2022 was another banner year for anime! Some long-running shows continued to impress, some old friends returned to screens, and more than a few new titles made a big impact on viewers.
But with all those choices, it can be hard to know what to dive into. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the best anime shows 2022 had to offer.
SPY x FAMILY
SPY x FAMILY is 2022’s biggest breakout hit. Based on the popular manga, this screwball spy series is equal parts action show and heartwarming comedy. The main feature is adorable telepath Anya, who forms one third of a very special blended family along with secret agent and adoptive father Loid, and hidden mother Yor.
The show’s glossy animation, produced by titans CloverWorks and Wit Studio, is used to great effect for both ludicrous comedic moments and effortless action scenes. If you see an anime from 2022, make it SPY x FAMILY.
Chainsawman was the most anticipated new series of 2022, and is based on Tatsuki Fujimoto’s hugely popular manga. Fortunately for viewers, the show, produced by animation superstars at MAPPA, lived up to the hype – delivering big-budget action at its finest.
The sharp visual style and impressive fight choreography make for exciting viewing, and are supported by strong characterization and a surprisingly unique take on the demon hunter format.
Ranking of Kings
Ranking of Kings came out of nowhere in late 2021, captivating anime fans with a gorgeous Euro-fantasy vibe and a delightfully empowering story about a young, deaf prince.
The show has stayed near the top of this list all year thanks to masterful writing, subverting fantasy tropes at every turn, and its beautifully picturesque animation style. That’s enough to say. we are very excited to have Boji back on our screens in 2023.
My Hero Academia (Season 6)
My Hero Academia is part of the anime furniture at this point, but season six returned with a bang in September and has blown us out of the water so far.
The show masterfully balances its extensive roster of characters, ensuring that all your favorites get a moment to shine. On top of that, it also pays off over six years of storytelling to build a truly amazing, superheroic finale.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury
Room lesbians! Giant machines! What more do you want? The witch from Mercurythe last standalone part for a long time Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, is a breath of fresh air for both the series and mecha anime as a whole.
The action takes place primarily around a prestigious school for future CEOs of various aerospace super-companies, where students settle disputes with duels in giant mechs.
The witch from Mercury mixes the high stakes politics that do Mobile Suit Gundam so beloved with funny and charming characters that even the most hardened pilot will relate to.
BOCCHI! THE STONE
BOCCHI! THE STONE is already an underrated gem. The series, which follows the extremely socially anxious Bocchi on her journey to join a rock band, is the funniest anime of the year (by a country mile) and the perfect antidote to the high-octane shows surrounding it on this list.
The cast of characters is incredibly likable, and the show’s approach to adolescence tackles modern issues while being incredibly relatable to anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is Netflix’s big anime success story this year. The Show, a spinoff from the 2020 video game Cyberpunk 2077is exactly the kind of neon-drenched hyper-violent action series you’d expect from the animators at Trigger (responsible for shows like Kill La Kill).
Edgerunners is gaudy and loud, but manages to avoid too much fan service and tell a surprisingly nuanced and character-driven story within its outrageous world. If you’re looking for a real visual feast, this is for you.
Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc
Demon Slaughter season 2 officially started last year with the wildly successful Mugen train film, and was followed up with Entertainment District Arc.
Although the show was a bit slow to find its footing, the adventures of Tanjiro and co have never looked better, and the final 3-episode fight sequence of the season was a true master class.
Mob Psycho 100 (Season 3)
Mob, Reigen and the gang returned this year for the third (and potentially final) season of Mob Psycho 100after just over two years off our screens.
The series continues to throw everything at the wall visually, with face-melting displays of psychic power, without ever sacrificing the absurdity and humanity (see this season’s giant broccoli storyline) that make it so beloved.
Episode 12 just aired, and we’re asking all lost fans to jump back in for what could be the show’s most shocking finale ever.
Attack on Titan: Final Season Part 2
Life as one Attack on Titan the fan is harrowing to say the least, and not just because of all the leg crunching and people munching. Over the years, Hajime Isayama’s game-changing manga has been extremely challenging to adapt thanks to numerous delays and a surprise studio switch.
But it turns out we shouldn’t have worried. In fact, season four has given us some of the best episodes ever, and also some of the most experimental. Attack on Titan has never been one to hold our hand and gently guide us through Marley, Paradise Island and beyond, but this time the show has delighted in stretching what anime is even capable of with some bold and harrowing plot decisions. It seems all bets are off now as we enter the very last chapter.