The 10 New Anime of Winter 2023 You Should Be Watching
A new year is upon us, and with it, a slate of piping hot anime to keep you warm in these cold months! Winter 2023 can be summed up as “the season of delays” (including this collab, whoops). It seems like show after show is facing delayed episodes amidst the ongoing pandemic, disappointing fans and creators alike.
Nonetheless, our always-awesome AniTAY community managed to find ten non-delayed shows that we think are worth your time! From a spicy remake of a classic to a modern yuri romance, a finally released timey-wimey drama to an actually good isekai, read on and discover the shows that we know you’ll enjoy! (Note: delayed shows, such as Ayakashi Triangle and Spy Classroom, will be re-eligible for our seasonal collab during the season they return).
As always, here are some things to remember as you start reading:
1)We have omitted continuing shows and sequels. This list is only for new anime this season. Check out our Winter 2023 sequel guide for that information:
The AniTAY Winter 2023 Sequel Guide
This winter has fewer sequels than recent anime seasons, but there are still several exciting ones coming up!
2) Only shows available for legal streaming are considered. Netflix has complicated what this means, but limited-availability shows like Netflix originals are fair game for our list.
3) Each entry contains a “where to watch” section, but keep in mind that we base our listings on United States availability.
Now, before we get hit with any more delays, let’s jump into the list!
Written by: Marquan
Genres: Action, Comedy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll
Spoiler-Free Synopsis: Two assassins must suddenly raise a young child while protecting her from the violent underworld that robbed her of a father. Can these two criminal papas keep their new child safe and happy?
Why You Should Be Watching: In the never-ending wake of characters needing to be protected, there is a new addition to the crowd. Hailing from the criminals-turned-father-figures simulator Buddy Daddies, we have Miri. Now, she doesn’t have the expressive reactions that Anya does, isn’t a catgirl like Fran, and isn’t cuteness personified like Renge, but Miri has her own charm as a little tornado of energy. Buddies Daddies gives us a look at what life would be like if two hitmen took in the child of one of their targets. We follow Kazuki and Rei as they try to navigate life as killers who want to shield an innocent child from that violence while ensuring she can experience a normal life as possible.
It’s touching to see how much effort the two put into trying to raise Miri, despite them initially working to get her back into her mother’s custody. We get to see some emotional beats play out surrounding Miri going back to her mother, and man is it good. We see the titular Buddy Daddies try and change their lives to be able to accommodate taking care of a child who has no idea about the criminal world. Some have pointed out that they’ve basically kidnapped her, but I disagree. She was left fatherless and unwanted, so they decided to take her in so that she would be able to have some semblance of a family life. Each of them experience growth through living together, and Miri is a realistic portrayal of a kid in a new environment adjusting as best she can, and this results in quite a few interactions that spur change in ways none of our main three characters would have expected. We get action, heartfelt moments, and some good comedy. Spy x Family this is not, but enjoy it you will.
Recommended by: Dark Aether, Marquan, Stínolez
Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte
Written by: Reikaze
Genre(s): Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Where to Watch: HIDIVE
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Former baseball pitcher Endo and otome fanatic Kobayashi are members of the incredibly laidback broadcast club. Kobayashi, in her eternal struggle to get more people to play her favorite otome game MagiKoi, decides that it’d be fun to do a play-by-play commentary of the game! Miraculously, as they start commentating, the game’s hero, Seig, can hear what they are saying! Can they use this to save the tsundere villainess Lieselotte from her doomed fate?
Why You Should Be Watching: Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of communication in an anime or video game and yelled something like “just tell him/her!!”? Endo and Kobayashi’s premise is basically that in anime form and, as a result, is rather fun and refreshing. The comedy that derives from its premise never ceases to put a smile on my face; from Seig’s reactions to the commentary to the running gag of Seig being confused by genre jargon, the show uses the commentary gimmick often and effectively. The star of the show, though, is absolutely our “lies a lot” tsundere Lisselotte who turns into a blushing tomato whenever Endo and Kobayashi call her out. While Lisselotte’s tsun might come off as arbitrarily strong at the beginning, it quickly reaches a point where every one of her appearances is delightful and cute. She’s one of the best tsunderes out there. The whole cast is enjoyable, too, with likable personalities and fun character dynamics that make watching the show interesting regardless of who’s on screen. Finne’s mom, in particular, steals the show whenever she’s on screen.
