As we are now past the midway point of 2023, there have been some incredible new anime releases this year. Thus, we’re here to offer our personal recommendations, hoping that you’ll enjoy them as much as we did. This list will solely feature new anime that have been released, which means sequel seasons will not be included (sorry Thorfinn).
Nier: Automata Ver1.1a
Now, adapting NieR: Automata‘s complex storyline presents a challenge, given the game’s nature of having multiple endings. With a passionate fanbase, the anime has a lot to live up to. Fortunately, A-1 Pictures has successfully created an adaptation that features both impressive animation and a coherent narrative. The anime effectively captures the game’s aesthetics and ambiance, beautifully conveying the essence of NieR: Automata from its world design to its soundtrack.
Oshi no Ko
Oshi no Ko began airing on Netflix last April, captivating the entire anime community with its feature-length debut episode that was both heartwarming and also emotionally gut-wrenching. Oshi no Ko is yet another masterpiece from Aka Akasaka, who is also the creator for Kaguya-sama: Love is War. The series is a profound exploration of the dark aspects not only within idol culture but also the entertainment industry as a whole.
It effectively portrays various aspects of the entertainment world, ranging from the unsettling obsession of fans who are unaware of the boundaries in parasocial relationships, to the immense burden of expectations that artists bear while pursuing their craft, and the executives who exploit and manipulate their talents without mercy. Oshi no Ko is a series that will undoubtedly be discussed for years to come.
Following the sleeper hit Akiba: Maid Wars that released last year, P.A Works has released another exciting action packed series this year in Buddy Daddies. The anime follows two assassins, Kazuki Kurusu and Rei Suwa, who, after a mission goes wrong, find themselves responsible for taking care of an adorable and joyful girl named Miri. Initially, their first instinct is to return Miri to her mother. However, as a series of events unfolds, Miri’s playful spirit begins to influence Kazuki and Rei, leading them to develop an unexpected attachment to her.
While the plot comparisons to Spy X Family are unavoidable due to both series following (kind of) couples suddenly thrust into the responsibilities of parenthood, Buddy Daddies manages to possess a flavor of its own that sets it apart from its counterpart. It’s definitely worth watching if you’re seeking something heartwarming and thrilling.
CGI animation in anime is typically met with disapproval within the anime community, with only a handful of studios capable of executing it flawlessly. Notably, Orange, the studio behind Beastars and Land of the Lustrous, has achieved this level of perfection. However, in most cases, CGI animation tends to appear noticeably clunky and distracting. A popular example is the 2016 anime adaptation of Berserk.
That being said, Trigun Stampede is yet another example of Orange having perfected their craft with CGI. The show’s art style is vibrant and brimming with life, and the movements are smooth and fluid. While the show remains faithful to the original anime from 1998, Trigun Stampede introduces intriguing changes in how it presents the narrative. This series is an enjoyable watch that can appeal to both fans of the original and newcomers alike.
‘Hell’s Paradise’ could potentially emerge as the standout new Shonen of 2023. The show has an intriguing premise akin to Suicide Squad, where criminals facing death sentences are sent on a dangerous mission to a mysterious island to retrieve the Elixir of Life, which is said to be able to grant immortality. One of the criminals sent on this mission is Gabimaru the Hollow, who, after leading a blood-soaked life, now aims to secure a pardon by completing the mission and returning to his wife to lead a peaceful life. As expected from studio MAPPA, the animation in ‘Hell’s Paradise’ is nothing short of spectacular, and the depiction of violence is appropriately intense. If you’re seeking something to satiate your craving for intense action, this anime is an excellent choice. However, similar to ‘Suicide Squad,’ it’s best not to become overly attached to the characters.
Skip and Loafer
Skip and Loafer is a wonderful new high school drama by P.A Works that will hit you with a taste of nostalgia by having you relive memories and experiences of your high school years (assuming you weren’t an introvert in high school). The series features an endearing and authentic cast of characters, led by Mitsumi Iwakura. Departing her countryside town for a prestigious high school in Tokyo, she enters with a meticulously planned future. Yet, numerous unexpected challenges disrupt her path. At her school she develops a close friendship with Sousuke, leading them both to discover something new about themselves and gradually start to change for the better. The show’s most compelling aspect definitely lies in its characters, as they are all remarkably well-written and given enough depth that allows you to find relatability with each one of them.
My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999
My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999 is a solid new romance anime to (almost) fill the void in our hearts that Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku has left behind. Heartbroken after her boyfriend has left her in order to be with another girl, Akane Kinoshita boots up Forest of Savior, an MMO game that she and her boyfriend used to play together. During an in-person event for the game, she meets Akito Yamada, one of the game’s best players, who also happens to be her guildmate. The two develop an unlikely relationship where their differences bring them closer together. This anime offers a delightful “opposites attract” type of romance that is certainly enjoyable to watch.
More To Come
Certainly, there are many more fantastic anime shows that have been released this year, but these are the ones we have enjoyed the most thus far. With the current Summer anime season featuring titles like Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead and My Happy Marriage, we’re confident that this list will only grow larger by the year’s end.