The Winter 2022 AniTAY Sequel Guide

Arcane
Arcane
Jan 3 · 14 min read
Header credit: Stanlick

Another year has passed, and while it was pretty terrible for most things, 2021 was fantastic for anime. When every single season has ten or more shows you can’t bear to drop, the bar is set rather high for whatever comes afterwards. 2022 begins here, with the ending of one of the most massively popular adaptations of the last decade…and also the continuation of two of our favorite AniTAY punching bags. Excelsior!

Attack on Titan: Final Season, Part 2

Presented by: Alistair Hyde

Studio: Mappa

Genres: Action, Horror, War, Seinen

Why You Should Catch Up: If you have never heard of the show, Part 2 of the Final Season for Attack on Titan represents the end of an anime you should watch from the beginning with the first three seasons adapted by Wit Studio and continue with the entire final season done by studio MAPPA based on Hajime Isayama’s long-running manga. Somehow, humans became Lilliputians inside walled cities to protect themselves from massive, monstrous, grotesque, mutated naked beings without reproductive organs called Titans that see them like cattle to devour. Our protagonist, Eren Yeager grows up entirely within the bounds of his walled city, until one day said Titans break through to feed upon whatever bystander they can find. Eren escapes with his childhood friends Mikasa and Armin and subsequently trains to become a scout to fight back and turn around this cat and mouse game in favor of the prey against those grotesque, mindless predators.

This is an intense survival of the sickest, strange slice and gore parade, drama story. The twists and revelations will make you rethink what you are watching as the plot thickens. At first, the frequent horrifying character deaths make it seem like the battle is lost against a force of nature meant to eradicate humans like parasites. Afterward, the clandestine political maneuvering and military coups give us perspective about how humans might be the worst enemy of their kind.

The pulse-pounding, kinetic action sequences, iconic soundtrack, and most impressive (and strategic use of) 3D CGI spice a well-thought narrative that uses flashbacks and foreshadowing as well as other elements proficiently driving facts in a logical sense. You will get the feeling that many things are happening at the same time but can come together like pieces of a well-organized puzzle. We even got in the first half of season 4 a unique point of view directly from the enemy lines about how everything came out to be in the first place. I suggest you listen to the covers performed by the Dutch symphonic metal band called Epica of the first three opening themes by Linked Horizon, which you can find in the 2018 EP known as Epica vs Attack on Titan Songs.

The characters are well-drawn and flawed human beings with varying motivations who screw up and make bad decisions that no plot armor will be able to redeem for all of them. There is virtue behind this approach since the audience, as spectators, do not have to choose a side in a conflict perpetuated by an infinite cycle of hate that will not end until something settles the issue that originates it with a definitive solution.

Stunning betrayals, power plays, history manipulation, and plot inversions are par for the course as well as social commentary on traffic, slavery and experimentation on human beings, genocide, forced disappearance of persons, war, bioethics, fascism, and armed conflict legacy, these conventions will not let you know whom to trust anymore.

The walls and the Titans hide helpful metaphors. For a life coach, they represent barriers and challenges that life imposes on a person who is in the comfort zone, due to fear of the unknown. In the same vein, the first half of Season 4 would let the mentioned life coach compare how Eren transforms into a toxic shadow in comparison to Armin and how destructive or positive their approaches to achieve the same goal (Peace for their country) are.

On the other hand, a tactician will be able to identify methods used to perpetuate power during the Absolutism of the Medieval Age by nobles, through blue blood and divine right, brainwash followers/soldiers to become guerrilla warfare sleeper-agents to comply with orders in favor of political agendas.

Finally, a historian will find allegories to events, like the French Revolution through the creation of the guillotine, the Reign of Terror into what motivated torture against all nobles, the Second World War with explosions that picture a mushroom cloud as the atomic bomb, and even contemporary armed conflicts regarding how refugees become victims.

The start date is January 9, 2022, so, as the fifth opening suggests, keep going beyond, until the end.

Time To Catch Up + What You Need to Watch:

Essential:

TV series: 31.5 hours

  • Attack on Titan Season 1: 25 episodes
  • Attack on Titan Season 2: 12 episodes
  • Attack on Titan Season 3: 22 episodes
  • Attack on Titan First Half of Season 4: 16 episodes

Optional:

4 Compilation movies: 8 hours

  • Attack on Titan — Part 1: Crimson Bow and Arrow (Covers Season 1, episodes 1–13)
  • Attack on Titan — Part 2: Wings of Freedom (Covers Season 1, episodes 14–25)
  • Attack on Titan: The Roar of Awakening (Covers Season 2)
  • Attack on Titan: Chronicle (Covers Seasons 1–3(!))

