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The 8 New Anime of Summer 2022 You Should Be Watching

Summer is winding down fast, and as the days get shorter, why not fill those extended nighttime hours with the very best anime this season has to offer? You’ll find plenty of summer vibes here, from soccer boys to dusk-tinged romances, SEGA nostalgia to cute deadly assassin girls running a totally innocent cafe. Summer might be ending, but it lives on in our hearts and these shows!

Our venerable AniTAY community has spent the better part of August debating, deliberating, and some-other-D-word-ing what we think are the best shows this season. You may not vibe with every show on this list, but we’re confident you’ll find something on your wavelength.

Some things to remember before we jump in:

  1. As always,we have omitted continuing shows and sequels. This list is only for new anime this season. Check out our Summer 2022 sequel guide for that information:

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, grab your favourite summer beverage (and a sangria for me, please), and check out our recommendations for Summer 2022!

Call of the Night

Written By: Arcane
Genres: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Where to Watch: HIDIVE

Spoiler-Free Synopsis: Ko Yamori, once a top-class honor student, has very suddenly lost his motivation. Deciding to try venturing out at night to see if he finds any source of drive in the quiet hours, he sneaks out and wanders the lonely city streets… only to come across a young woman with purple hair. This strange girl invites him back to her place to sleep near each other and tries to suck his blood while he pretends to sleep. Discovering her secret vampire identity, Ko has an idea — if the night is what he’s suited for, maybe becoming a vampire is the life path for him! The only problem? In order for her to transform him, he has to fall in love with his odd new friend!

Why You Should Be Watching: Call of the Night has something of a hard sell going on. The synopsis makes it sound like a trashy supernatural romantic comedy, and I can tell you that it definitely is…but what makes it so special is all of the other creative layers stacked on top of it. For those paying enough attention, Call of the Night goes from a somewhat lascivious romance to an exciting character study about what it means to be a contemporary teenager.

Both of the main protagonists are delightfully awkward in their own way, setting up a strange romance between two people who in the real world would likely identify as either demi- or even asexual, whether it’s Ko seeming not to really understand when women are trying to entice him or vampire girl Nazuna loving to make dirty jokes but getting uncomfortable the moment that actual intimacy is on the table. Ko knows that he has to fall in love in order to achieve his goal but grapples with the idea of what that even means, particularly when one is setting out with that in mind.

The visual presentation of the show shouldn’t be discounted, either. Call of the Night bucks the idea of what nighttime is in reality by rendering it in dreamlike, JoJo-esque vivid colors. The sky paints the city pink, green, and blue, and is often the focal point of the frame. The scenery is frequently realistically drawn, contrasted with the cartoonish characters, creating a surreal vibe that only adds to the show’s atmosphere and flavor.

And vibe is simply one of the best words I can use to describe Call of the Night. Everything about the show works towards the feeling it wants the viewer to experience, depicting the magical silence of a quiet nighttime street, the overwhelming awkwardness of being dropped into a conversation with strangers, and the quiet desperation of many who turn to the midnight hours for comfort. I’m excited to see where it’ll take me, in the end. Like Ko, I love to answer the call.

Recommended by: Arcane, Alistair Hyde, Dark Aether, Doctorkev, Requiem, Stínolez, Viking

Engage Kiss

Written by: Doctorkev
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural, Comedy, Ecchi
Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Spoiler-free Synopsis: Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean floats Bayron City, an advanced microstate whose economy hinges on the mining of newly-discovered power source Orgonium. Bayron City is beset by frequent demonic attacks, and the government hires private military contractors who bid for the chance to fight these invaders. Twenty-something Shu Ogata is a piece of human wreckage contracted to the cute but deadly demon Kisara. He uses her demonic powers to undercut his business rivals, destroy other demons, and remain barely solvent in an expensive city. Oh, and his love life is more of an apocalyptic mess than the world around him.

Why You Should Be Watching: Do you like love triangles? How about pink-haired yandere girls with empty thousand-yard stares? Do you also enjoy brutal violence involving childlike demons, scheming ex-girlfriends, and hilariously un-chaste murder-nuns? If the answer to all three of these questions is an unreserved “yes”, then first get some psychological help, and second, you’ll probably enjoy this bonkers and refreshingly adult anime from A1 Pictures.

