2023 has had some impressive anime drops throughout the year. There were returning series that have huge followings, new shows that have the potential to blow up and classic adaptions of stories that fans have been waiting to see animated.
Here are the best anime shows of 2023 to catch up on:
1. 'Jujutsu Kaisen'
One of the most anticipated returning series of the year, Jujutsu Kaisen, has lived up to the hype. Season two of the supernatural action anime adapts one of the series’ best story arcs with an incredible animation style that has successfully enhanced its source material.
Jujutsu Kaisen is set in Japan, where curses are beings who are created through humanity’s negative emotions. Jujutsu sorcerers are unique individuals who can see these curses and use Jujutsu, their extraordinary power, to exorcise them. It’s an action-heavy, more mature series than its counterparts. Catch up on season two quickly, as it’s currently ramping up to some of the best moments in the entire series.
Jujutsu Kaisen is streaming on Crunchyroll.
2. 'Attack on Titan'
Attack on Titan has ended after 10 years, so if you have not checked out the series that has had a chokehold on anime fans for a decade, now is the perfect time. The series about giant titans and humanity’s fight against them is a thrilling, complicated masterpiece, and fans are still dissecting and discussing the twists.
Attack on Titan‘s main character, Eren Yeager, is iconic, and his journey as well as fans’ complicated relationship with the character are a credit to the series’ storytelling. The good news is that it’s complete; the final part has aired, so those lucky enough who haven’t experienced it yet can binge the entire series.
Attack on Titan is available to stream on Hulu and Crunchyroll.
3. 'Demon Slayer'
Demon Slayer is one of the most successful series of the past few years, with its bestselling Manga and hugely popular anime. Season three follows up one of the most talked about and hyped-up seasons of anime recently, making the bar for the series extremely high. Demon Slayer is still one of the best new-generation shonen, and it’s the perfect time to catch up.
The story takes place in early 1900s Japan and follows Tanjiro, a kind-hearted boy whose life is turned upside down when a demon destroys his life, resulting in his younger sister being turned into a demon herself. Tanjiro then joins the Demon Slayer Corps. The series animation is incredible, featuring some jaw-dropping moments combined with sentimentality and character development, making it one of the best of the year.
Demon Slayer is available to stream on Crunchyroll and Netflix.
4. 'Vinland Saga'
Vinland Saga is a historical adventure anime set in the age of the Danish conquering of England in 1013 A.D. It is a dramatization of historical accounts that uses actual historical figures and events to tell its narrative. It follows Thorfinn, a bloodthirsty teenager set on getting revenge after his father Thors is killed, and it depicts his journey and reflections on war and the violence he has taken part in.
Vinland Saga is a mature story with big ideas. The first season saw a young Thorfinn consumed by hatred and indoctrinated by a culture of war and violence. It was action-packed and had great animation. Season two is where the story really comes into its own, and the anti-violence themes are cemented as Thorfinn is almost unrecognizable from his younger self.
Vinland Saga is available to stream on Netflix.
Netflix continues to add to its already impressive library of anime, and Pluto is one of its best releases of the year, live-action or animated. Pluto was created by Naoki Urasawa and is based on the legendary retro anime series Astro Boy, created by Osamu Tezuka. The new series is a reinterpretation of the source material into something new and thrilling but also faithful to the spirit of the original.
Pluto follows robot detective Gesicht as he investigates a case involving several mysterious human and robot deaths. Evidence that points to a robot being the murderer makes the case even more mysterious because it would be the first time a robot has killed a human in eight years. It’s a mystery box approach that allows for some dense storytelling.
Pluto is available to stream on Netflix.
6. 'Summer Time Rendering'
Summer Time Rendering is a very good and extremely binge-able anime with a great mystery plot. The series follows Shinpei as he returns to his hometown to attend the burial of a close childhood friend. When Shinpei first hears that his boyhood friend Ushio drowned, he begins to think that there may have been more to Ushio’s tragedy than meets the eye.
Its setup is a standard mystery box, who-dun-it type story, but there is much more to this series. Its mix of suspense and use of cliffhangers make watching several episodes at once very easy. It’s a different type of series than most titles on this list, with the DNA of different genres laced throughout.
Summer Time Rendering is available to stream on Crunchyroll.
7. 'Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury'
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mecury is the first mainline Gundam series in seven years and features the series’ first female and LGBTQ protagonist. It introduces Gundam to a new generation, offering something new while also paying homage to its numerous other series, and it establishes itself as a force to be reckoned with.
The Witch From Mercury follows a gifted young pilot named Suletta Mercury and through her journey the series explores some big themes. The story touches upon the cycle of oppression and structures of power and how to ultimately prevail over them. The series has everything, from romance to comedy, providing something for everyone who watches to enjoy.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury is available to stream on Crunchyroll.
8. 'One Piece'
One Piece is one of the most popular anime of all time, and it is a daunting task to catch up on a series with so many episodes, but it has been on another level this past year with its recent anime arc that has broken the internet several times, making it a must-watch spectacle. The Wano arc that has captivated anime fans has boasted the best visuals in the show’s long history, and it features some of the most monumental moments in anime history.
Luffy and his crew of pirates have been galavanting the seas for over 20 years, going from island to island and helping oppressed peoples while also trying to achieve their own goals. The wider story and lore of the world are vast, and the recent arc dives deep into mysteries and lore that the anime and manga have hinted at for years. Now is the perfect time to attempt to catch up because it will only get wilder as the story reaches its long-awaited climax.
One Piece is available to stream on Crunchyroll and Netflix.