Another strong aspect of this story is its pacing regarding both the story of the characters in the game and Endo and Kobayashi themselves always keeping things engaging. Personally, I think that the relationship between Endo and Kobayashi is a highlight because it’s done primarily through them getting closer to each other naturally. If you’re looking for a fun rom-com with a compelling and refreshing twist, Endo and Kobayashi is a great show to watch.
Recommended by: Marquan, Reikaze, TheMamaLuigi
Giant Beasts of Ars
Written by: Viking
Genres: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Cat Puns
Where to Watch: HIDIVE
Spoiler-Free Synopsis: Giant beasts plague the lands of humans; yet, humans thrive by killing the beasts and using their body parts. Jiro, a beast hunter, teams up with Kuumi, a girl who has escaped from a laboratory, to defeat a strange red-eyed beast attacking a city. The two leave the city along with Myaa, a strange girl with a cat on her head, as minions of the laboratory chase after them while various factions initiate nefarious plots.
Why You Should Be Watching: Giant Beasts of Ars is a breath of fresh air. The setting alone makes it stand out. In recent years, most fantasy anime takes place in a generic fantasy world vaguely resembling late-Medieval Europe, often with a heavy dose of RPG terminology to prop up that generic world and story. Giant Beasts instead gives us a world blending swords, sorcery, and high technology without the game jargon that often makes a fantasy anime feel flat. This setting feels like a callback to days gone by when fantasy worlds in anime were weird and original. The world is gradually revealed as the protagonists journey onward. Throughout the anime, the protagonists visit different, unique places, notably a Therianthrope village and a settlement of humanoid “mountaineers”, and we learn about those places along with the protagonists. It makes for a very smooth and organic way to introduce such an interesting setting.
The protagonists are a fun mix. Jiro the Already Dead is a world-weary Paladin who reluctantly helped Kuumi evade being re-captured by the minions of the laboratory from which she escaped. When the city was threatened by a strange red-eyed beast, it became clear that Kuumi had the powers of a Cleric. Partnering with a Cleric truly unlocks the powers of a Paladin, so Jiro and Kuumi’s relationship becomes far more than just a man helping out a runaway. Next we have Myaa, a small girl with a cat on her head. Honestly, I have no idea if that cat is alive, some sort of hat, or actually a part of Myaa’s head — I’m not sure it matters, because she’s just fantastic. She speaks almost entirely in cat puns. I thought it would get old, quickly, but instead it adds levity to an otherwise serious tale. Soon after leaving the city, Meran (a classic shounen protagonist relegated to support) and Romana (a skilled herbalist who seems to know a whole lot more than she lets on) join Jiro and company. The five of them develop into a found family cast with some interesting dynamics.
Exploring this strange world with these characters makes Giant Beasts of Ars much more fun to watch than the average fantasy fare. The mystery of the red-eyed beasts is slowly unfolding, as well as the machinations of the various factions in the world. How will our protagonists make their way through all of this?
Recommended by: Marquan, Requiem, Viking
Handyman Saitou in Another World
Written by: DJNiipah
Genres: Fantasy, Isekai
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Saitou, a man who epitomized putting others before himself in his past life, suddenly finds himself adventuring in a medieval fantasy world. Befriending a unique party, Saitou’s skills as an everyday handyman prove to be invaluable adventuring through dungeons. The anime utilizes vignettes to introduce a creative cast of adventurers who do not fit traditional fantasy norms- dwarves who use arcane magic, fighter elves, thieves who cast spells, demon paladins, mages who forget their spell incantations, and even a POWER WIZARD. Can Saitou find his special feeling of belonging in this world of oddities?