If ever there was a show that lived or died by the traditional anime “three-episode test”, it’s Engage Kiss. Despite the presence of the aforementioned pink-haired yandere demon girl, I was not initially taken by what seemed to be a fairly generic supernatural action anime with an unsympathetic main character and an unimaginative setting. However, the ending of episode three pulls one of those rare “holy shit!” moments that successfully recontextualises the show’s main conflicts and instantly gives the previously irritating Shu Ogata a not-insignificant degree of pathos (and existential angst).

Essentially, it’s a matter of “come for the crazy action, stay for the twisted character relationships”. To say much more would spoil some truly hilarious, very horny, and sometimes horrifying twists. Shu, his ex-girlfriend Ayano, and (literally) possessive demon girl Kisara are embroiled in a mutually destructive and codependent love triangle unlike anything I’ve ever seen in anime. Also — this isn’t one of these eye-rollingly dull endless will-they-won’t they romantic situations. At some point, Shu seems to have screwed most of the female characters, sometimes with horrifyingly amusing ulterior motives.

Although many character interactions are played for laughs, the background storyline is deadly serious, and the fantastically animated action scenes carry real weight. This can mean the tone is somewhat bipolar, though the same can be said for A1 pictures’ other show this season, Lycoris Recoil. Together they make for a fascinating Saturday night double bill of cute girls, comedy and violence.

Recommended by: Alistair Hyde, Doctorkev, Gugsy, Reikaze, Requiem, TheMamaLuigi, Viking

The Girl From the Other Side

Written by: Doctorkev
Genres: Fantasy, Supernatural, Fairytale
Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Spoiler-free Synopsis: A fearsome-looking cursed being finds an innocent abandoned girl and tries to protect her from the horrors that surround her.

Why You Should Be Watching: Before Walt Disney got his sanitising hands on the collected works of The Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Hans Christian Andersen, European fairy tales were violent, disturbing, and cruel fables designed to instill in unwitting children a healthy sense of terror about the unknown. The real world was a terrifying place where good people were tortured, mutilated, or forced to undergo horrendous trials, and a happy ending was never guaranteed. Fairy tales embellished the truth with magic and adventure, without holding back the dread. Just imagine if Disney’s The Little Mermaid kept Andersen’s original ending?

Mangaka Nagabe’s 2015–2021 manga The Girl From the Other Side is a fairytale in the old tradition — dark, unsettling, yet enticing and filled with intrigue about a strange world with even stranger rules. In this world, humans hide themselves away in a place called “the inside”, for in “the outside” roam cursed beings, perhaps former humans, horribly disfigured by a contagious curse. Any humans bearing signs of the curse are ejected from society and either executed or left in the forest to die, like the titular girl.

This three-episode OVA adaptation covers only a portion of the manga’s story, and was funded on Kickstarter and was bundled with some of the later manga volumes. It comes to Crunchyroll without any fanfare, but is well worth checking out. With its scratchy linework and delicate watercolours it looks like no other contemporary anime, but evokes the mysterious and ethereal tone of the manga impressively well.

Little white moppet Shiva is achingly cute and innocent, and she is contrasted sharply by the tall, dark cursed one she dubs “sensei” (teacher), as he has no name. Little about the world is explained in dialogue, information must be inferred purely from the expressive visuals. A truly disturbing event later in the story will ensure you never look at leafless wintertime trees in quite the same way again.

It’s more of a mood piece than a full story, with an extremely ambiguous ending. However it’s more than worth a watch, if only to see something truly different, and beautiful.

Recommended by: Doctorkev

Lycoris Recoil

Written by: Requiem
Genres: Action, Comedy, False Utopia, Cute Girls Doing Cute Things
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Spoiler-Free Synopsis: Crime is remarkably low in Japan these days. It could be good police work or cultural factors. Or maybe it’s because a top secret organization uses young schoolgirl assassins called Lycoris to nip crime in the bud before anyone notices, Precrime style. Takina is a highly effective agent of this organization but when an error is made and she takes the fall, she discovers another branch — a Cafe called LycoReco. When she meets adorable and cheerful badass Chisato, a beautiful tale of friendship and high-octane gunplay begins.

Why You Should Be Watching: Lycoris Recoil is a study in contrasts, almost to the point of cognitive dissonance. On the one hand it’s a Cute Girls Being Friends show, a story of two opposite personalities finding each other and forging a lasting friendship. On the other hand, it’s a gonzo action movie/spy thriller with shadowy plots and gunfights that would make John Woo proud. Trying to be two things at once is a difficult challenge to pull off and often leads to tonal whiplash, or one aspect being weaker than the other. Lycoris, though, somehow makes it work- the dichotomy between the fun slice-of-life shenanigans and the action movie set pieces isn’t a weakness but the show’s biggest strength. It’s a wonderful alchemy.

