The Best Anime Series of 2023

Rounding up the year’s best anime projects, from “Demon Slayer” Season 3 to the final chapter “Attack on Titan”

"Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc," "Pluto" (Ufotable, Netflix)
"Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc," "Pluto" (Credit: Ufotable, Netflix)

As 2023 comes to an end, TheWrap is looking back on all the amazing anime series we saw come to our TV and streaming screens.

This year was jam-packed with successful Japanese animation. The last two installments (Part 3 and Part 4) of the beloved “Attack on Titan” series dropped on Crunchyroll in March and in November, “Jujutsu Kaisen” aired the first half of its second season and anime fans got a new heavy-hitting favorite “Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End.”

Whether you’re heading to Crunchyroll, the one-stop-shop for all anime, or the anime streaming novice Netflix, the animation genre is growing and it’s calling for more shows to be produced. After the major success of Netflix’s live adaptation of “One Piece,” the company continued its relationship with “One Piece” manga creator and Japanese artist Eiichiro Oda by refreshing the franchise with an upcoming anime adaptation titled “The One Piece.”

As plans for more and more anime are announced, let’s take a moment to appreciate all of what 2023 had to offer.

“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc” (Season 3)

"Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc" (Ufotable)
“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc” (Ufotable)

Where to watch: Crunchyroll, Hulu

Set in the early 20th century Taishō era of Japan, “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc” tells the tale of 13-year-old Tanjiro Kamado, a boy who enlists in the teachings of first-class demon slayers with a mission to avenge his family who were slaughtered while he was running errands. The only person he has left is his sister, who has been turned into a demon. The two embark on a journey to find the Demon King, Muzan Kibutsuji, alongside fellow demon slayers Zenitsu and Insosuke.

“Attack on Titan” Season 4, Part 4 – Series Finale

"Attack on Titan" Season 4 Part 4 (Crunchyroll)
“Attack on Titan” Season 4 Part 4 (Crunchyroll)

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

“Attack on Titan” is adapted from the award-winning manga, which carries the same name, and was written and illustrated by its creator Hajime Isayama. The series tells the heartbreaking story of Eren, a child who has lived his entire life behind massive walls due to his community’s fear of what lies on the outside. After a swarm of titans breaks down the walls, Eren witnesses his mother get devoured by man-eating giants that look like humans and are called titans. When he grows up, he promises to avenge his mother’s death, swearing to take down all titans. However, he soon finds out the history of his former entrapment and the truth behind the titans that he hates so much. “Attack on Titan” came out on Dept. 28, 2013.

“Jujutsu Kaisen” Season 2, Part 1

"Jujutsu Kaisen" (Photo courtesy of Crunchyroll)
“Jujutsu Kaisen” (Photo courtesy of Crunchyroll)

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

The “Jujutsu Kaisen” anime is adapted from the manga series of the same name, which was created by Gege Akutami. The show is centered on a friendly student named Yuji Itadori, who joins his school’s Occult Club just for fun. However, he ends up finding out that the members are part of a secret organization of sorcerers who fight cursed spirits. After swallowing the finger of a mighty demon named Sukuna in order to fight off spirits, Yuji obtains its powers but also becomes Sukuna’s host. Yuji then becomes the target of other demons who want to possess Sukuna’s powers.

“Girlfriend, Girlfriend” Season 2

"Girlfriend, Girlfriend" Season 2 (Kodansha)
“Girlfriend, Girlfriend” Season 2 (Tezuka Productions, SynergyP)

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

The Japanese romantic comedy “Girlfriend, Girlfriend” was adapted from the manga of the same name, which was created by Hiroyuki. The series follows a high school student who gets into a polyamorous relationship with his childhood best friend and a girl who has a crush on him.

“Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End”

“Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End” (Shogakukan)
“Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End” (Shogakukan)

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

“Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End” is an anime series adapted from the manga of the same name, written by Kanehito Yamada and illustrated by Tsukasa Abe. The show follows Frieren, an elf mage whose 10-year-long effort led her to defeating the Demon King and restoring peace to the land. Frieren, who can live over a thousand years, sets off on a journey by herself for 50 years, leaving her comrades behind. When she goes back to visit her friends, they’ve become much older while she remains the same. With her team only having a little bit of life left, she sets off on a new journey with the goal of meeting as many people as possible, while struggling with regrets of losing time with those she cared deeply about.

“Spy x Family” Season 2

"Spy x Family" Season 2 (Wit Studio, CloverWorks)
“Spy x Family” Season 2 (Wit Studio, CloverWorks)

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Created by Tatsuya Endo, “Spy x Family” was adapted from its manga series, and its anime premiered on April 9, 2022. The show is about an amazing spy named Agent Twilight who assembles a fake family in order to perform an elaborate mission. But he soon finds out that the group he’s enlisted includes a telepathic child and a legendary assassin who also needed a family as a cover-up. Season 2 premiered on Oct. 7.

“Vinland Saga” Season 2

“Vinland Saga” Season 2 (Mappa)
“Vinland Saga” Season 2 (Mappa)

Where to watch: Crunchyroll, Hulu

“Vinland Saga,” which is based on the manga series of the same name, was written and illustrated by Makoto Yukimura. The series tells the story of a young man named Thorfinn — son to one of the strongest Viking warriors — who seeks to avenge his father’s death against his killer, mercenary leader Askeladd. After joining Askeladd’s army in an attempt to slay him in battle, he ends up caught in a war.


"Pluto" (Studio M2, Netflix)
“Pluto” (Studio M2, Netflix)

Where to watch: Netflix

“Pluto” is about the journey of a Europol robot detective named Gesicht who’s taken on the task of tracking down who or what is behind a slew of human and robot deaths. The culprit has left behind a signature mark: the victims have objects thrust into their heads in the likeness of horns. The series was created, written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa.

“Hell’s Paradise”

"Hell's Paradise" (Mappa)
“Hell’s Paradise” (Mappa)

Where to watch: Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime Video

“Hell’s Paradise” is set in the Edo era of Japan and focuses on a ninja named Gabimaru and an executioner named Yamada Asaemon Sagiri. Gabimaru is sentenced to death after living a life of crime as a cutthroat assassin. In order to earn his freedom, he goes on a journey to find an elixir that has the gift of immortality. The anime adaptation is based on the manga series created, written and illustrated by Yuji Kaku, but the manga’s full title is “Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku.”

“My Hero Academia” Season 6 

“My Hero Academia” Season 6 (Bones)
“My Hero Academia” Season 6 (Bones)

Where to watch: Crunchyroll, Funimation, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu

Written and illustrated by its creator Kōhei Horikoshi, “My Hero Academia” was adapted from its manga series and into an anime, which premiered in 2018. In the show, a young boy named Izuku Midoriya aspires to be a “Quirk” — a human with super powers. Initially possessing none of his own, he is gifted by the greatest hero power, All Might, after being the only person to stand up for and protect a friend during a tragic accident. His adventures continue when he joins a school that cultivates the next generation of heroes.


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