The Winter 2023 anime season could struggle to live up to the anticipation with all the big shows returning or making their debuts in the Fall 2022 season, including My Hero Academia Season 6 and Chainsaw Man. After Blue Lock, viewers will be searching for another fantastic sports anime, or anything equally as outrageous as Mob Psycho 100 Season 3. Can they be delighted by the future shows?
The Winter 2023 season is as jam-packed as they come, however it might not be as entertaining as the previous one. Not only will viewers have the pleasure to reconnect with characters from long-beloved series, such as Tokyo Revengers or Bungo Stray Dogs, but they are sure to fall for new ones, as the season is full of intriguing new titles. Tomo-chan Is a Girl!, for instance, already has 43k members on MyAnimeList even before airing. Whatever their tastes, audiences are bound to find something they’ll love.
Vinland Saga, Tokyo Revengers, and Bungo Stray Dogs are among the returning titles.
The most anticipated anime of the Winter 2023 season, at least according to MyAnimeList, is Vinland Saga Season 2. With a widely popular first season, the action show will reprise Thorfinn’s journey as he is bought as a slave by a landowner. Another storyline will follow Canute, who is now King of England and trying to create 'the promised land.' The show, inspired by Viking and Norse history, is sure to appease old fans and new with an action-packed new season. The show will be available on Netflix and Crunchyroll and will begin streaming on January 10.
Another couple of returning titles hold second and third place on the list. The Misfit of Demon King Academy, which followed the attempts of Demon King Anos to be recognized in his role, is coming back for a second season after two years. The official website’s synopsis teases a new impending battle for Anos. However, for those who prefer school and romance to fantasy, Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro is also returning with a second season, promising new sweet tortures for Naoto. The anime will be streamed by Crunchyroll starting January 8.
The heavily anticipated new season of Tokyo Revengers will finally premiere in January under the title Tokyo Revengers: Christmas Showdown. The Tokyo Manji Gang is back, as is Takemichi’s struggle to change the past in order to save his middle school girlfriend Hinata. The preview shows the Tokyo Manji Gang ready to fight against their new enemy, the Black Dragon. The rights to the anime have gone to Disney+, which will stream it in Asia at some point in January.
Moreover, the literary-themed action-packed seinen Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 will debut on Crunchyroll starting January 4. Fans of the series will be excited to see their favorite detectives return -- and this time, they are faced with the Hunting Dogs, a military unit highly suspicious of their methods.
With titles like Tomo-chan Is a Girl, romance and isekai rule! both BOFURI
Perhaps surprisingly, romance titles dominate the first half of the list; in addition to Miss Nagatoro, a few new and returning anime all sport the 'romance' tag. Among the new additions, Tomo-chan Is a Girl!, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten and Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible currently hold high MAL positions. While the second and third titles follow the cliché of the precious girl helping a hopeless boy out of their misery or chaos, Tomo-chan Is a Girl! seems to promise something new as tomboy Tomo tries to conquer her childhood friend’s heart, apparently to no avail. The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague also holds some potential, especially with its quirky super-powered protagonist and office setting.
As usual, isekai/fantasy anime are plentiful and their titles are as lengthy as ever. Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out my Defense, whose protagonist Maple adventures into the online game New World Online, is coming back for a highly anticipated second season. Among other new isekai titles, Reborn to Master the Blade: From Hero-King to Extraordinary Squire and Farming Life in Another World are the most popular ones, demonstrating the audience’s undying love for life in another world.
Buddies for Daddies, Hikari no Ou, and Revenger are promising new ideas.
Not at the top of the list but certainly deserving of some attention, a few new titles stand out for their originality, visual quality or charm. Following in the steps of Spy x Family, Buddy Daddies uses the old concept of a made-up family to tell a new story of assassins Kazuki and Rei raising a little girl together. If not for ingenuity, the anime stands out for its character design and animation. Similarly, Revenger, the story of a samurai bent on finding out the truth about the murders of the Satsuma clan, draws on the trope of the revenger but mixes it with mystery and adds beautiful character designs. The most interesting premise, however, comes from fantasy anime Hikari no Ou, which is set after humanity’s last war and blends dystopia and mystery to follow the story of young girl Touko and the 'King of the Fire Hunters.'
As for ONAs, Netflix’s The Way of the Househusband is returning for a second season. More remarkably, Junji Ito's work is being adapted once again, with 20 new stories merging into Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre, which is set to debut on January 19.
The Winter 2023 Anime Season Will Be Exciting
With such variety, as well as returning hits such as Tokyo Revengers and Vinland Saga, the Winter 2023 anime season is sure to satisfy audiences with its packed schedule. Whether the most anticipated anime will live up to expectations is hard to predict, but exciting original titles will surely gather new fans and redirect audiences’ interests to new stories. Although mainstream titles with an established following are dominating new anime seasons, it is comforting to see that the industry never fails to bet on new concepts, often leading to surprising success stories and new possibilities for the medium.