How did they accomplish this? By squaring this structure of disparate elements on a solid foundation of great characters. We get a fantastic main duo: the upbeat, sunny free spirit Chisato plays magnificently off the more practical, reserved Takina, the yin-yang of their personalities creating a partnership that grounds the show and makes you invest in what happens to them. The rest of the cast is rounded out with a mix of colorful and eclectic characters, all with quirks and layers that are written well enough that even the minor players add to every scene they’re in.

“Written well” describes this series in a nutshell, really; it’s remarkably well paced, manages to balance the episodic stories with a narrative throughline of a larger plot, and hints at themes of responsibility of power and finding your own way to live up to the expectations of others. It also gets great use out of its expanded cast and features snappy, realistic-feeling dialogue. And lest you think that the focus on characters and writing means they put less effort in the visuals or sound, fear not — the show looks fantastic and has an excellent score. Those action set pieces mentioned earlier are a real highlight, and the only downside is there’s not more of them.

Like a 5-tool player in baseball, Lycoris covers all bases and has no real weaknesses — it’s a nearly flawless execution of a premise that, quite frankly, would’ve been very easy to screw up. If you haven’t gotten on this roller coaster yet, we suggest you get in line immediately.

Oh, and if you see any girls in school uniforms out in public, it’s best to just assume they’re trained assassins. Can’t be too careful.

Recommended By: Alistair Hyde, Dark Aether, Doctorkev, Reikaze, Requiem, TheMamaLuigi, Umrguy42, Viking

Phantom of the Idol

Written by: TGRIP
Genre: Idol-based comedy
Where to Watch: HIDIVE

Spoiler-Free Synopsis: The idol duo “ZINGS” is in a bit of a slump. Despite a passionate fanbase, one of its leads, Yuya Niyodo, is so unmotivated that he’s in danger of being dropped. Although he’s made it clear to his manager that he’s only in it for the money, his supportive performing partner Kazuki Yoshino begs for him to somehow move beyond his blasé attitude and become a proper idol. A chance encounter, however, starts to turn things around: the ghost of former pop idol Asashi Mogami, who despite being dead for nearly a year, is “dying to get back in” (hey, it’s her pun, not mine) as an idol performer. After an initial meeting where “someone who’s dead can’t believe someone alive can be so unmotivated”, she accidentally takes over Yuya’s body, and from there a working partnership is formed. Asashi gets to live out her unfinished wish of being an idol, and Yuya not only has someone who can possess him and take over some of his workload, but even begins to appreciate what makes his job so special to so many people.

Why You Should Be Watching: Because this is the under-the-radar comedy of the season. I know, this is a weak season for original shows with sequels dominating the discourse, and this series in particular might not look all that special with unremarkable character designs and a title that sounds like a bad pun. BUT, underneath is a solid premise that allows plenty of room for good comedy, and Phantom delivers thanks to a good script, surprisingly good direction, and some of the best voice acting in the whole season. The core strength here is the voice cast, the center of which is Nao Toyama (known for My Youth Romantic Comedy SNAFU) as Asashi, acting alongside relative newcomer Fumiya Imai as Yuya. The two have great chemistry as the lead characters, so much so that this almost feels like an odd one-off SNAFU episode, with Yui as a ghost and Hachiman playing the deadpan dirtbag.

Everyone else is excellent as well, with the rest of the cast (especially the ZINGS fanbase) having great reactions, from the absurdity of seeing Yuya acting out of character when possessed to witnessing his indifference to the weird situations he finds himself in (“oh, you’re a ghost?… okay”).This is further bolstered by unexpectedly good direction, with Daisei Fukuoka of Danganronpa 3 fame making sure this series has the pacing required for a comedy to truly shine. It’d be so easy for Phantom of the Idol to be an underwhelming mess, but it succeeds thanks to a great balance between its tone and content, characters who manage be really funny and somehow rather believable in their actions, and overall execution that more than makes up for the occasional flub (oh, the CG work in this show…). If you’re in need of a laugh this season, I highly recommend giving this series a shot.

