Ranking Every 2023 Anime I Watched This Year

The first half of 2023 saw the season finales of several popular anime that had started airing back in 2022, including the first season of Blue Lock and the sixth season of My Hero Academia. However, even with these awesome titles ending, there were plenty of other anime that both started and concluded within the year. I began this year by sharing a ranking of every new anime I’d seen in 2022; now I would like to finish the year by ranking every 2023 anime that I watched.

24. The Devil is a Part-Timer

This is the only anime on this list that I considered dropping. The only reason I stuck with it until the end was because I absolutely loved the first season way back in 2013, so I figured I may as well see it through in honor of my 14-year-old self. I’m not sure it was worth it.

23. Yuri Is My Job!

After Sasaki and Miyano shattered the toxic tropes of BL anime, I’ve been waiting for a GL anime that does the same. This was…. not that anime. There wasn’t even any real romance going on. It managed to keep my attention until the end, at least.

22. The Way of the Househusband 2

There’s not much to say about this season other than it was funny. I guess that’s the goal, right?

21. Farming Life in Another World

I’m not a fan of harems, and I rarely watch isekai, but this anime caught my intention solely because I’m from a farming family. It ended up being a relaxing, feel-good watch with fun fantasy creatures. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that even though it’s categorized as a harem, the male lead didn’t really show any interest in the female characters and there wasn’t any particular fan service that I can remember. But my enjoyment of the show all went downhill when **SPOILER** Lu got pregnant. This development came totally out of the blue, and I hated it.

20. Heavenly Delusion

I don’t quite know how to put it into words, but something about this show felt off. The link between the parallel narratives was never fully established, and there are many things that remain unexplained. This is a problem that could possibly be solved with another season, but it has not officially been renewed yet.

19. The Faraway Paladin 2nd Season

I don’t remember expecting or particularly hoping that this anime would get a second season, but it was nice to see William G. Maryblood and friends embark on a new adventure. I also fell in love with one of the new characters, Al. Still, nothing about this season stood out as spectacular, except maybe for the super cool dragon in the last few episodes.

 

18. Ron Kamonohashi’s Forbidden Deductions

Ron is such a goofy character, and this anime gave me a lot of good laughs. However, it can’t seem to decide on whether it wants to be an episodic series or a show with a specific plot. Every time they introduce an important development that seems like it’s going to shape the next events, they just follow up with a random episode or two that have nothing to do with this newly established plot line. Fortunately it has been renewed for a second season, so hopefully they focus more on developing a specific plot in the sequel.

17. Buddy Daddies

This is the anime I was most looking forward to in 2023, so I’m kind of bummed that it ended up ranking so low on this list. That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy it, though: it was very funny and surprisingly heartbreaking at times. While I was admittedly disappointed that Kazuki and Rei’s relationship remained platonic even while raising a child together, it was nice to see that other characters didn’t have much of a reaction to Miri having two dads. This felt very progressive considering two men still can’t legally adopt a child together in Japan.

16. My Happy Marriage

I’m not normally a fan of romance, but this anime really tugged on my heart strings. I liked it enough to write a review about it, which you can read here.

15. The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2

The shift to a school setting took some getting used to, but it was a nice change of pace to see Chise interacting with kids her own age. However, the addition of so many new characters and concepts made an already intricate world so much more complex almost to the point of being more confusing than just well-developed. With so many different kinds of magic users (mages, sorcerers, witches, gods, alchemists) and fantastic creatures (fae, dragons, werewolves, gorgons), on top of fairly in-depth backstories for several new characters, there’s so much stuffed into just 24 episodes. The first season feels so distant, it’s practically an entirely separate anime.

14. Overtake!

As someone who grew up watching NASCAR with my dad and brother and who has probably re-watched Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby more than any other movie, I was stoked to see an anime about Formula 4 racing. Being in my mid-20s, it was refreshing to see an adult protagonist, and also interesting for a sports anime’s main character to not be one of the athletes. Although it doesn’t mention the condition by name, this show deals a lot with PTSD, and I’m always impressed when sports anime tackle serious issues like this (Stars Align and Fanfare of Adolescence are two other examples of sports anime with unexpectedly heavy themes).

13. Tsurune: The Linking Shot

A frustrating yet not entirely unenjoyable phenomenon I’ve occasionally encountered while watching sports anime is when I end up rooting for a rival team rather than the protagonists. I really liked the new kyudo team that was introduced in this season and wanted to see them win the tournament instead of the main characters—but I won’t spoil whether or not I got my wish.

12. Tomo-chan is a Girl!

This is definitely one of the funniest anime I’ve ever watched. While it does occasionally play into the “boys will only like you if you’re uber feminine” trope, ultimately, the female protagonist can still destroy her crush in a judo match and marathon video games with him. I love how Tomo is able to lean into her feminine side while still remaining a super tough tomboy. The show is basically an anime adaptation of the song “One of the Boys” by Katy Perry.

11. SPY x FAMILY 2nd Season

The Forger family and their antics never fail to entertain. While this season never had me busting my gut with laughter, pretty much every episode made me snort heartily at least twice.

10. Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku

This is the type of anime that you need to brace yourself for, because they tell you right from the beginning that pretty much every character is going to die. Being prepared for so many deaths doesn’t make them hurt much less, though. The cast is full of fascinating characters even if many of them don’t stick around for long. My biggest complaint about the show is that this season ends by introducing one of my absolute least favorite tropes of all time, so although I plan on watching the next season (which is expected to premiere sometime in 2024) anyway since I want to know what happens next, this development unfortunately has me dreading the upcoming arc.

9. Oshi no Ko

I wasn’t a fan of this anime’s pacing at first: what I expected to be the plot for the entire show was actually over and done with by the end of the first episode. It didn’t leave me with much desire to keep watching; in fact, I didn’t pick it back up at episode 2 until its final week airing (so about 10 weeks after watching the first episode). However, I’m very glad that I did decide to keep with it. Even though it went in a different direction than I was expecting, the actual narrative was perfectly enjoyable. The story of revenge and the dark side of show business may actually be more interesting than the famous-teen-mom-keeping-her-children-a-secret story that I expected. I’m very much looking forward to the second season in 2024.

8. Attack On Titan The Final Season: The Final Chapters

To be honest, there are a lot of things about the way this series ended that I absolutely hate. Without giving too much away, the finale was just so bleak and pessimistic. Nevertheless, I can’t bring myself to rank this any lower on the list, because Attack On Titan is just such a powerhouse of an anime. I may not agree with how things ended, but it was still incredible. I quite literally grew up watching this anime (I started when I was a freshman in high school and now I’m nearly 3 years out of college), so it’s poignant to know it’s over.

7. Migi & Dali

This anime almost didn’t make it onto this list at all: the final episode aired on Christmas Day, and I didn’t start the first episode until Christmas Eve. But after seeing two Tik Toks about it, I decided I needed to squeeze it in before New Year’s. Boy am I glad that I did! From the strange clips I’d seen, I thought the whole show would be an absurd comedy; however, the bizarreness of the first episode or two is very misleading. In truth, this anime is a suspenseful mystery with many layers and a wonderfully satisfying ending.

6. Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

I was devastated when this show went on such a long hiatus (three months, to be exact), because I was enjoying it so much. The anime is both hilarious and poignant, with a goofy cast of characters that have the most ridiculous response to a zombie apocalypse while also addressing the devastation of a deadly global pandemic. The latter element is chillingly topical as the real world is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, Zom 100 is buckets of fun, and I really hope it gets renewed for another season (although there has been no word on whether or not this will happen).

5. Tokyo Revengers: Christmas Showdown Arc & Tenjiku Arc

Although Anime-Planet and MyAnimeList has these two arcs listed as the second and third seasons of Tokyo Revengers, Hulu (which is where I watch this anime) lists them both under season 2, so I’m going to refer to them as one season for simplicity’s sake.

It can be hard to keep up with a series when your favorite character dies, but even after my favorite died in the first season I never so much as considered dropping this show even once. After all, death is never permanent when time travel is involved. Takemitchy may be a crybaby, but you can’t not root for him when he cares about his friends so strongly and can take a beating like nobody else.

4. Bungou Stray Dogs 4th & 5th Seasons

Since these seasons aired within the same year and season 5 was an immediate continuation of season 4’s storyline, I’m combining them as one anime for this list.

In addition to the back stories of Poe (who I adore) and Fukuzawa, these seasons also show us how the Armed Detective Agency deals with literally the entire world turning against them. Both seasons were full of suspense and action, keeping me on the edge of my seat throughout. It was also great to see both the return of some former characters and the addition of new major characters.

3. Dr. Stone: New World

I LOVE Dr. Stone. Yes, the art style can be hard to look at (especially the female characters), and it can occasionally be pretty corny; but it never fails to suck me in.  It hypes me up in the way that only a shounen anime can. No matter how impossible the situation seems, Senku always somehow finds a solution, and I have a feeling that even people who have a much better understanding of science than I do would have a hard time predicting his actions.

2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Swordsmith Village Arc

This anime gets better and better with every season. I had the awesome opportunity to watch an extended version of the first episode in theaters, although the remaining episodes were just as epic even when watched at home. Like several other anime on this list, the next season is scheduled for 2024, and I am stoked!

1. Jujutsu Kaisen 2nd Season

Although I enjoyed the first season, at the time I didn’t quite understand the global hype surrounding it. It was really good, yes, but I just didn’t feel as though it was one of the best anime of all time. But my perspective completely changed with season 2. As the kids say these days: this anime is GOATED. The animation is stellar, the characters are easy to love (and hate), the fight scenes are wild, and the gore is stomach-churning. There were several deaths this season that were a devastating gut punch, but the emotional toll is part of what makes this anime so incredible. I still don’t understand how domains and cursed techniques work, though.

What were some of your favorite anime from this year? How about LEAST favorites? Let me know in the comments!

About Gabby Bibus

Gabby has been obsessed with anime since she was just 9 years old, and is proud to say she has watched over 200 different series. But that’s not even her biggest claim to fame: she also lives on a farm with over 80 goats! Although anime and animals are her two favorite things in the world, she also loves music, books, and movies. Her day job is a middle school ESL teacher, but some of her other side gigs in addition to writing for Fandom Spotlite include a college writing tutor, a staff member at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire, and a pet sitter.

View all posts by Gabby Bibus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.