Crunchyroll are pretty eager to show off what they have in store for anime fans come Spring 2024, so much so that they have decided to hold their first-+ever preview screening for not one, not two, but five different anime series. Each of a completely different genre and flavor from the other, just to show off just how varied the genres of anime can be. After attending that screening, I am in the position to give you all a spoiler-free teaser about each of those anime series, and how I’d rank each of them based on their first episodes alone. So, starting in order of viewing, we have:

1. A Condition Called Love (East Fish Studio) ~ Premiering April 4: 78/100

That pretty boy long hair doesn’t last for long. Savor it while you can.

I would say that A Condition Called Love is a pretty decent romantic comedy anime. The main pairing of Hotaru Hinase (voiced by Kana Hanazawa) and Saki Hananoi (voiced by Chiaki Kobayashi) turned out to be a cute and funny couple. Especially since it looks like this relationship is going to be a slow burner that’s effectively starting at zero. Indeed, it’s quite the treat for those looking for a cute romcom to relax with. Really, the only reason why this is the lowest on my list here is that it feels a bit…bland compared to everything else in the preview screening. Especially when the next anime in the screening is another romcom, but a much better one.

2. Astro Note (Telecom Animation Film) ~ Premiering April 5: 95/100

Even the poodle has surprises for us.

Honestly, I believe that Astro Note is the superior romcom anime. Not only are the young chef Takumi Miyasaki (voiced by Soma Saito) and landlady Mira Gotokuji (voiced by Maaya Uchida) much more fascinating and hilarious people, but their developing relationship with one another has a plot twist. A sci-fi plot twist that I can’t reveal without spoiling everything, but which I can reveal is heavily hinted at in the beginning of Ep. 1, and involves that poodle somehow. Speaking of which, the cast of side characters is not only numerous but highly distinct and amusing. Every single one of those side characters is its own unique flavor that you can tell them apart at a glance and remember off the top of your head. That cast, combined with the story, is what makes me rate this anime so highly.

3. Bartender: Glass of God (Liber) ~ Premiering April 3: 80/100

Good anime, but iffy etymology.

My opinion of Bartender: Glass of God is that it’s a very unique anime. Its basic premise is that it’s a slice of life, almost Iyashikei anime about a master bartender just making life better by doing his job to the utmost of his ability. It’s one of those anime series you watch to cool down and relax with after a long hard day of work. Really, my only issue with this episode is a pet peeve about the bartender essentially making up fake etymology for the word “bartender”, but that’s something I can overlook because it’s a minor pet peeve.

4. Kaiju No. 8 (Production I.G) ~ Premiering April 13: 96/100

The military science fantasy anime you didn’t know you needed.

Now this is an anime adaptation that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Which is just as well, because Kaiju No. 8 does not disappoint. Fans of the original Shonen Jump manga by Naoya Matsumoto will agree with me that this is a pretty well done anime adaptation. The animation is pretty top-notch, sometimes disturbingly so with the depiction of the kaiju corpses, and even the main character Kafka Hibino (voiced by Masaya Fukunishi) had his moments with both his offbeat personality and hilarious voice. The action sequences meanwhile feel like something out of a high-octane military shooter game, which is quite appropriate for the story. All in all, this is definitely the anime for Godzilla fans who want a more in-depth story from the perspective of the humans fighting the kaiju.

5. Black Butler -Public School Arc- (CloverWorks) ~ Premiering April 13: 100/100

I can already hear the Yana Toboso fans going nuts over this.

Last but not least, this preview screening would not be complete without Black Butler -Public School Arc-. Honestly, for me, this is the diamond among the gemstones. A very weird and sexy diamond, but a diamond nonetheless. And believe me, fans of this anime adaptation of Yana Toboso‘s manga have been waiting a long time for this. The last time there was any Black Butler anime period was back in 2017 with Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic. That’s a 7 year long wait just to see more of Ciel Phantomhive (voiced by Maaya Sakamoto) and his demonic butler Sebastian (voiced by Daisuke Ono), and this new season doesn’t disappoint.

The animation is high quality to the point of ridiculousness (the animation of milk pouring into tea was just gorgeous), and the story and characters have that odd blend of silly and dark that Yana Toboso is known for. All in all, Black Butler fans and new fans alike will eagerly devour this episode when it makes its eventual premiere. Which fortunately, won’t be too long a wait.