Recommended by: TGRIP

Shoot! Goal to the Future

Written by: Alistair Hyde
Genre: Sports
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Spoiler-free Synopsis: Hideto Tsuji, a student at Kakegawa High School, who seems uninterested in soccer, refuses the call to join the team that represents the school. However, after meeting Atsushi Kamiya, a former player in a famous Italian soccer team, known as a world-renowned “courageous captain”, things might change to start a new legend.

Why You Should Be Watching: Shoot! Goal to the Future sets itself apart by following a soccer team of average students that are on their way to becoming prodigies. This works because it feels like a comedy with involuntary humor.

The show’s realism comes through not giving away free victories or techniques to the cast just to let the plot develop. Even if they do special training to compensate for their lack of ability, they might not get what they want, but that is just how real life works. The underlying message is not to feel bad for the members of the team but to laugh and cheer for them as they slowly but surely see the fruits of their labor.

It develops the idea that Hideto is struggling with some experiences that made him notice his abilities in the game are no longer as effective as they once were. His journey to recovery is slow but feels legit — he will eventually overcome his demons after realizing what he desires by playing again while constantly refusing the call to give it all in the field.

Considering this is set in the late nineties and early 2000’s, it makes fun of certain tropes that sports anime constantly exploit. An example of this is Kokubo Kouhei, Hideo Tsuji’s childhood friend and an invincible player. He is mighty to the point that he can engage in conversation, cry, scream, and complain about the fact that Hideo quit playing soccer in the middle of a practice game while being the best player on the team. This is a harsher perspective on the self-growth journey than usual, but it distances itself from classic tropes through its more realistic take on those ideas.

It is a slow burn of a show, meant to provide an insight into how much a person controls what surrounds them, adding cheesy exaggerations to make you relax and enjoy the carnage while the team sinks or swims in their attempts to win a game to revive glories of the past.

Recommended by: Alistair Hyde

Uncle from Another World

Written by: Reikaze
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life, Fantasy, Isekai
Where to Watch: Netflix

Spoiler-free Synopsis: After getting iseaki’d from getting hit by truck-kun, Takafumi Takaoka’s uncle, Yousuke “Ojisan/Uncle’’ Shibazaki, was comatose for 17 years. When he finally wakes up, Uncle reveals that he had been transported to a magical world and spent those 17 years there as a magical hero. Takafumi dismisses his uncle’s claims as nonsense until uncle demonstrates he can use his said powers on earth.

What ensues is Uncle, a 90’s SEGA addict, catching up with 17 years of console war history, the internet, and the hijinks that ensue as a result. We experience Uncle and Takafumi’s daily life of trying to become YouTubers, and on the way hear tales from Uncle’s journey in another world — a journey that is rather different than you may expect.

Why You Should Be Watching: If you are a fan of retro games who’s also an anime fan, Uncle might just be a contender for AOTS. The way this show talks about and references retro games is more than just skin deep and is truly delightful: the pure excitement that Uncle gets out of 90s SEGA never ceases to put a smile on my face. From experiences you might find relatable (trying to play Burning Rangers without the Saturn 3D pad), to just straight funny (Uncle misinterpreting Altered Beast’s iconic “Rise from your Grave” intro for 20 years), this can really resonate with you.

If you’re not a retro games fan, there’s a lot more to Uncle than references: it’s a great comedy through and through, and a solid isekai, too. Uncle comes with the fun and rare trait of being a reverse isekai: from dealing with the impact of magic in our world to Uncle getting used to different parts of the internet to the dynamics of relationships changing as time passes by, there’s a lot to enjoy out of reverse isekai. Also, while the fantasy world in Uncle’s flashback is fairly standard, it’s enjoyable because it does enough small twists to keep the world feeling fresh, and Uncle’s perspective on the world always seems to distort things in a comedic way. He’s so genre un-savvy that the way he looks at things and problems leads to a lot of funny moments, and certain characters like the NEET ice girl Mabel are rather atypical. Also, even though the isekai part is told through flashbacks, the story itself is linear, which gets you invested in what happens to Uncle and the tight-knit, likable cast of characters that surround him. I found myself as compelled with the events happening in the isekai flashbacks as much as the cast in the regular world, even though we already know what happens in the end.

Uncle is a comedy first and foremost, and I find it consistently funny throughout. Comedy is one of the most subjective elements a show can have so it might not appeal to you, but there is a good variety in its comedy and maintains a fairly high quality of jokes throughout. It’s a show out there to please, and if you watch it, I’m sure you’ll have a fun time.

