Perhaps you might be interested in watching some new anime for the new year? If you are, read on to see what I’ve got on the list.
5. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is a fantasy isekai anime that’s the anime adaptation of the light novels of the same name by Fuse. The anime is basically about a middle-aged salaryman who is reborn into a fantasy world as a slime after a mugger murders him. While it seems like a big downside to him, this slime has some hidden abilities that make him pretty brokenly OP. In other words: a pretty typical storyline for an isekai anime. The main difference here though is in the execution.
That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime is, I believe, a pretty well-executed example of an isekai anime. Rimuru themself is cute and likable, and even has the distinction of being an agender main character to boot. The story is also cute and funny, while also being engaging and dramatic in the later storylines. It’s why this anime goes in 5th place here.
Horimiya is a slice of life romantic comedy anime series that’s the anime adaptation of the manga of the same name by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara. This tale of love stars popular girl Kyoko Hori and gloomy loner boy Izumi Miyamura. The 2 of them have secret lives outside of school that they’d like to remain secret, but then they each find out those secret lives. They agree to keep them a secret from everybody else, but well, that requires them to interact with each other. And as it turns out, with interaction comes understanding, and then romance.
Horimiya is one of the best romcoms, in my opinion. The relationship between Hori and Miyamura is as hilarious as it is sweet. Plus, the couple don’t dance around the issue of romance for long either. They actually start officially dating after only a short time, anime-wise. Much of the anime is about them as a couple, and them working out the issues of being a couple, which to me, is a refreshing take on the subject. That’s why this anime is 4th on the list here.
You can watch Horimiya on Funimation only.
3. Dragon Goes House-Hunting
Dragon Goes House-Hunting is a fantasy anime series that’s the anime adaptation of the manga of the same name by Kawo Tanuki and Choco Aya. The story stars a red dragon with the rather harmless-sounding name of Letty. There’s a reason for that. He’s the weakest dragon around. I don’t mean the “weakest” as in all those isekai protagonists who supposedly have the “weakest” ability. Letty is genuinely, pathetically weak and completely incompetent at fighting. All he wants is just a life of peace and a nice house to go with it. Too bad he lives in a fantasy world where adventurers roam around trying to kill monsters like him.
So why is Dragon Goes House-Hunting 3rd on this list? Again, Letty is the key. Yes, he’s weak, pitiful, and cowardly. However, he’s a genuinely good and kind person, and thus, you end up cheering him on when he does actually do something heroic. It’s been a while since I’ve liked an anime series’ main character so much, and that’s why this anime is on the list.
You can watch Dragon Goes House-Hunting on Funimation only.
2. The Ancient Magus’ Bride: The Boy From the West and the Knight of the Mountain Haze
The Ancient Magus’ Bride: The Boy From the West and the Knight of the Mountain Haze is the 2nd OVA series for The Ancient Magus’ Bride anime series, which is itself the anime adaptation of the manga of the same name by Kore Yamazaki. The anime, like the OVA, is a dark fantasy romance with Chise Hatori as the heroine: a young girl with the Sight, but very much wishes she doesn’t have. Mostly because supernatural creatures like to eat those with the Sight, as it turns out. She tries to commit suicide, but a series of events afterwards results in her selling herself into slavery, where a tall humanoid monstrosity buys her for 5 million pounds. It gets better for her after this, I swear.
The main reason why I love The Ancient Magus’ Bride as a whole is precisely because of Chise. Like Letty, Chise is a very likable main character. You at first feel pity for her as this waif of a slave girl. But then you watch her grow over the course of the anime into a kind and confident young woman with a solid family around her to support her. The onion ninjas are here to make you cry tears of sorrow, but tears of joy at how Chise has grown. That’s why this anime is in 2nd place.
You can watch The Ancient Magus’ Bride only on Crunchyroll, including that OVA. Funimation claims to stream the anime, but when you actually look it up, there’s nothing there. Seriously, that’s not cool.
1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a dark fantasy action-adventure anime series that’s the anime adaptation of the manga of the same name by Koyoharu Gotouge. The anime stars Tanjiro Kamado: a young woodcutter and charcoal-maker who returns home to find nearly his entire family dead, and his surviving sister Nezuko a demon. After Tanjiro and Nezuko have a scuffle with a demon slayer, they set out in search of a way to make Nezuko human again. While making new friends and fighting a whole bunch of bloodthirsty demons along the way.
The critical acclaim Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has should give you a clue as to why this anime is 1st on the list, but allow me to elaborate. Again, the key thing here is Tanjiro. He is the most likable protagonist I’ve seen in any series yet. He has a combination of kindness, compassion, and empathy that few, if any, other shounen protagonists have. To put it simply: he’s a cinnamon roll. You don’t normally get cinnamon rolls as the main character. Combined with his growth over the anime, and you’ve got a main character on par with Steven Universe for likeability.