8 OVAs: 3.5 hours

  • Attack on Titan: Lost Girls OVAs 1–3
  • Attack on Titan: No Regrets OVAs 1–2
  • Attack on Titan OVAs 1–3

2 Live Action Movies: 3 hours

  • Attack on Titan: Part 1
  • Attack on Titan: Part 2: End Of The World

Where to Catch Up:

  • Attack on Titan Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 Part 1: Crunchyroll and Funimation streaming, Blu-ray/DVD
  • Attack on Titan Compilation movies: Blu-ray/DVD, no streaming options
  • Attack on Titan OVAs: Crunchyroll, Funimation only if you are subscribed to any of them and Bonus DVDs with special edition manga volumes, in subtitled English on Region 1 only, no streaming options
  • Attack on Titan Live Action Movies: Netflix

The Case Files of Vanitas: 2nd Season

Presented By: Aoi Yamamoto

Studio: Studio Bones

Genre: action/adventure, Gothic horror, vampires, comedy

Why You Should Catch Up: The first season of The Case Files of Vanitas last summer was a bright, sexy and fun spot in an otherwise drab season. It’s a Gothic trip that takes cues from classic horror literature and steampunk mixed with vampires that’s a lot of fun to watch. There’s also the fact that it has one of the year’s best cast ranging from the title character and naive Noe, along with Jeanne(aka HellFire Witch) and Noe’s childhood friend/love interest Dominique. There’s also the soundtrack by legendary composer queen Yuki Kajura. The OP by sasanomaly and the ED by LMYK are also among the year’s best songs.

Now why else watch this? There’s also a little bit for everyone!

Hints of BL with our two mains and even yuri with the female cast. And then there’s episode four where without giving away too much, was sexier than anything that Twilight ever tried to pull. Vanitas’ and Jeanne’s blossoming romance continues in season two and I can’t wait along with more revelations about Noe’s and Dom’s past. For manga readers, I highly recommend this arc that’s the basis for the second season, especially if you’re into werewolf mythology. We’ll also learn more about how the Church themselves play a role in how humans and vampires work together. After suffering from Pandora Hearts(a steampunk take on Alice in Wonderland), it’s about time something of Jun Mochizuki got a proper anime adaptation.

Without giving too much away for season two, when we last left Vanitas and Noe, we had just learned what Vanitas’ true background is and how it ties into the Book of Vanitas. For those To refresh from season one: Noe is a young vampire who seeks to find the Book of Vanitas; while caught in a vampire attack upon an airship, Noe is saved by a mysterious weirdo who calls himself a vampire specialist.

For those looking for shonen style battles, while Vanitas does have action, it’s not the battles that you’d find in something like My Hero Academia.

What You Need to Watch/Time to Catch Up:

  • The Case Study of Vanitas: 12 episodes (~5 hrs)

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Part 2

Presented by: TheMamaLuigi

Studio: J.C. Staff

Genres: Isekai, Fantasy, Political, Action

Why You Should NOT Catch Up: An isekai series with a protagonist who seeks to save the world not through power or heroics but through economics and administration is an intriguing premise for a series — one that How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom absolutely fails at utilizing.

Its first twelve episodes were a slog in every sense of the world. Protagonist Kazuya, a civil servant sent to another world, is a wet blanket with zero distinguishing qualities other than his intelligence and negotiation skills. The series follows him as he quickly becomes the new king of Elfrieden and attempts to change his kingdom through economic growth, policy change, and updated administration. Sounds like it could be interesting, right? In the proper hands, sure, but How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom fails in every way to create something memorable, interesting, or worthy of your time.

Every episode follows Kazuya as he beeg thinks around a table about how to improve the lives of his subjects and the overall efficiency of his newfound land. Fantasy stories that deal heavily in the political and economic sides of their respective worlds are not a new thing — the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and The Goblin Emperor are prime examples of this — but Realist Hero displays no understanding of how to make these ideas interesting or worth watching. Everything always goes right for our venerable Kazuya — there are zero stakes in his quest for having the best SimCity — and that robs each episode and the entire show of any intrigue or reason to stick around. Some of the characters around Kazuya are interesting enough, but the fact that they revolve so heavily around our main character strips them of their depth and texture. Everything in Realist Hero is designed to reinforce how cool and smart and awesome and how much of a realist Kazuya is, but the show has no idea how to actually show that to the viewer.

