This Thursday I was so hyped to be invited to for an in-person press-only screening to preview Crunchyroll‘s Spring 2024 lineup of new anime titles coming this April. During the screening I, along with others, was shown the first episodes of four anticipated Spring releases, including the thrilling return of the fan-favorite dark, supernatural series Black Butler: Public School Arc, the heartfelt coming-of-age romance A Condition Called Love; the original, new out-of-this-world rom-com Astro Note; and the action-packed sci-fi thrill ride Kaiju No. 8. I thought it would be fun to share my spoiler-y free first impressions and a few words for our readership on what to watch based on what folks are fans of. Enjoy!

The screeners we were so hyped to watch! Thanks CR!

A Condition Called Love

Studio: East Fish Studio

Premiere Date: April 4, 2024, on Crunchyroll

Premise: Hotaru navigates the uncharted waters of love alongside a boy whose devotion knows no bounds. High school freshman Hotaru Hinase has a vibrant life full of family and friendship, but not much luck in romance. That all changes when she makes a warm gesture to her handsome and heartbroken classmate, Hananoi, leading to him asking her out and her becoming flustered. Witness a girl who grapples with the enigma of love and a boy who is heavy-handed with it

First Impressions: SHOJO NATION, WE KEEP WINNING! As a fan of the original manga, hearing the news that an anime adaptation of A Condition Called Love was coming made me so happy. I was really impressed by the handling of a love story between teenagers that flowed into a narrative that touched down on first loves, past traumas and learning to have faith in yourself. This first episode does a wonderful job of introducing who Hotaru and Hananoi but also giving us a glimpse of just who they are: Hotaru is a kind but unsure girl about romance and the need for it. Hananoi is a teen boy who goes all out for romance but needs direction…purpose…or something along those lines. I appreciate this first episode for the small but mighty lesson lovestruck Hananoi learns at the end and also the sweet declaration made. 

Recommended for lovers of: Heartfelt coming-of-age romance, school life, and a love story that operates a bit differently 

My Shojo Bias is showing cause I was asked: what are you most anticipating and then what was your fave?

Astro Note

Studio: Telecom Animation Film

Premiere Date: April 5, 2024, on Crunchyroll

Premise: Takumi, a gifted chef, just landed a new job. He works at the Astro Manor apartment building that offers breakfast, and there he encounters the beautiful landlady, Mira. It’s love at first sight, and he hopes to charm her, but the quirky tenants and bizarre phenomena don’t make it easy. Will their love survive these strange oddities and circumstances?

First Impressions: Okay, mark your anime spring season bingo card, because this just might be the sleeper hit from Crunchyroll airing this month! Astro Note starts off with a very ordinary premise–Takumi arrives for a new job interview as a chef. He’s young, ambitious, and knows his stuff and is sure that they can do the job. He’s introduced to Mira, the beautiful but clueless landlady with big shoes to fill–who can not cook anything edible to save her life. Along the way the audience is introduced to the supporting cast of the series who live in the apartment building, and it is a magic that cannot be replicated. If you’ve also gained a great love of boarding houses/apartment stories–think Runiko Takahashi’s Maison Ikkoku, you’re in good company. If there was anything on this preview, to go in “blind” and watch with little or no looking up in detail–Astro Note is it! Bonus fun fact: This is an original anime production; it is not based on an existing manga series!

Recommended for lovers of: Big romantic comedy vibes, a supernatural twist, and a colorful cast of characters

Kaiju No. 8

Studio: Production I.G

Premiere Date: April 13, 2024, on Crunchyroll

Premise: In a world plagued by creatures known as Kaiju, Kafka Hibino aspired to enlist in The Defense Force. He makes a promise to enlist with his childhood friend, Mina Ashiro. Soon, life takes them in separate ways. While employed cleaning up after Kaiju battles, Kafka meets Reno Ichikawa. Reno’s determination to join The Defense Force reawakens Kafka’s promise to join Mina and protect humanity.

