With a nice mix of wholesome slice of life anime to thrilling conclusions to action-packed shows, anime in 2022 is off to a great start. Over on MyAnimeList, dedicated audiences around the world have already let their voices be known through their rankings of some of the best anime of the season.
This winter season of anime has been a hit with anime fans, which shoulder hopefully set the tone for the rest of the year. Between returning favorites and beloved new series, the winter anime started off strong. If the rest of the year will be just as good remains to be seen. However, it’s good to know that the anime from this season was pretty great.
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Season 2 — 7.03
The second season of the hit action-comedy isekai anime Arifureta is here, and it’s been a long time coming for fans of the series. For audiences not in the know, the story is about a student named Hajime who was transported to another world alongside the rest of his class. However, his class doesn’t like him at all, and they leave him alone to fend for himself in this new world.
It’s one of the many isekai shows that spawned from the still ongoing trend of isekais, but it seems to have a bit more lasting power than most. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but anime fans like their “junk food” anime, and most isekai fulfill that niche pretty well.
Sabikui Bisco — 7.38
When a strange and ominous wind sweeps its way across the dry wastes of a post-apocalyptic Japan, it leaves nothing but rust in its wake. Believed to be a monstrous type of mushroom spores, these fungi are feared. However, a young man named Bisco Akaboshi spreads these mushrooms through the land with special arrows.
While people see him as a destroyer, his goals are actually to enrich the land with mushrooms and make Japan habitable once more. Sabikui Bisco is a surprisingly weird show with a lot of unexpectedly macabre m0ments but keeps a strong shounen core to keep anime fans satisfied.
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Season 2 — 7.40
Speaking of successful isekai with a second season, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom got its second season surprisingly quickly, and that’s thanks to its relatively unorthodox premise. Instead of a hero gaining success through an overpowered set of abilities, it’s with something more exciting: innovative socio-economic policies.
Yes, this anime is about a pragmatic student who uses knowledge of modern socio-economic policies and military strategies to make his way in this fantasy world. Realist Hero is an intriguing take on the isekai genre and should interest people who find the administrative side of ruling more interesting than fighting for it. Of course, there’s still fighting, so that’s fine.
The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt — 7.40
Much like Realist Hero, The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt is focused on political intrigue more than a singular hero defeating massive monsters or armies. Unlike Realist Herothis one is a more straightforward fantasy and focuses on the budget management of a smaller kingdom.
Also, for those familiar with the likes of Overlord gold Tanya The Evil, the hero of this story, Prince Wein, is more interested in keeping his head out of major affairs and living a peaceful life. Unfortunately, fate smiles on his fruitless attempts at peace, and only him gives more impossible tasks to be a “hero”, much to his dismay.
Sasaki To Miyano — 8.04
Sasaki to Miyano is a wonderful LGBTQ story that manages to be popular thanks to its wholesome premise. Sasaki to Miyano is about a boy named Yoshikaku Miyano, a normal high school student whose life changes forever when another boy named Shuumei Sasaki saves him from a group of bullies.
Soon, Miyano’s secret love of Boys Love manga is revealed to Sasaki, but instead of the scorn Miyano expected, Sasaki also shows interest in the books. More importantly, he seems to be showing some interest in Miyano himself. Sasaki to Miyano is a wonderful coming-of-age romance with a cute dynamic. Honestly, it’s just nice to have a BL anime that doesn’t fetishize characters.
Teasing Master Takagi-San Season 3 — 8.46
The third season of these two adorable kids continues as Takagi teases Nishikata for a 3rd season. If you haven’t been following the series before, there’s no better time to start than now. After all, it’s not like it’s a political thriller or anything. Teasing Master Takagi-san is an amusingly charming and timeless romance.
Takagi and Nishikata’s dynamic is a great example of how a simple premise can last so long when the characters are built up very well. Not to mention, the hijinks that Takagi gets up to for messing with Nishikata’s super-duper smart plans are always good for a chuckle.
The Case Study of Vanitas Season 2 — 8.21
The Case Study of Vanitas brings vampire anime back into fashion with the second season of that continues the story of Vanitas and Noé in a fantasy version of France. In this season, they are on the hunt for a mystical and enormous wolf creature by the name of “The Beast”, who has slaughtered hundreds of innocent people in its bloodlust.
The Case Study of Vanitas is a fun supernatural anime for weebs and francophiles alike. Fun fact, France is actually one of the most avid consumers of manga and anime in the world outside of Japan. Not to mention, Japan has always had a fascination with the romantic periods of France, so this anime feels like a perfect blend of cultural identities, which makes perfect since the author of the manga the anime is based on, Jun Mochizuki, created the story after a trip to France.
My Dress-Up Darling — 8.36
My Dress-Up Darling is the premiere slice of life rom-com of the season. The series is the most popular anime of Winter 2022 that isn’t a sequel to a primarily action-based fantasy series. Wakana Gojou is an average (but weirdly tall) high schooler with a secret passion: he loves Hina dolls. Gojou comes from a long line of Hina doll craftsmen, and he shares that same family passion.
One day, Marin Kitagawa, a pretty and popular girl in his class, stumbles upon him making a dress for one of his dolls. Instead of being shamed like in his childhood, however, Marin reacts with glee and excitedly asks Gojou if he could help her with a cosplay she was working on. So begins the wacky but heartwarming journey between these two passionate people who find common ground in cosplay.
Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc — 8.90
Perhaps tea most hyped arc of the Demon Slayer saga yet, this arc takes place right after the devastating Mugen Train incident. In this arc, the heroes work with the Sound Pillar, Tengen Uzui, who enlists the help of Tanjiro Kamado, Inosuke Habishara, and Zenitsu Agatsuma to find his three wives who have gone missing after an investigation gone wrong in the Entertainment District of Yoshiwara.
Ufotable pulls out all the stops in this season, with some of the most impressively animated fights in the series yet. That’s saying a lot considering how increasingly hype each subsequent season of Demon Slayer gets. If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching Demon Slayer yet, there’s no better time to hop on that hype train than now.
Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2 — 9.08
The final season of tea biggest anime phenomenon of the 2010s, Attack on Titan’s final season is ramping up to answer all of the fans’ questions and give some of the most devastating arcs of the series thus far. While reactions to the ending itself are “polarizing” to say the least, the lead-up so far has kept audiences glued to screens.
For those who don’t mind spoilers, Attack on Titan has long gone past its initial premise of simple survival against a mysterious threat. Now, it has become an action-packed thriller between two major factions that could dictate the fate of the world itself. If you’ve seen any of the memes of this, they are honestly far from exaggerated. Still, these have been some of Attack on Titan‘s best episodes in the series so far.
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