Why You Should Be Watching: Regardless of how much anime one watches, chances are that, by this point, most recoil a bit seeing yet another isekai anime. What might be worse yet is having to hear the pitch “it’s not like other isekai!” That said, Handyman Saitou spends very little time establishing its premise, instead sinking its teeth into the world and colorful characters it touts. Indeed, for the first quarter of the anime, there is little attention given to the fact that this is an isekai and, rather, there are several vignettes introducing its surprisingly lively world. By the time it brings up Saitou being from another world, the writing has already delivered a connection to the titular handyman and his friends.
Undoubtedly, Saitou and the other adventurers of this nameless fantasy world make this journey worthwhile. Quirky individuals, all unique in their own ways, blend together on screen with disarming chemistry. It becomes less about watching monsters that will surely be mowed down and more about enjoying the banter and escapades of the cast. Even characters presented as antagonistic have nuance in both their motivations and, more impressively, the way the heroes humanize them through acknowledgment and compassion (the latter leading to unexpected tear-jerking moments). Overall, Handyman Saitou refreshingly illustrates that there is a place for everyone,no matter how unique they are, through a wonderful journey flush with charming characters and worldbuilding.
Recommended by: Alistair Hyde, DJNiipah, Doctorkev, Marquan, Reikaze, Requiem,
The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague
Written by: Marquan
Genres: Romance, Comedy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll
Spoiler-Free Synopsis: The descendant of a snow woman begins a new job at a company that welcomes the descendants of various supernatural creatures as well as humans. Upon making it to work, Himuro meets for the second time a human woman who helped him in a time of need. What follows is a story of budding romances of those at this unique workplace.
Why You Should Be Watching: The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague is one of those shows that can take you by surprise. There aren’t any mind-blowing animation sequences, and you won’t get any dramatic, heart-wrenching plot twists. What’s on offer here is an adult romance with believable characters, despite having a supernatural flare. The titular ice guy, Himuro, and his cool female colleague, Fuyutsuki, will give you what can only be described as the warm fuzzies. Both realize early on that they’re intrigued by one another, though in Himuro’s case it’s full-blown attraction.
Absent are the oblivious leads or constant overreactions to accidents and misunderstandings. Instead, we get equal parts romance and comedy with a sprinkling of supernatural aspects. While we don’t get much in the way of lore for these supernatural elements, they play a central role in Himuro and Fuyutsuki’s budding relationship. We see mini-blizzards summoned during Himuro’s heightened emotional states due to him being the descendant of a snow woman. Mini snowmen are also summoned, and they utter cute phrases before disappearing. Fuyutsuki goes out of her way to find ways to help Himuro deal with the issues that come from being a descendant of a supernatural creature, and every action she takes to help him only works to make her that much more likable. You want to root for the characters and their respective romances, because even the side characters have cute relationships, though not as clearly defined as Himuro and Fuyutsuki’s. This show is a great time for romance fans who like a dash of comedy and realistic portrayals of relationships with sprinkles of supernatural aspects. Also, the eyes in this show are gorgeous, so there’s that too.
Recommended by: Marquan, Stínolez, TheMamaLuigi, Viking
Kaina of the Great Snow Sea
Written by: Doctorkev
Genres: SF/Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic, Adventure,
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll
Spoiler-Free Synopsis: The Earth is drowned by The Great Snow Sea. The only habitable land surrounds the roots of the colossal Orbital Spire Trees, whose miles-high branches extend into the sky to form a clear organic Canopy above the atmosphere. Below, the last vestiges of mankind war for the remaining drops of drinkable water. Princess Ririha of Atland ascends to The Canopy and meets Kaina, one of the last surviving Orbital Spire Tree denizens. Together they travel the ruined world, witnessing its bizarre wonders while becoming embroiled in humanity’s final, desperate fight for survival.