J.C. Staff is capable of putting out visually appealing shows: see Danmachi, Toradora!, and The Pet Girl of Sakurasou. Realist Hero, however, is flat, stiff, and uninteresting to behold, which only makes its very apparent faults in its writing even more egregious. It offers the viewer nothing but purports some semblance of depth and weight behind it, and its visuals reinforce that notion. The world itself is dynamic and semi-interesting, but the characters occupying that world are frequently off-model, lack distinct design, and move unnaturally. Yet another nail in the coffers of a show already without much to offer the viewer.

Do not bother with How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. If you’re looking for isekai series that offer unique worlds with the writing to effectively flesh them and their characters out, check out Mushoku Tensei, Re:Zero, or The Faraway Paladin. This is absolutely not worth your time in any respect. And that’s me being realistic, just like Kazuya would want.

What You Need To Watch/Time to Catch Up (but you really shouldn’t):

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: Part 1 (13 episodes; approx. 5 hours)

The Irregular At Magic High School: Reminiscence Arc

Written by: Requiem

Studio: 8-Bit

Genres: Fantasy, Harem, Magic High School, Implied Incest, Magic Nonsense

Why You Shouldn’t Catch Up, But You Will: Let’s be honest, reader. You’re going to watch The Irregular at Magic High School season 3. If you’ve stopped to read this entry, you already know. Should you watch another season of the adventures of Japanese Atomic Batman Jesus and his clingy imouto? Of course not, the show is trash. A big, steaming, fetid trash heap of goofy storytelling, unbelievably overpowered protagonist(s), magic system that’s endless technobabble nonsense, and a harem of girls all hungry for Tatsuya’s D, despite his utter lack of interest. So, you probably shouldn’t watch. But you will, and so will I.

Why? Cause it may be garbage, but it’s delicious garbage, the anime equivalent of a gas station cheeseburger or a bacon wrapped hot dog you buy from a street vendor. It’s bad for you, sure, but that’s half the fun. There are overpowered protagonists in plenty of anime, but few, if any, are as stupidly and hilariously overpowered as Tatsuya. Watching the show set up the rules of magic just so Tatsuya can go “lolz” and break them is a true, unadulterated guilty pleasure, especially since the rest of the cast still acts surprised every time, despite it being the umpteenth time it’s happened.

Irregular is not a good show, but that’s why we like it. Dynasty was not a good show, but it was the most popular show in America for years, and Irregular gives us that same soapy, dumb, greasy-ass-fast-food hit our brains crave. So you can front like a snob and act like Irregular is beneath you, but when Season 3 drops you’ll be right there with us watching Tatsuya pull magic out of his ass, so just embrace your inner trash self and enjoy the ride.

Maybe Honoka will even get him to pat her on the head this season!

Time To Catch Up + What You Need To Watch:

Irregular at Magic High School Season 1 (26 Episodes) + Irregular At Magic High School- Visitor Arc (Season 2, 13 Episodes)

Honor Student At Magic High School (Spinoff, Optional but recommended) 13 episodes

Where To Watch: Funimation (Season 1 and 2, Honor Student S1), Crunchyroll (Season 1), Hulu (Season 1 and 2)

Princess Connect! Re:Dive Season 2

Presented by: Doctorkev

Studio: CygamesPictures

Genres: Isekai, Fantasy, Gacha Adaptation, Catgirl Fetish, Heaving Bosoms

Why You Should Catch Up: In general, anime adaptations of video games are not good. At least that was the case until Cygames spewed their dubiously-gained gacha-drenched blood money on 2014’s surprisingly excellent first season of Rage of Bahamut, a (mostly) light-hearted action fantasy show that required of its viewer zero knowledge of the progenitor mobile game.

In 2020, Cygames did it again with Princess Connect! Re:Dive, a fantasy/slice-of-life comedy based on an initially Japanese-only gacha game sequel to a failed browser game. Wait — come back! — it’s better than it sounds.

Player/viewer-insert character Yuuki floats from the heavens to the ground in the first episode, looking every inch the typical isekai protagonist, ready to meet the first of many pretty young girls with whom he will build a stereotypical anime harem to worship him as he levels-up through a thinly-disguised nerd-baiting power fantasy plot. Except that isn’t quite what happens. Yuuki is, uh… somewhat, uh… brain-damaged. He’s amnesiac, hopeless in battle, can barely string two words together, and in his first scene is dragged haplessly away by snarling comedy wolves — much to the consternation of his destined guardian, elf-girl Kokkoro.

