Anime has become much more mainstream over the past few years, but 2022 in particular has always been a worthy standout for the genre as a whole. Along with nearly every major streaming service under the sun filling their respective catalogs with beloved series, the year has already seen several new releases in the film and TV spaces.
While the older seinen demographic has its share of notable entries, shounen anime has unsurprisingly dominated the mainstream. On the theater side, artists like Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and Dragon Ball Super: Super heroes continued the upward trend of the genre’s growing influence at Western box offices, while series like The attack of the Titans and Spy x Family have collectively proven to be television sensations in their own right.
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Jujutsu Kaisen 0
Animation studio MAPPA has likely found its flagship juggernaut in the form of Jujutsu Kaisen, as the first season of the TV series has already aired to a lot of applause. Blending traditional shounen tropes with exhilarating animated action, modern dark fantasy and horror, Jujutsu Kaisen effectively makes normally tired genre conventions exciting again.
The anime film adaptation of writer Gege Akutami’s prequel, Jujutsu Kaisen, surfs on this wave of success. Following the emotional story of protagonist Yuta and his overcoming of childhood guilt, the film impressively executes a true coming-of-age story with almost wall-to-wall action.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 will be available to stream on September 21 on Crunchyroll.
attack on titan season 4
Hajime Isayama’s anime adaptation The attack of the Titans was something of an anime revolution when its first season premiered in 2013. It helped propel itself – and the genre in general – to new heights in Western markets, as the series became the first series many newcomers to anime. The final season has stretched longer than expected – with another part confirmed to pick up next year – but this dark fantasy epic continues to captivate audiences around the world.
What began as young Eren Yeager set out to get revenge on the Titans who murdered and ate his mother has turned into a rabbit hole filled with mystery, centuries-old lore, bloody deeds and political intrigue that , at least on paper, are things that stick game of thrones fans to their TVs for almost a decade.
All seasons of The attack of the Titans so far are available to stream now on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Funimation and, in a more limited capacity, Netflix.
demon slayer season 2
demon slayer exploded in popularity when the 2019 anime adaptation of Koyoharu Gotouge’s manga debuted, and even more after 2020/21 Train Mugen film. Story-wise, it’s a pretty typical and safe shounen series, but what elevates it to the anime format is Ufotable’s stunning animation and overall art direction. The way each fight is portrayed as a stunning visual spectacle is nothing short of masterful.
It’s not every day that a series has individual episodes that reverberate throughout the anime community (Season 1, Episode 19 and Season 2, Episode 10) and make the adventures of Tanjiro and the attractive and fun company. Season 2 came on the heels of Train MugenTanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke being sent with the Sound Hashira to investigate the latter’s secret ninja disappearance after investigating demonic activity in a Tokyo entertainment district.
The two seasons of demon slayer and Train Mugen are available to stream on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu, with only Season 1 on Netflix.
While certainly not one of the more action-oriented shounen anime series, Wit Studio and CloverWorks’ joint venture in Tatsuya Endo’s adaptation Spy x Family turned out to be a viral hit. For fans who have been reading the manga since 2019, the feeling has always been that the writing on the wall said an adaptation was inevitable, and so far it has brilliantly captured the upbeat and heartwarming atmosphere of the source material.
The story follows Agent Twilight as he is tasked with a highly sensitive diplomatic mission to avert the outbreak of war, but must overcome his greatest challenge yet: being a family man. Lovingly blending the aesthetics of the 60s and 70s with the modern era, Spy x Family eschews the over-the-top corny tropes of stereotypical sitcoms, while being influenced by them, to tell a tasteful, heartfelt story about reunited family and anti-war sentiment. Punctuated by smart comedy, a lovable main cast, and spy thriller action, this is a series that seems destined for the long haul.
Spy x Family is available to stream now on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Netflix, with the second part of season 1 airing in October.
The last surviving series from Shonen Jump magazine’s “Big Three” era – and arguably the one with the most consistent quality – Eiichiro Oda’s pirate series A play is still going strong in manga and anime 25 years later. The series began with young Monkey D. Luffy setting out to follow in the footsteps of red-haired Shanks to become the world’s greatest pirate, and it has since evolved into a sprawling, colorful odyssey.
Throughout his long journey, A play was praised for its rewarding story arcs, iconic cast of characters, expansive lore, and excruciatingly detailed world-building. The anime adaptation has a jaw-dropping 1,031 episodes under its belt and a highly anticipated movie this fall in the form of One Piece Movie: Red.
A play is available to stream now on Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, and Netflix. Meanwhile, Film: Red hits theaters in the West in October.
The likes of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball franchise planted the seeds for the international mainstream success that the anime genre would eventually thrive in. It’s one of those series that the uninitiated instantly recognize by simple association, and given the success of the 2018 film. Brolya follow-up was also to take place. Dragon Ball Super: Super heroeslike much of the franchise as a whole, isn’t deep media (and doesn’t pretend to be), but fans happily know what they’re signing up for – high-octane visual spectacles high, stylish character designs and new color forms.
Super hero finally gave fan-favorite characters Gohan and Piccolo a deserved share of the limelight by making them the main stars. It delivers all the action fans hope to see, and it also serves as an impressive showcase of what CG animation can achieve when handled correctly.
Dragon Ball Super: Super heroes is now playing in theaters and will eventually stream on Crunchyroll.
Hirohiko Araki JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure more than worthy of its name, with the manga getting a well-deserved reputation in anime form thanks to studio David Productions’ consistently stellar adaptations. The series is delightfully ridiculous in its premise, action, and compelling sense of style as it follows the generational battles between the Joestar family and several prophetic evils.
The concept of Stands – otherworldly spiritual entities used as combatants – has transcended its own source material in other works like Atlus’ famous Persona video games. And to no one’s surprise, the final season, ocean of stone, has been perfectly implemented so far. The stylish exploits of Jolyne Cujoh and company have been thrilling as the second half of the season has recently dropped.
All seasons of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure are available to stream now on Netflix, and in more limited capacities on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, Peacock, and Amazon Prime Video.
This is another case of an action anime that places more emphasis on emotion than the first, but Sōsuke Tōka Ranking of kings and Wit Studio’s anime adaptation might be one of the most emotionally deep shounen to date. this coming-of-age story is on a level of authentic intimacy alongside people like Mob Psycho 100 – which will also see its third and final season this fall.
This time, however, it’s set in a high-fantasy world with young protagonist Bojji, who is both deaf and mute, struggling to persevere and see the bright side of life despite being despised by the audience as part of the royal line. of succession. The fantasy quest of Bojji and his best friend Kage is one of the most satisfying, rewarding, and heartfelt new anime available.
Ranking of kings is available to stream now on Crunchyroll and Funimation.