Why You Should Be Watching: From the pen of Blame! and Knights of Sidonia’s Tsutomu Nihei comes the latest of his (anime-original in this case) collaborations with oft-maligned CG anime studio Polygon Pictures. Fan’s of Nihei’s works will recognise his telltale thematic obsession — little people dwarfed by enormous, confusing, terrifying worlds. Kaina’s future Earth is weird in a very Nihei way. We don’t know why there are stratospherically tall trees spurting up to the sky, nor do we know why the world is drowned in a weird bubbly fluid that most certainly isn’t water. Knowing Nihei, we may never know, and waiting for answers isn’t the point — it’s about the journey, and so far it’s been incredible.
Polygon is often justly criticised for its stiff, jerky, low frame-rate character motion and clumsy-looking designs. Despite obvious improvement, given the evidence on display in Kaina, they’ve a long way to go before they can equal Studio Orange (who produce this season’s Trigun remake.) Iffy character animation notwithstanding, this show looks gorgeous with the most spectacular and weird background/environmental artwork on full display in every episode. This is Nihei doing his own bizarre version of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
Kaina is a real old-style grand adventure, with our main characters traversing a strange, alien world full of danger and enemies. The world itself is as much of a character as the tiny humans passing through it. Kaina is a pacifist who has never before conceived of harming another human, while the more world-wise Ririha is somewhat more inclined to get stabby with the business end of a blade. Their dynamic is fun, and the supporting characters (especially striking red-haired female warrior Amerote) add colour and intrigue. I’m all in on the journey to the end of the season (and the recently-announced concluding movie).
Recommended by: Doctorkev, TGRIP, Viking
The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady
Written by: Requiem
Genres: Fantasy, Isekai, Yuri, Broom Skillz
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll
Spoiler-Free Synopsis: Princess Anisphia “Anis” Wynn Palettia is an odd duck. She shows no care or concern for her position as a royal and is obsessed with magic — a power she can’t use. She’s also actually from Earth. Reincarnated in this fantasy world, she spends her time building magic inventions inspired by her previous life (like a broom for flying), and exasperating her poor Father. Euphyllia “Euphy” Magenta is a highly talented magician from a noble family, and is dedicated to her role as fiance of the crown prince. When that goes awry, Anis crashes the party and swoops up Euphy for herself! Thus begins a Revolution of a Magical nature. See how that works?
Why You Should Be Watching: Sometimes, things that appear one way on a cursory glance are actually more profound and/or more complex than they look. This maxim describes both Magical Revolution and its characters to a T.
From a distance, this show presents itself as just another isekai power fantasy and lighthearted comedy. The opening episode seems to set that tone: Anis comes off like a harmless goofball, albeit a competent one. Euphy seems like a damsel in distress, their friend Tilty an edgelord goth girl, etc. The plot sets up as “Reincarnated princess has fun with her oddball friends and shakes up stuffy high society in her new world.”
And that would’ve been fine! The characters are fun, well-written, and clearly defined; so it could’ve worked just fine as a comedic slice-of-life series. But MagiRevo has a lot more depth bubbling away under the surface. Anisphia’s seemingly charming fixation on magic is slowly revealed as an obsession, potentially a dangerous one — especially to herself. Euphy has an inner strength that belies the ‘damsel in distress’ trope and is just as likely to be the one doing the saving. Other characters, like Anis’ brother, the Prince, and his new love interest Lainie also show more sides and complications than expected.
The overarching plot slowly peels back layers (like an ogre) to reveal the depth behind what once seemed a formulaic story in darker shades, particularly with the identity and motivations of the emerging antagonist. On top of all this, we have the relationship between our leads themselves. A lesser program might resort to “yuri baiting”; here, Anis and Euphy’s relationship is handled deftly, sweetly, and in an unapologetically romantic manner. It is a highlight of the show.