Recommended by: Alistair Hyde, Dark Aether, Doctorkev, Reikaze

When Will Ayumu Make His Move?

Written by: Marquan

Genres: Slice of life, romantic comedy

Where to Watch: HIDIVE

Spoiler-free Synopsis: Ayumu is a first year in high school, and he has a crush on his cute senpai, Urushi. He’s vowed to confess his feelings once he beats her in a game of shogi. Only, she’s been playing the game since she was a child while he sucks. And so begins his quest to defeat his senpai, all in the name of love.

Why You Should Be Watching: Can a basketball player really disappear on the court? Who’s the strongest fighter in the universe? Why can’t she communicate? Anime challenges us with questions like these all the time. But never before has a question been posed of this caliber! What question is that?

When will Ayumu make his move?

Okay, I lied. This type of question is asked whenever a new romance or romantic comedy comes out. But can any of those other shows boast that they come from the mind of the masterfully (hehe) done Teasing Master Takagi-san? When Will Ayumu Make His Move? centers around Ayumu and his senpai, who is almost certain that he has a crush on her. She’s right of course, and she does all she can to get him to admit it, despite the fact that she’s easily flustered when it comes to him and the idea of romance.. The show is full of cute interactions between them, as well as Ayumu’s friends, Takeru and Sakurako, who also have undeclared feelings for each other. Every week you get a dose of warm fuzzy feelings when you spend time with these characters, and you even get a few laughs in as well. What more could you ask for?

If you want a fluffy, heart-warming romantic comedy where the couples are endearing, relatable, and cute, then this is your go to this season.

Recommended by: Marquan, Requiem, Viking

The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting

Written by: umrguy42
Genres: Slice of Life
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Spoiler-free Synopsis: Tōru Kirishima is the “Demon of the Sakuragi” yakuza family. However, the head of his family decides that Kirishima needs to become more responsible and tasks him with looking after the boss’s young daughter, Yaeka. In doing so, these two will become family in more than just blood.

Why You Should Be Watching: Nearly every season we seem to get at least one show with a great family-oriented story. Sometimes these stories are about “found families,” people coming together. Sometimes it’s families coming back together. Some of the best do both. Such is the case with The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting. Despite being suddenly thrown into a caretaker role, we see Kirishima taking the time and effort to make Yaeka feel more comfortable and begin bringing her out of her shell, understanding that Yaeka’s family situation has caused her to close herself off from the world, despite her father wishing he could spend more time with her.But, in addition to making a connection that falls somewhere between father figure and older brother, Kirishima helps Yaeka rediscover her relationship with her actual father and start reckoning with the pain having a mother who cannot do everything she sees her classmates’ families doing.

While not the first series to combine action sequences with sudden family life (2018’s excellent Hinamatsuri comes to mind, as does last season’sSpy x Family), the show doesn’t rely on a slapstick premise of “look how inept this yakuza is at taking care of a girl.” While part of the humor, Kirishima’s early issues helping Yaeka do her hair and cutting himself while cooking a birthday dinner for her show us his deepening care and affection for her. The show doesn’t just rely on the fantastic feel goods, either; it’s never as blatantly fantastical as Hinamatsuri, but it doesn’t shy away from giving us over-the-top yakuza action scenes. The very first episode begins with a demonstration of why Kirishima is the “Demon of the Sakuragi”, bloodily taking down a group of opposing yakuza. And just to add some spice, there’s a background plot involving an as-yet-unnamed character scheming and intriguing around Kirishima for reasons yet to be revealed. So, to sum it all up, it’s a great combination of fun action sequences, a dash of intrigue, a big old dose of feel good moments, blended with humor — and I haven’t even mentioned the bevy of fun side characters. What more could you ask for?

Recommended by: Reikaze, Requiem, Umrguy42, Viking

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
  • Arcane
  • Dark Aether
  • Doctorkev
  • Gugsy
  • hybridmink
  • Marquan
  • Reikaze
  • Requiem
  • Stinolez
  • TGRIP
  • Umrguy42
  • Viking

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.

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Reid Braaten - TheMamaLuigi

Reid Braaten - TheMamaLuigi

Master of Arts graduate with a focus on anime and representations of otaku culture in Japanese media. AniTAY’s resident editor. Finding time to do something.