Ah, another year has gone by. To anime, which is the primary focus of the blog, I can safely say that it was a good year. I had a lot of fun myself! So what better way to celebrate it than listing my final top 10 of the year?! Well, I know of none! So here it is, my ranking of my favorite anime 9f the year.
10 – Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru
My Dress-up Darling was a complicated show for me. While it was airing, I was constantly under the impression that I simply wasn’t a part of its target audience, despite how much I wanted to like it. But looking back on it, it’s still one of the shows I remember with quite fondness about. Sure, there were parts that heavily annoyed me – mainly the fact Gojo sometimes felt heavily underdeveloped past being the love interest – standing next to Marin in particular, the dude would just fade into the background. The part about the sisters brought some lows, too, in a moment where I felt that the narrative would fall into the trap of executing annoying tropes in bad ways.
However (and it’s a big however) weighting it all down, there was a lot more I enjoyed. The first win, of course, is the fact that the couple felt extremely organic. Marin and Gojo had one of the best duo chemistry of the year, and the way the story works their relationship as polar opposites is amazing. I can’t put into words how much I giggled while watching them (it was a lot, LMAO), and their adventures are enough to grant them a spot on the list. The visuals also help, of course – all in all, this was a very good adaptation under the helms of Keisuke Shinohara at CloverWorks.
Best Episode: #8
9 – Ousama Ranking
Ah, Ranking of King’s. I remember not paying much attention to this show when it originally premired in Fall 2021 because I’ll confess here, I let myself get fooled by the child-like art style and didn’t even bother to check the synopsis of it, much less wich names were involved in its production. And by God, do I regret this – and I’ve been so, so lucky to have caught this when it was still airing. In a rather weak season (the only thing I remember gluing me is Blue Period), Osama Ranking was perfect in every sense. The fantasy world blowed me away with its quite impressive world building; the duality of the characters was fantastic, making the narrative flow another astonishing point to follow. And man, Boji. Boji is one of the many fantastic protagonists we had this year. But honestly, what would be of Boji without Kage? Their dynamic and loyalty toward each other really made the deal for me. Among the dark and unfair reality both characters were thrown in, their innocence and honesty made such an enjoyable contrast with everything else that I couldn’t help but root for them until the very end.
Nonetheless, unfortunately, the ending to the Miranjo arc exists. See, there was this awesome build-up into Miranjo’s character and the cruelties she ended up committing due to her past circumstances coupled with her relationship with King Bosse. It was all great at first, seeing how it fit so well with the direction the show had established, but deep down, I was always worried about how the mangaka had decided to wrap this up. And sadly, my fears were confirmed when what we got was akin to some soppy soap opera – believe me, I wish I was kidding. Thankfully, though, the doors were opened for Boji and Kage to literally take the world – this is a tale where the best part IMO were the cast, and most of them remained great until the end. There’s the small anime project confirmed for the near future, and while it’s no season 2, it’s better than not having anymore of Ousama Ranking on the table.
8 – Aharen-San Wa Hakarenai
See, Aharen-san is an anime I never expected to like so much. I’m not kidding – the only reason I remember checking the premire was the fact I was down depressed back in that day and desperately needed something to cheer me up. I had heard of this romcom and went into it with every preconceived ideas one can have when a quirky girl is parked with a normal guy – it didn’t help that the last time I tried one of those (Komi-san) I dropped it feeling heavily disappointed with the way the show treated Komi’s inability to communicate. Actually, I even struggled with the first two eps of Aharen, so much so that I even contemplated dropping it. But boy, suddenly I was so captured by the quickness of the main couple! Aharen and Raido have to be one of the sweetest high school couples, and I’m not even joking about it. They are both so weird in the good way and fit each other’s jokes so well. Never a minute of this show became boring.
The supporting cast does a wonderful job in completing the crazy adventures in which he these two get into, and speaking of them both again, the way their romance unfold is really sweet. I love this show. I could spend many more paragraphs talking about it, but in the end, I’m just glad it was my first big surprise of the year. Check this one out. You won’t be regretting it.
7 – Kotaro wa Hitorigurashi
One thing I have to tell you about myself: I’m an extremely emotional guy, and I don’t really know how to properly start talking about this series. I’m not a parent, and I’m not sure if I have any of the emotional maturity that is required to raise a child. What I know is that raising children is such a crucial phase in our lives (both as parents/care-takers and as the children) and Kotaro Lives Alone is a show that made me pay that much more attention to this matter. At first, I was left skeptic about the premise – not at all uncommon for anime to go full-on absurd, but still, I wasn’t sure about wether or not the idea of a 4 year old living alone was enough to pull me in. Was I wrong.
