The first anime I ever wrote about weekly was the first season of Natsume Yuujinchou in the summer of 2008, which says both how long this anime has been around for and how long I've been around for. I honestly thought we had seen the last iteration of the Natsume franchise after its fourth season in 2012, but here we are with a 5th season. If you do plan to catch up, that's a lot of episodes to watch. Thankfully the show is really good, with the fourth season sitting at a healthy 8.74 on MAL.
One of the most pleasing things about Natsume Yuujinchou over the years is that it's a shoujo manga adaptation that's not about a high school romance. I know, shocking! Instead it's about a boy chasing down lonely spirits whom his grandmother bullied while an irritable fat cat follows him around. It's such a relaxing, heart-warming viewing experience that while there may be 4 seasons worth of material to go through before this new season, you will likely breeze through it all in no time.
The first season of Sound Euphonium was considered something of a return to form for Kyoto Animation. After a couple of seasons of forgettable light novel adaptations and a dip into the manservice arena with Free, they hit their stride with the high school music club drama of Euphonium. That description makes it sound slightly like K-ON but it was much more focused on human drama and interaction than goofy comedy. Also it had lesbians, which pleased a lot of people. Where the second season goes is still up in the air as the first season's adaptation took plenty of liberties with the source material, but I'm sure the many fans of Kyoto Animation will be more than happy to see them take the story in the direction they think is best for the franchise.
I love Haikyuu!. OK perhaps love is too strong a feeling which I should reserve for my seemingly undying devotion for the Code Geass franchise (despite its numerous flaws), but Haikyuu has consistently entertained me over its last two seasons. Part of it has to do with it being another shounen high school sports anime that focuses on a more unusual sport, in this case volleyball. Another huge part of my enjoyment comes from what a phenomenal job Production IG does with the presentation. The animation is the best I've seen from any sports anime, or indeed any long-running shounen anime, even Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. The level of detail gone into seemingly simple minor things like serving animation or the squeak of rubber soled shoes on a gym floor is astounding.
This anime is also the perfect show to binge-watch as the minor pacing flaws melt away under the haze of an anime marathon weekend. This season will be the most shounen sports anime of them all as the entire season is going to be basically one match. If you haven't watched Haikyuu before that might sound boring, but after you've gone through the past 2 seasons you will probably have the same feelings as me in that you can't bloody wait!
Bungou Stray Dogs was an anime that scratched an itch for a bunch of different sorts of anime fans. If you were one of those people who loved Japanese literature and their famous authors, this had a bunch of characters all named after famous authors and made jokes based off their personalities in real life. Hence we had people like Edogawa Ranpo or Osamu Dazai amongst the cast of characters. If those names mean nothing to you, there's always the part where it is packed to the brim with beautiful bishies, which appears to have been the main selling point for an awful lot of people.
There were also people for whom the style of comedy spoke to their tastes, particularly if you are a fan of Ouran High School Club or Soul Eater, both of which this director also worked on. It ultimately received a pretty mixed reception for some muddled tonal issues, but if any of those earlier points sounded appealing to you, it's certainly worth at least checking out before the new season begins.
Ajin by many accounts is a fantastic anime. It's based off a well-regarded manga about the horror of having the entire world want you dead. It deals with some pretty heavy themes about the nature of humanity and mortality. It's a great thriller-horror story that would appeal to the types of people who really like Parasyte or Tokyo Ghoul. It's got a great soundtrack and an unfinished story that people are eager to keep up with for the second season.
There's just one rather large problem: It's CG animated. Not even particularly good CG animation. The kind of jerky, low framerate, plastic-face CG animation that has put so many people off this type of animation over the years. For an increasingly large number of anime fans though this is not considered a turn off. For those people by all means go watch that first season of Ajin now! It's a fantastic story that you will probably enjoy immensely. For other people though...well, maybe consider reading the manga.
The good news if you haven't seen the first season of Iron-Blooded Orphans is that you won't have to catch up on almost 40 years of Gundam first. You'll just need to watch the first season as it's another one of those new universe Gundams made completely approachable to newcomers. Which is great as Iron-Blooded Orphans was one of the best TV series Gundams and best mecha series to come out in a long time. Its story of war-torn orphans struggling without parental figures and falling to toxic ideas of honour and masculinity was thrilling and harrowing in equal measures.
It wasn't without its issues which inevitably occurs with something this ambitious; I'm not sure it's possible to erect more obvious death flags than Iron-Blooded Orphans did, and there was this whole questionable segment with a harem ship. But following this crew on their journey from Mars to Earth as they were chased by some of the most powerful military organisations was an exciting trip to say the least. If you like mecha anime you really owe it to yourself to check out the first season. And if you don't, I might still recommend watching the first season as after a few episodes you may find yourself a convert.