolds, the relationship between Tsukasa and Anzai becomes a vehicle to explore human rights, secret government research projects, political intrigue, and police conspiracies! The mix doesn’t sound like it should work but depending on your fictional preferences, it really does.

Golden Kamuy cover by Satoru NodaGolden Kamuy by Satoru Noda

Set at the turn of the 20th century, Golden Kamuy is about Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the Russo-Japanese War. To keep a promise to a dead friend, he’s searching for gold in the harsh Hokkaido wilderness. His quest leads him to cross paths with an Ainu girl named Asirpa and the tale of a hidden cache of gold, the map to which is tattooed across the backs of several criminals. In addition to the obvious historical and adventure elements, you’ll also learn a lot about Ainu culture, which is a bonus in my books since the Ainu are overlooked and underrepresented in manga.

Hinamatsuri by Masao Ohtake

This is a bit of cheat because the manga doesn’t come out until September, but since the anime is airing now, I included it here. If you were hoping for a ridiculous, way out there premise, this one should deliver. It’s about an ambitious yazuka member who ends up rooming with a mysterious girl who inexplicably appears in his apartment. The kicker? The girl is a powerful telekinetic. Talk about an odd couple.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes by Yoshiki TanakaLegend of the Galactic Heroes by Yoshiki Tanaka

Confession time: Legend of the Galactic Heroes isn’t actually a manga. It’s a series of science fiction novels by the author who also wrote The Heroic Legend of Arslan novels, which have also been adapted in an anime and manga (illustrated by Fullmetal Alchemist mangaka Hiromu Arakawa). Legend of the Galactic Heroes takes place in the far future and tracks the rivalry between two men who belong to opposing sides in an endless intergalactic war.

Love to Lie Angle cover by merryhachiLove to Lie Angle by Merryhachi

In the spring 2018 anime season’s yuri series, Natsuno has just moved back to her hometown for high school. She soon finds herself stuck between her childhood friend and a beautiful girl. If you’ve been jonesing for a love triangle romance, here you go.

Magical Girl Site cover by Kentaro SatoMagical Girl Site by Kentaro Sato

This series is for the Madoka Magica fans out there. Middle school student Aya is bullied by her classmates and abused by her older brother. But while browsing the internet one day, she gains magical powers from a mysterious website. Using her newfound powers, Aya deals with her bullying classmates, but at a terrible price. Horrified, Aya finds more magical girls who gained their powers from other mysterious websites and together, they work to uncover the secret of their powers and the owners of the websites.

Real Girl cover by Mao NanamiReal Girl by Mao Nanami

High school senior Hikari is perfectly happy with his anime- and video game–filled life. That changes when he meets the beautiful and confident Iroha, who pursues him and they end up in a relationship together. This is the awkward story of an innocent boy experiencing real life romance for the very first time. And even better? The entire series has been released in English, so you can binge if you find yourself hooked.

Wotakoi - Love is Hard for Otaku cover by FujitaWotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita

The premise of this series sounds like the geek love rom-com of your dreams. The heroine is a female office worker who loves manga, idols, and boys love. The hero is a company man who is a serious gamer in his free time. She hides her hobby. He doesn’t care who knows. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right? Right.

Are you watching any shows from the spring 2018 anime season? Have you read any of the manga they’re based on? Let us know in the comments.