Quality writing and characters aren’t all Magical Revolution has going for it; visually, it is absolutely top of the class. Magic effects are particularly well rendered, and action scenes are simply stunning. An aerial battle with a dragon in one episode stands out as a truly spectacular outing for studio Diomedéa. Sound and voice acting are also top notch — the show truly has no real weaknesses.
Maybe you saw this series in seasonal previews and thought, “another isekai, another yuri tease, no thanks.” We urge you to take another look and delve into the depths on offer from what might be the best show of the season.
Just keep a heads up for experimental flying brooms.
Recommended by: Doctorkev, Marquan, Reikaze, Requiem, Stínolez, TheMamaLuigi, Viking
Summer Time Rendering
Written by: Alistair Hyde
Genres: Mystery, Supernatural, Suspense, Drama, Fantasy
Spoiler-Free Synopsis: Shinpei returns to his hometown of Wakayama City on Hitogashima to attend the funeral of Ushio, his childhood friend, who died while trying to save Shiori from drowning in the sea. However, Ushio’s body tells a different story from a forensic point of view, unveiling a mystery connected with the history of the island. Would you dare find out what lurks in the shadows?
Why You Should Be Watching: This anime uses mystery to stimulate the curiosity of the viewer, providing breadcrumbs that make you question what is going on. Certain sounds might give away warnings to create tension, particularly if you have seen other shows where cicadas cry or children sing like a scary refrain. It will not hold back when it needs to be violent and graphic during gory scenes.
Shinpei and friends are intelligent characters that outsmart their adversaries by using every chance they have to learn from their mistakes and exploit every discovery they make as they progress. This mindset shows their resilience and strategic thinking when they approach obstacles as the plot and conflict develops
In addition, the antagonists are not far behind by using the data Shinpei gathers against him in very specific instances, leaving the viewer with uncertainty about how big a threat the foes really are. The way the antagonists present themselves will make you reflect on how hopeless Shinpei should feel about his task to save Mio Kofune.
The interactions between these factions eventually develop to become a survival chess game between beings of light and shadow full of bad endings. This deadly game slowly but surely becomes even more interesting as we don’t know which side will win until the very end. This keeps the viewer’s attention every step of the way as well as the desire to solve the mystery before this horror tale concludes.
The pacing is like that of assembling a puzzle, and the loops spice this up by introducing new characters and elements that add complexity to the larger narrative.
The animation is beautiful; the special effects and CGI blend proficiently to emphasize the show’s shock value to grab the viewer by the throat. Therefore, simply let the shadows show you what is on the other side of this light realm.
Recommended by: Alistair Hyde, Dark Aether, Doctorkev, Marquan, Reikaze, Stínolez, TGRIP, TheMamaLuigi
Tomo-chan Is a Girl!
Written by: Alistair Hyde
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll
Spoiler-Free Synopsis: Tomo Aizawa and Junichirou “Jun” Kubota are childhood friends who train in the same karate dojo and enjoy spending time together, as best friends do. The only issue is that the tomboyish Tomo is in love with Jun, but he sees her like a brother, even though she confessed her feelings to Jun at the start of their first year of high school. After this, Tomo realizes she needs to find a way to knock some sense into Jun to make him aware of her affection; however, it might be harder than expected.
Why You Should Be Watching: This anime provides good vibes and laughs from humorous situations that not only rely on misunderstandings but also change the tone and motive of the jokes according to the direction of the plot is going without affecting the development of the characters’ relationships negatively.
It has an amazing and lovable supporting cast that move around Tomo and Jun, not only taking part in the main conflict but also providing subplots as additional layers to let the world around them feel more alive, rich, and realistic.
The relationships between the members of the cast allow their individual qualities to develop while deepening their interactions with each other. Each character’s unique point of view contributes to the show’s plot while making them stand out as memorable.
Gundo Misuzu is a strong candidate for the best secondary character of the season. She’s more capable than her tomboyish friend and carries the show with her using her strong backbone. It would be very interesting to get a spin-off series dedicated exclusively to her.
