Otaku USA Magazine
Big News or April Fools? Three Ways to Tell What’s Real

Trust nothing on April Fools' Day

Some April Fools’ Day pranks are pretty bad. If it seems real and could have consequences, it’s gonna be un-fun for at least one person. But there are lots of great stunts out there that we’re always here for. Cartoonists swapping comic strips for a day, for instance. Or what the anime industry gets up to.

The thing is… anime and games are always weird. What seems like a deliberate gag could very well be something actually happening. (Just look at the titles of most light novels out there.) And sometimes, a studio inadvertently hits on what’s meant to be a joke, but is actually something fans would really love. So, how can you find the real news amidst the jokes today? We’re here to help.


New Genre Spinoffs

Sarazanmai? Sushizanmai!

Favorite mystery series becoming a dating sim? Favorite horror series becoming a magical girl show? Or maybe a surreal kappa show is now all about sushi? As a rule, if there’s beautiful key art about a genre change, it’s April Fools’ time. Though don’t be too quick to discard the gag entirely.

While we may not get exactly what’s promised, smart creators don’t let good art go to waste. Expect to see that joke art repurposed for a café or a limited line of merchandise. No point in going to the trouble and then just discarding it.


Fate does what it wants.

The Nasuverse is always up to something

The expanded worlds of the Nasuverse — especially Fate/Grand Order — love a good April Fools’ gag. Look forward to something fun from them, whether it’s chibi cards or a heartbreaking mobile game.

That said, Fate tends not to wait to get silly. Anything goes in this franchise. So if you see a prank this weekend, it may not go gentle into that good night. In fact, it’s more likely you’ll see some version of it resurface for the TYPE-MOON New Year’s Eve blowout.


Actually, trust nothing. Or trust everything.

Yoko Taro having a normal one

The sad, beautiful truth of anime and game news on April Fools’ Day is… we just don’t know. Yeah, even people in the industry. Like, sure? Why not a Jet Jaguar movie? Why not a JRPG-style Yakuza game?… oh, wait, that one really happened. See?! This is what I’m talking about.

The point is, there’s just no way to know. Some of the most nonsensical April 1 news drops have come to pass, and some of the most legit-sounding ended up being pranks. Your best bet is, frankly, to believe everything and nothing at the same time. Then check in tomorrow and see what shakes out. Because sometimes, the biggest prank of all is sliding a legit announcement into the chaos.

Still feeling wacky? Check out our Pop Team Epic season 2 cast wishlist.

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.