It’s a brand-new year, and that means we’re in for four brand-new seasons of anime! Fans have been eating up announcements and promotional materials to see what’s coming down the pipeline in 2022, and we’ve already seen some significant buzz around certain series. Let’s check out the most highly anticipated anime of 2022!
10. Blue Lock
We’ve seen plenty of sports anime about the importance of teamwork and friendship, but Blue Lock isn’t having any of that. Instead, it focuses on an intensive camp (more like a prison) that aims to produce the best soccer strikers in Japan through survival of the fittest, since teamwork and friendship aren’t winning the national team any medals. Blue Lock’s manga has been a hit in Weekly Shounen Magazine since 2018, and its unique blend of the sports and survival game genres is a perfect vehicle for tense character interactions and a harsh critique of Japanese collectivism. We can’t wait to see it come to life this year!
9. Uzumaki (Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror)
Although it’s arguably horror icon Junji Ito’s most famous work, Uzumaki has never before been adapted as an anime. That may be because Ito’s manga is notoriously difficult to effectively translate into animation (just look at the train wreck that was The Junji Ito Collection for a perfect example), but this time could be different. Concentrating the spiral-centric three-volume manga down to four episodes might help the studio focus on quality, and having the director of Mushishi at the helm bodes well. We’ll just have to see...
8. Spy x Family
What we wouldn’t give to know what was going on inside mangaka Tatsuya Endo’s head when he decided to set a Nisekoi-style “fake relationship” comedy in Cold War-era East Germany... with spies... who have to parent a psychic child. It’s a weird setup to be sure, but the readers of Shounen Jump can’t get enough of the Forger family’s antics, so we’re excited to see them too! With Wit Studio, Cloverworks, and veteran director Kazuhiro Furuhashi on board, this action-packed and heartwarming series is bound to be a hit when it airs in spring.
7. Bleach: Sennen Kessen-hen (Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Arc)
Most long-running shounen anime get to finish off by adapting the final chapters of their respective manga versions, but Bleach has been missing its final arc ever since the anime abruptly ended in 2014. Now, against all odds, the “Thousand-Year Blood War” arc is finally being animated in its entirety and will bring the legendary series to a proper close once and for all. Whether or not this version will change the controversial storyline remains to be seen, but it’s bound to be a spectacle no matter what. If only other woefully unfinished shounen anime like Katekyo Hitman Reborn could get the same treatment...
6. Made in Abyss: Retsujitsu no Ougonkyou (Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun)
The first season of Made in Abyss was widely considered one of the best anime of 2017, and its follow-up movie was also very well received. This year, the story continues with Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun, which adapts the arc where our heroes explore the bizarre city of Ilblu that only Hollows call home. In fact, the environment is so strange that many devout fans are excited to see this section animated simply so that they can finally understand what’s going on!
5. Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru (My Dress-Up Darling)
Cosplay is a big-time hobby these days, so who wouldn’t love the idea of a cute cosplay girl falling in love with you? That’s the premise of My Dress-Up Darling, which pairs a loner artisan named Wakana with a stylish gal named Marin – she loves cosplaying as characters from erotic video games, but can’t sew her own costumes, so naturally, she strongarms Wakana into helping her. Watching an adorable romance develop while learning about cosplay at the same time sounds like a ton of fun, so we’re looking forward to this one.
4. Hataraku Maou-sama! 2nd Season (The Devil is a Part-Timer 2nd Season)
Bleach isn’t the only long-abandoned anime to finally get a continuation this year... out of the clear blue sky, we’ve been blessed with a second season of The Devil is a Part-Timer! This early 2010s anime is a hilarious and surprisingly wholesome reverse isekai about the Demon Lord Satan getting stranded in Japan and becoming just a bit too invested in his job at totally-not-McDonald’s. The comedic character interactions were some of the best parts of the original series, so we’re overjoyed that everyone from the original cast has returned for this season. Start the deep fryers and get excited!
3. Chainsaw Man
If there’s any recent manga that’s been screaming out for an anime version, it’s definitely Chainsaw Man. This dark and violent series is somewhat of a departure from Weekly Shounen Jump’s usual fare, but it’s no less engaging just because its main character can turn his face into a chainsaw. It’s intelligent, unusual, and packed with hard-as-nails action scenes, so with Studio MAPPA in charge, we have no doubt that this will be a worthy adaptation.
2. Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 2 (The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2)
Shield Hero fans have known since 2019 that their favorite dark isekai is getting a second (and third) season, but now that it’s only a few months away, the hype is building at an alarming rate. It’s set to cover the Spirit Turtle and New World arcs, which expand the series’ intriguing universe even further, and since pretty much all of the cast and crew have returned from the first season, the quality is sure to be just as excellent as it always has been. Plus, this means we get more of everyone’s favorite raccoon waifu Raphtalia!
1. Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season Part 2 (Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2)
Far and away the most anticipated anime of 2022 is one that just started this winter: the final part of Attack on Titan. This horror-tinged shounen series has had its ups and downs over the nearly 10 years since its first episode aired, but its storytelling has steadily ramped up in quality and complexity to the point that Eren Yeager has graduated from a Stock Shounen Protagonist™ to one of the most fascinating anime anti-heroes ever. It all ends here... and we’re on the edge of our seats waiting to see what happens.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention some of the highly anticipated anime that are already well underway, like the second season of Demon Slayer, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 6: Stone Ocean, and Ranking of Kings. We can’t wait to see how those stories change and evolve from what we’ve already seen so far!
What did you think of our list? Did we leave out any of your most anticipated anime of 2022? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!