First Impressions:  I’ve been interested in watching Kaiju No. 8 since first seeing the trailer which led me to go back and reread the beginning of the manga series. Boasting a story about a character getting the chance to revive a dream they previously thought dead, the first episode gave equal playing field to serious and funny moments. I really resonated with the main protagonist Kafka’s desire to be more and do more in a world forever changed–his underdog persona will definitely hit with many other viewers as well. This first episode of Kaiju No. 8 does a fine job in the simple but solid world building of this anime’s version of Japan and the Kaiju monster that attacks it constantly. I think that audiences will start to see the string of the anime series’ narrative of the value of labor, not dismissing those who support us and fully going after what your heart’s desire is. If I could end with a joke that doesn’t feel spoiler-y, if you already watched the trailer: “Eren (Yeager), walked so that Kafka (Hibino) could run”.

NOTE: Kaiju No. 8 fans can rest assured knowing that, for the first time, Crunchyroll will be streaming the series live around the world at the same time alongside the Japanese broadcast on April 13. It will also only be available on Crunchyroll after the live broadcast, but not only that, the anime will be available dubbed on the same day and date too!

Recommended for lovers of: Action-packed dramas, Kaiju and all manner of monsters of course, and lots of great comedic timely moments for laughs

Black Butler: Public School Arc

Studio: CloverWorks

Premiere Date: April 13, 2024, on Crunchyroll

Premise: Amidst Britain’s elite, Weston College defies government oversight. So, when students vanish—including the son of Queen Victoria’s cousin—Her Majesty sends her Watchdog Ciel Phantomhive to investigate. With his loyal demon butler, Sebastian, Ciel must navigate treacherous school politics and infiltrate Weston’s model prefects, the P4, if he is to unravel the mysteries that shroud this institution.

First Impressions: Look, it has been a really, really long time since I last interacted with the Black Butler franchise, period. I do remember reading and watching the misadventures set in a Victorian London, where a 12-year-old orphan named Ciel Phantomhive was doing the most with his, *checks notes* demon butler named Sebastian. I did feel a bit out of my depth sitting for the first episode, and I cannot tell you what I last remember watching of the series. Yet, this first episode of Black Butler: Public School Arc opens to Ciel at a boarding school and the audience is not dropped into a well of exposition, thankfully. Instead, the energy in this first episode flows well with playing up several anime and manga tropes (Ciel running with breakfast in his mouth to rush to class, the auras of intimidating yet colorful classmates on campus, etc) while still being gorgeously animated. Little by little, we learn what Ciel is doing at this boarding school–another undercover mission for the Queen and are reminded of his demon subordinate Sebastian’s powers. By the end of the first episode, I wanted more and felt right back at home with the series, hoping this will be the same experience for others watching too!


  • Just in time for the upcoming season, Crunchyroll is bringing new additions from the Black Butler series catalog to its platform on April 12:
  • The catalog launch includes Black Butler Season 1 launching at 2 PM PT, Black Butler II at 2:30 PM PT, and Black Butler Book of Circus at 3 PM PT. 
  • The film Black Butler Book of the Atlantic is currently available to stream on Crunchyroll
  • The catalog launch of Black Butler will stream with English, Portuguese, and Latin American Subtitles as well as Portuguese and Latin American dubs. 
  • Black Butler Season 1, Black Butler II and Black Butler Book Of Circus will be available to stream in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. 

Recommended for lovers of: Dark fantasy, supernatural school life, and something more canonical to the manga?

See all of these series and more via Crunchyroll this April, see more premieres coming to CR this month here!

Thanks again to CR for the invite to the event: your West Coast (Los Angeles) folks are killing it!

Love anime? So do we! See what else we have to offer on the site via anime here!

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  • Carrie McClain is writer, editor and media scholar. Other times she's known as a Starfleet Communications Officer, Comics Auntie, and Golden Saucer Frequenter. Nowadays you can usually find her avoiding Truck-kun and forgetting her magical girl transformation device. She/Her

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