Kotaro wa Hitorigurashi is a phenomenal tale that allows us to look into how crucial it is that we pay attention to our children – Kotaro is a kid wounded by his past that like many trauma victims, believes to be at fault for what happened to him. He sorta closed off to the world, deciding to be “strong,” but it is once competent – not perfect by any means – adult figures come into his life that he is allowed to be no more than a child again, even if he really can’t warm up to the idea so easily. The show does a wonderful job exploring both the minds of the adults involved – especially Karino, a mangaka that takes to heart the task of protecting Koutaro – and the titular child. It’s no less than an emotionally beautiful tale, and though the visuals might be a turn-off for you at first, I heavily encourage you to check this one out as well. It deserves your attention, and I know you won’t be the same once you finish it.
6 – Summertime Rendering
Making its way to the 6th spot, I have the rather unspoken of Summertime Rendering. An unfortunate fact about this series is that it fell right onto Disney+ claws, having no simulcast whatsoever during its airtime. This means that if you were part of the bunch that wanted to check the show no matter what, you would have to resort to third-party sources. I’m not up to getting into the denate about whether or not this is a moral thing to do (please let’s not) but the downside of this is that it got massively overshadowed by a whirlpool of great shows airing back in Spring. And what a shame this is.
From where I stand, Summertime Rendering takes the trophy by being extremely competent in everything it does. All the boxes check here. It’s a 25-episode mystery thriller that makes the best of its narrative to create momentum. It’s a full package meal – it ranges from different tones when it needs to, it’s not afraid to take risks and perhaps more importantly than anything, it’s a mystery story that has a genius about it. I had a ton of fun watching – getting involved with the story and the characters while trying to crack the mystery about the shadows was a ton of fun, and the conclusion that came with the final ep made it all the more significant. When an anime is devoted to telling a compelling mystery, the least you can ask is for it to make sense. With Summertime Rendering’s case, I’m more than happy to safely say that there’s a whole lot more awaiting you on that small island.
5 – Ao Ashi
What is there to say about Ao Ashi that I haven’t already? It’s a phenomenal sports manga turned a phenomenal sports anime. It’s a fantastic tale that all around depicts what it means to be a football player, what it means to be a coach, and why football is such a great sport. The characters are complex and relatable, both the players and the coaches. The matches are immersing and captivating – and don’t even get me started on Hana and Ashito because God knows just how much I rooted for that couple. It’s an example of what more sport anime should aspire to be, frankly. It’s fulfilling in every expect and will certainly go down as one of the best football anime in recent years. The only great shame about it is the fact that we don’t really know if we’re getting a second season anytime soon. But then again, this has been the case with many great anime that simply don’t fit in the mass-produced model box in recent years.
4 – Yofukashi no Uta
I have one confession to make, and it is that I greatly deeply and bitterly regret the fact I didn’t pick Call of the Night up for review. Yofukashi no Uta is a marvelous story, an amazing anime, and a unique experience all in one package. It’s hard for me to describe this series (or rather what makes it so worthy of praise in my eyes), but I’ll try my best here. See, to get a grasp of the genius of this story, I call upon two names involved- mangaka Kotoyama and series director Tomoyumi Itamura. I need to do this because the first clear impression I got from YnU is the fact that it is a story with no compromises. It’s devoted to exploring the eyes of those outcasts, those who don’t fit in at all but are no evil, through the lens of Yamori Kou and Nazuna mainly. It fascinates me as a singular story for that, one that I wish I had already followed before the anime came to life.
And to the anime credit goes to series director Tomoyumi Itamura who worked together with Tetsuya Miyanishi. Their work consolidated YnU as my favorite LidenFilms anime and also my favorite directional work of the year. The color palette used, the scenes composition, lighting, etc. – every small detail they were able to pour creates an amazing whole, an amazing experience that you can only enjoy if you try it for yourself. And it’s one that will have you immensely pleased. I mean, those are the desires of the night.
3 – Dance Dance Danseur
Ah, Dance Dance Danseur. My relationship of love and hate with an anime has probably never been as big as the one I have with you. This is a phenomenal anime. Dance Dance Danseur has a provoking narrative. It’s wild, it’s free, and it’s alive. It feels as though as if an unknown force just swept you away and took you along this crazy ride – and you can’t stop it because it’s just similar to adolescence. In many ways, I can see why this may sound similar to what I said about Yofukashi, but it’s not. Dance Dance Danseur is a series with the compromise to tell Jumpei’s tale. Jumpei’s tale about ballet, dancing, expressing his soul, and why this is the perfect path for his life. And it sure as he’ll succeeds on it.
