2022 Anime Retrospective

Yet another year of anime has ended. I can say without hyperbole that 2022 has been one of the most interesting years in anime I have encountered in a while. Would I say it is the best? I don’t know where it would rank, but it would definitely be up there from the past 20 years. For once, there were more good or great shows than bad ones, and I can’t remember the last time that happened as of writing this. Even though there were still bad shows, there weren’t any disaster-level shows that stood out. At worst, they were just painfully boring or forgettable. And honestly, I would prefer it to be the latter than the former.

Now, let’s go through every show I’ve completed alphabetically and then I will reveal what I think to be the best anime of the year.

5-toubun no Hanayome Movie

So hyped for this that I went to an actual movie theater to watch it. During it, I was entertained. However, looking back, I felt as though it was rushed to high heaven and on top of that, the worst girls gets chosen. I won’t say who it is but even if I thought otherwise, the way they implemented and justified it was so contrived that it was hard for me to take seriously. I don’t like getting into the shipping discourse because it gets so dumb after a while. But, to me, it felt like a wimper.

Grade: C+

86: Part 2

Part 1 was pretty damn good. Then Part 2 comes out and blows that out of the water. You can call me an instant fan after this and I hope this awesomeness continues in the future.

Grade: A-

Aharen-san wa Hakarenai

I know we have been going through a trend of “schoolboy and quirky girl relationship” gag comedies as of late. Even the bad ones at least have some charm to them. This one is not bad, in fact, I would say it is quite decent. But that’s really all there is to it.

Grade: B-

Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku

This was an incredible year for CloverWorks studio. For me, this one is the weakest of the bunch. It is still decent, though. I thoroughly enjoyed the art and animation style. It may have been just me burnt out of slice-of-life anime that made me not get invested in the characters. The main girl is good, but the rest of the supporting cast was forgettable.

Grade: B-

Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3

More Bookworm girl = More Fun!

Grade: B+

Bocchi the Rock

The anime that took the anime internet by storm! It didn’t top as my favorite of the year (we’ll get to that at the end), but it was damn near close. Not only did the characters win me over, but the animation was colorful, radiant, and experimental. It put a smile on my face every single episode. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is the K-ON killer we expected since they aren’t THAT similar, but I will give it this: it’s at least not boring like K-ON tended to be.

Grade: A

Chainsaw Man

Really tickled my love for gore and violence in media. Loved it!

Grade: A-

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

I’ve only played a little bit of the video game. Not that it mattered since it is a separate story. Which, I think, was for the better. It manages to be great even without having played the game. The plot isn’t anything super special, but it is great eye candy and dumb fun.

Grade: A-

Date A Live IV

So finally, after four seasons, they got a studio that could turn this anime into good. It only took them almost ten years to reach that goal. I’ve clarified my thoughts on Date A Live in previous reviews and posts. 1st season was a decent, fun, dumb show, but the last two seasons were so bad from a pure narrative and fun standpoint that I don’t think they could have made it better. GEEKTOYS made the story more focused and brought much-needed comedy moments when appropriate. Also, Nia is the new best girl.

Grade: B-

Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness

Really good and wholesome fun. If you want comfiness in your anime, this will definitely make your inner soul fluffy.

Grade: B

DanMachi Season 4

I’m a sucker for this series, so there’s no doubt I would like this. But, boy, howdy, it gets extremely dark in the last couple of episodes for a fun adventure anime like this.

Grade: B+

Futoku no Guild

Degeneracy at its finest. Here’s an unadulterated pervy anime that actually has fun with itself and has funny characters on top of it. Also, the art and animation are actually really damn good. In an era where ecchi anime has not been good in the animation department, Futoku no Guild proves that the genre can excel in this.

Grade: B+

Fuufu Ijou, Koibito Miman.

I was more in awe of the art design and comedy than the romance story. Which I found to be contrived. Still, it was a fairly good romcom with cute girls in it.

Grade: B-

Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki Part 2

Yay, more Spice and Wolf-esque isekai. Although it’s passable, there’s no way in hell I’ll go back to any scene that I thought was memorable.

Grade: C

Hataraku Maou-sama!!

I don’t understand why people are hating on this. I’ll agree it is NOWHERE NEAR as great as the first one. I guess it is the amount of waiting that warranted this reaction. But we knew from the moment that White Fox wasn’t coming back that it would not be as good, especially in the animation and art department. For what it was, I was still entertained by the comedy and character interactions, even if the story went nowhere.

Grade: B-

Heike Monogatari

I’ve never read the original story that this is based on, so I didn’t have that frame of reference when watching this. It’s always great to see an anime like this pop up yearly that showcases old Japanese tales with animation you don’t see very often. The story wasn’t excellent, but it provided a hero’s journey with our main heroine.

Grade: B+

Heroine Tarumono! Kiraware Heroine to Naisho no Oshigoto

A decently fun trashy anime. It doesn’t try to be too risky, even if some side characters are annoying.

Grade: B-

Isekai Meikyuu de Harem wo

This is conflicting for me. On the one hand, the “hentai” scenes are super hot. However, everything else is absolutely atrocious. They didn’t bother to put any effort outside of the sex scenes. Normally I think the critique of ecchi to just turn it into hentai is weak, but this is like what people who hate ecchi believe the genre is in the general sense. Almost every scene is set in a dark green tunnel fighting monsters or in the cottage fucking each other. Laziness is the best way to describe the effort put into it.

Grade: D+

Isekai Yakkyoku

An isekai with an okay enough premise to keep it from being boring.

Grade: C+

Kaguya-sama: Love is War – Ultra Romantic

Keeps getting better and better. How is this even possible!?

Grade: A

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 3

Same thoughts as Kaguya. We’re getting sequels that get better and better more often. I love that!

Grade: A-

Kimetsu no Yaiba: Yuukaku-hen

I wouldn’t say this is better than its prequel season, but it’s great, shounen fun!

Grade: A-

Kinsou no Vermeil

I thought I would enjoy this, but it got old after a while. I’m for anime that go for the shota getting seduced by older women ecchi trope gaining traction, but try to make it more interesting next time.

Grade: C

Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2

I still have not gotten tired of this anime’s quirky humor. Keep ’em coming!

Grade: B+

Kono Healer, Mendokusai

I actually didn’t think this was that bad. It’s one of those situations where you’ll hate it if it does not make you laugh with its gag-style of humor. Not every joke landed, but plenty landed well for me to recommend it as a quick watch.

Grade: B-

Kotarou wa Hitorigurashi

This was the cutest anime of the year involving no cute girls. I loved the main character so much, and his relationships with others are so adorable!

Grade: A-

Kumichou Musume to Sewagakari

I’m a sucker for father-daughter stories. I always find them cute. This was no exception. Think of Usagi Drop but with Yakuza involved. It’s glorious.

Grade: A-

Continued in Part 2!

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