Carol Olston is a lighter and cuter character and another contrast to Tomo with her naive yet surprisingly grounded personality, Misuzu is the middle ground between the other two, and it is fantastic to watch how she handles Carol as a rival in her quest to help Tomo while slowly becoming genuine friends with her.
Unlike classic oblivious characters, Jun is aware of his fear of losing Tomo as a friend, especially after what happened with Misuzu, because he is insecure about how becoming a couple will affect them. In addition, there is a discussion about the repercussions of identity and social roles. The most positive thing I get from this is that perception is a battlefield where Tomo needs to do different things to obtain different results and be happy without changing who she is.
Finally, the audience does not necessarily need to cheer for the main couple. Just enjoy the ride and laugh at the jokes. The payoff of their relationship might seem far off, but when everything the shows has put in place comes together, it will be a tasty reward.
Recommended by: Alistair Hyde, Doctorkev, Marquan, Reikaze, TheMamaLuigi, Umrguy42, Viking
Written by: TGRIP
Genres: Sci-fi Action Western
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll
Spoiler-Free Synopsis: In the far-off future, humanity clings to life on the inhospitable desert planet of Gunsmoke. On top of the blistering heat and dangerous wildlife, the world’s residents must contend with countless outlaws and bounty hunters. Standing above all this grit is the “humanoid typhoon”, Vash the Stampede: a mysterious but extremely kindhearted gunslinger who, despite his disposition, has a bounty on his head for six million “double dollars.” This bounty is a result of a group of assassins called the Gung-Ho Guns tormenting him, resulting in destruction and the theft of powerful devices called “plants” wherever Vash goes. After a lifetime of running, Vash encounters new allies willing to tag along with him: two news reporters,Meryl Stryfe and Robert De Niro, and a “priest” named Nicholas D. Wolfwood. Together, this motley crew travels across an unforgiving wasteland, along the way unraveling Vash’s past and discovering why exactly he’s terrified of the leader of the Gung-Ho Guns, his brother “Millions Knives”…
Why You Should Be Watching: Because studio Orange doesn’t miss, and this a more-than-worthy reimagining of one of the most hallowed anime of the 1990s. With the original Trigun being as revered as it is, it’s not surprising that this “remix” has stirred up some controversy; however, the most vocal complaints are in areas I wasn’t expecting. The usual quibbles with CG animation are back, although the show’s unique cinematography has been a surprisingly make or break aspect for many people. For me this is an anime that at times evokes Looney Toons with how energetic its action, facial expressions, and character movements are, and that’s not a bad thing. The absence of Milly is felt, but, honestly, this show stands more than well enough without her. I like Milly, but she wasn’t the only thing that made me fall in love with the original show over a decade ago.
What did make me fall in love with the original Trigun was its visual style, cast, sense of humor, and core theme of optimism in the face of overwhelming cynicism. And I’m happy to say pretty much all of that is here, along with some improvements that showcase some of the original series’ faults, such as a fresh and soulful soundtrack and pacing so good that it feels like it takes the original’s out to the woodshed. This is a production I’m tempted to call damn near faultless: its animation is almost unparalleled, it’s consistently fun and engaging thanks to a wide cast with depth and chemistry, and the story is much more engrossing that I was expecting. This is still recognizably Trigun, but it streamlines itself without losing the magic that made it such a landmark. Stampede more than lives up to the legacy of its forebearer, and is easily one of the first great shows of the year.
Recommended by: Dark Aether, Doctorkev, TGRIP
Our seasonal recommendations articles are the results of weeks of collaboration and discussion by many members of the AniTAY community. Some wrote part of the article, and many took part in the voting and discussion to bring this list to life.
Contributors in Alphabetical Order:
- Alistair Hyde
- Dark Aether
- DJ Niipah
First time experiencing our seasonal recommendation list? Check out last season’s here!
You’re reading AniTAY, a reader-run blog whose writers love everything anime related. To join in on the fun, check out our website, visit our official subreddit, follow us on Twitter, or give us a like on our Facebook page.