I remember being in awe since the very first episode. See, since Yuri on Ice back in 2016, I feel that this has to be MAPPA’s work with the most soul poured into. There’s just this vibe of a unique identity heavily helping this story to naturally unfold. Some scenes are brutal, others contrasting with extreme beauty, but a thing I adore so much about the direction is just how much vibrant, magical, and surreal it turns everything into. It’s simply an amazing work, guys.
The characters are great. The themes in exploration are navigated with such care and attention that sometimes you forget that this is a story about pre-teens. But in reality, it can’t because mangaka Asakura George is a freaking genius in here for the way she portrays the adolescent cast. The only fumble about it is the season’s final arc. There’s just this big hiccup down the road that left a sore taste in my mouth (and pretty much in everyone’s, too, according to online reactions), and that one made me really consider the whole journey on the whole. I won’t be trying to cover for it – if you’ve seen my review for it, you pretty much know I felt back then. But today, at this very instant, looking on this anime as a while, I know it is worthy of the spot at the podium.
2 – Made in Abyss: Rekugyo no Ongokuo
Damn you, Made in Abbys. Damn you for being so good. If this anime series figures on your anime list too, I’m sure you have at least once found yourself conflicted about it. In later times, I’ve come to believe that part of my fascination for this work certainly comes from trying to crack the mind that belongs to Akihito Tsukushi. How can he be so genius about the story he wants to tell? Why does Made in Abyss work as well as it does? Should it even? It’s simply fascinating.
While the first season had in its favor the flair of introducing the cast, the setting, the world, and the story overall – and mind you, it did it with supreme ability – season 2 decided to take a different approach. For starters, we had only the 6th layer as the flashed out piece of world this time. The flashback opening clearly indicated that the main cast would be sidelined what I confess, made me a little worried, but boy, was it amazing. The way the story is constructed to kind of mirror both Vueko’s and Riko’s group adventure, culminating in the message that love is, in fact, the true curse not only to the Abyss – but to everyone everywhere as a whole.
It wasn’t what I was expecting. At all. But in the end, it was beautiful. It may even be over 5 years until we have enough from the manga to return to the series – I don’t care. If this is the quality of the material that is always awaiting us, I’m up to wait as much as it takes.
1 – Mob Psycho 100 III
In the end, there can only be one, right? How odd it is that it is the one and only one. Get it? Huh?
Okay, heinous jokes aside, this is the series. See, I try to look back to get a better view on things, and frankly, I can hardly think of many series who had such a spectacular run start to finish when compared to Mob Psycho 100. No matter what front you try to look from, this has been an example of what the anime media is capable of doing. It’s stellar, both behind the scenes, starting from the very source material, going through its production, and culminating in its final season.
If right now I were told to sum up what I think about this season of Mob Psycho, here’s what I would have to say: it’s an outstanding production. Every writing decision from ONE reeks off of so much confidence that I can’t help but be captured by it. There wasn’t a single moment when I felt it lost its way – instead, it felt as if everything was just walking towards its natural stopping point. It’s brilliant on its writing, amazing in portraying its characters, and phenomenal as visual property. Its production is one of the strongest of the year (even decade, small as it is so far).
I’d be willing to make a commentary on the year as a whole, but right now, my brain is too numb, LOL. This has been the longest I’ve put up so far, and frankly, I’m just too tired, LOL. But it’s a nice feeling, you know? This year has been truly rewarding. Part of that has come from Otaku Space, and for it, I have you to thank. Thanks a lot for the support – this journey is only made thanks to people like you. As we enter 2023, I hope we have a good anime year ahead of us. But even more than that – here are my wishes that the coming year is amazing for you all. Thank you for reading, and we’ll be
6 thoughts on “Top 10 Anime Series of 2022”
happy new year Haru. Nice set of picks, I still haven’t gotten around to summer rendering, I’ve pegged it down to watch. I’ll bump it up my list to watch.
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Thanks, Roki. Happy New Year to you, too!
You should definitely watch it. I’m curious, what would be your picks for the best of the year?
I’m glad someone else loves Summertime Render! It really was overshadowed but it’s so good!!!
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I know, right?! Hopefully, now that it’s no longer in Disney jail, more people are gonna be watching it.
Also, thanks for the comment! And sorry for the super late reply…
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No worries! Yeah I was excited to hear that more people will be able to watch it now~
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