Yuuki is a hilarious inversion of the typical isekai anime protagonist. He’s essentially irrelevant in his own show, devoid of personality, drive or redeeming features. As a commentary on bland self-insert characters he perfectly skewers the grandiosity (and absurdity) of other shows with their portentous plots and stupidly powerful protagonists who can do no wrong. Instead, Princess Connect is driven by the huge personalities of its leading ladies, the perpetually horrified Kokkoro; the girl who awoke ten million cat fetishes, Karyl; and she of the enormous appetite and voluptuous bosom, Pecorine.

Along with multitudinous cameos from the game’s other bonkers characters, the central trio of girls get into humorous scrapes, usually in the pursuit of food, with the ill-fated Yuuki dragged behind while being devoured/kidnapped/maimed/hunted by yanderes/turned into pudding. It does not take itself at all seriously, though beneath the frothy, sugary exterior beats a loving heart of acceptance towards all of its characters’ quirks and oddities. It’s lightweight but delicious fun, and the second course cannot arrive soon enough.

What You Need To Watch/Time To Catch Up:

Required: Princess Connect! Re:Dive Season 1: 13 episodes (around 5 hours)

Optional: Princess Connect! Re:Dive the gacha game (sacrifice your entire life to waifu gambling)

Where To Watch: Season 1: Crunchyroll, game now available internationally on iOS and Android

Teasing Master Takagi-San

Presented by: Marquan

Studio: Shin-Ei Animation

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Slice of Life

Why You Should Catch Up: Teasing Master Takagi-san is one of my favorite slice of life shows, and the fact that it doubles as a cute romantic comedy bound to satisfy those with a sweet tooth makes it that much better. The first season of this show debuted back in 2018, with season two airing roughly a year later; it’s been joined by the more recent Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out, and Don’t Toy With Me Miss Nagatoro, all of which have new seasons on the way. We’ve officially entered the age of the tease, and what a time to be alive!

Maybe I should explain what’s going on in Teasing Master. Our main character Nishikata is a young middle-schooler whose daily life is chock full of teasing at the hands of the titular Takagi (voiced by the goddess known as Rie Takahashi). She pays extremely close attention to Nishikata, and as a result knows exactly what buttons to push to get the reactions she wants from him. Why so much teasing? Well, it could best be summed up as this is “Kids with big foreheads tease the kids with big foreheads they like,” the anime.

Most young kids don’t have the emotional capacity or capability of expressing themselves when it comes to romantic interest/relationships. They’ll tease the object of their affections, and that’s basically the entirety of this show. Takagi is a master at getting Nishikata to blush in embarrassment at her teasing; he’s unable to get one over on Takagi, no matter how much he tries. He quickly makes it his mission to do something that gets her to blush out of embarrassment. These interactions make for some of the most cavity-inducing sweetness I’ve seen as of late, and the fact that the romance is slowly but surely building (based on the events of season 2 at least), you can’t help but smile throughout every episode at the antics of both the main characters.

Teasing Master is centered around Nishikata and Takagi, but we are also treated to some fun side-characters: We have the lovable oaf Mina, the romance-obsessed Yukari, and level-headed and often deadpan Sanae. We’re also treated to a side couple that shows what Nishikata and Takagi can become, should their affections grow and become known to each other. It’s made pretty clear that Takagi likes Nishikata from the onset of the show, and though it’s slow, we get to see flashes of Nishikata realizing he might like her as well.

There are fewer things better than watching love blossom between two innocent people, and the fact that the comedy hits every time is just the icing on the cake. Sweet romance, effective comedy and an overall ambience that just relaxes you while warming your heart. What more would you want from a romantic comedy slice of life anime? Also, I swear Rie’s voice acting as Takagi can be considered ASMR when you’re wearing headphones. That alone should be enough for you to check it out. Oh, that’s just me?

Time To Catch Up + What You Need To Watch:

  • Teasing Master Takagi-san S1: 12 episodes, 4.5 hours approx.
  • Teasing Master Takagi-san S2: 12 episodes, 4.5 hours approx.

Where To Watch:

  • Teasing Master Takagi-san Season 1: Funimation, Crunchyroll, DVD/Blu Ray
  • Teasing Master Takagi-san Season 2: Netflix

Check out our guide for last season’s top new anime here:

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