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Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Key Art by Studio Orange
Entertainment

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch

A new year brings a new swath of shows to check out.

Following up the stellar season that was the Fall 2022 lineup is no small feat. Not only did it boast follow-up cours and seasons to established shows, but it also saw the premiere of bright new stars in the medium like Chainsaw Man. Fortunately, the Winter 2023 season isn’t giving up without a fight, and is bringing plenty of great new shows to the table for fans to enjoy. Of them, these are the top 10 best anime of January 2023 you should watch.

Trigun Stampede

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Screenshot by Twinfinite via Studio Orange

When it comes to anime that deserve a full adaptation remake, Trigun has always been at the top of the list. Thanks to Trigun Stampede, that wish is becoming a reality.

In addition to being a full adaptation of the story from the original ’90s and early 2000s manga, the show also serves as a modern update of the classic with updated visuals and character designs. Vash’s journey across the desert landscape of an alien planet no longer carries the markings of a series made in the twilight of the last century, and instead feels like an anime made for the current landscape in the best way possible.

The show also boasts more fluid action and movement compared to the original series. This is done through a stunning 3D animation style created by the same studio behind Land of the Lustrous and Beastars, which is almost certainly going to lend itself well to the series’ action if the promo trailers are anything to go off of.

Top all this off with the fact that it has series creator Yasuhiro Nightow’s blessing, and there’s little doubt this will be one of the biggest shows to watch this season.

Vinland Saga Season 2

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Screenshot by Twinfinite via Wit Studio

The opening chapter of Vinland Saga is a tough act to follow, but Vinland Saga Season 2 seems primed to take on the task with gusto.

Set a few years after the events of Season 1’s conclusion, the story picks up at a low point in Thorfinn’s life. Forced into slavery as punishment for his defiance of Canute, he now drifts through life without a clear purpose. That begins to change when he meets a fellow slave named Einar, and as the two work to earn their freedom, Thorfinn starts to understand that there might be a path forward for him that doesn’t involve ceaseless bloodshed.

Don’t let this somewhat light-hearted description fool you though. The second act of the series is set to offer just as much action, heartbreak and carnage as the first season entailed. Not only that, but the series looks like it will offer some top notch animation when the moment calls for it based on the teaser trailers released over the past few months.

Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Key Art by Bones

The Bungo Stray Dogs series has finally returned for a fourth season, and the stakes have never been higher.

In addition to presenting the Armed Detective Agency with new factions they’ll have to contend with, the plot also sees them become the hunted as a result. Several of their most prominent members are detained or taken out of commission, forcing those that are left to come up with a plan that will see their friends rescued while also forcing their enemies into a corner.

This is reason enough to give the series a look, but it also appears that its visuals and action haven’t lost a step in the years since its last adaptation. The franchise’s trademark style is still on full display whether characters are duking it out via special abilities or monologuing back and forth about beliefs that are not so subtly inspired by famous works of literature, which means it’ll still be a treat for the senses of anyone who watches it.

Nier: Automata Ver.1.1a

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Screenshot by Twinfinite via A-1 Pictures

If there was one video game that was tailor-made for an anime adaptation, it’s Nier Automata, and Nier: Automata Ver. 1.1a seems like the best possible outcome.

Boasting stunning visuals and sound design, this retelling of the story from the game seems like a perfect translation of the surprise hit’s epic tragedy to a new medium. The movement of characters and the voice acting done for them feels one-to-one with the game, and lends the moments shown so far a perfect amount of melodrama and over-the-top theatrics.

Not only that, but the music has been transferred over and applied flawlessly. Viewers will be just as enthralled by the dulcet tunes of the series as those who played the game, and will likely have key moments seared into their senses for better and worse as a result.

Honestly though, this series makes our list for the simple reason that it’s a chance to experience the NieR franchise in a new way. One need look no further than our reviews for NieR: Automata and NieR Replicant to see that this series holds a special place in our hearts, and we can guarantee that this anime series will do the same for at least some of the people who watch it.

Tokyo Revengers Season 2

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Key Art by Liden Films

Ok, let’s not sugarcoat this: The ending of Tokyo Revengers is a train wreck, and we’ll stand by the fact that we said the ending fails spectacularly. However, we’d still recommend that people watch the second season of the series this season.

This is due to two key factors. The first is that the second season is set to adapt arguably one of the best arcs in the series. Host to some genuinely loveable protagonists and detestable villains, this arc takes what made the series such a standout in the first place and puts it on center-stage. Scenes will be abound with heartfelt exchanges between friends, devastating reveals of past traumas and mistakes, and uplifting battles between people to determine the fate of the future.

The second factor is the continuation of the series’ much more enjoyable plotline featuring Takemichi and Kisaki. Engaging in a battle from the shadows, these two know more than they’re letting on and will stop at nothing to see their opposing goals come to fruition. Thanks to Takemichi’s time-travelling abilities though, he has an advantage over the antagonist, and may finally get a leg up on his enemy in this season’s conflicts.

Does this redeem where the series will eventually end up? Not remotely. Still though, we can guarantee that those who enjoyed the first season will find plenty more to like about this anime series’ second major offering.

Nagatoro-San Second Attack

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Screenshot by Twinfinite via OLM

Every season needs a trashy comfort show, and Nagatoro-San Second Attack fits the bill to a T.

Picking up directly after the events of the first season, this second cour is about what one would expect from the series. The seldom-named Senpai continues to be teased by his kouhai Nagatoro in a variety of situations, and most all of them see the two kids edging closer to admitting their feelings for each other.

And yet, as is usually the case with these kinds of series, they’re always kept from taking the final step for a variety of reasons, and this season seems ready to throw plenty of new ones into the mix. Be it interruptions by their friends or comical misunderstandings, there will be plenty of things that pop up and force the series’ central pair to jump through hoops in the pursuit of finally ending up together.

Is it a bit contrived and by the numbers? Undeniably. But the series is still a good fun time, and doesn’t veer nearly as hard into perverted tropes as some other shows out there. If you’re looking for a heartwarming look at adolescent love, then this is easily one of the best anime of January 2022 you should watch.

Blue Lock

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Screenshot by Twinfinite via Eight Bit

If someone had told me one of the biggest sports anime around would be a series that holds selfishness and egotistical behavior above all else, I would have thought they were crazy. And yet, that’s exactly what continues to make Blue Lock so compelling to watch.

To be sure, it has had the usual trappings of a sports anime pop up over the course of its first half. There were moments of triumph shared between teammates, and storylines of working together to overcome the obstacles ahead of the series’ key cast.

When all is said and done though, the series’ core premise remained intact: everyone must do what’s best for themselves, or else they’ll be torn away from their dreams of playing for the national team. This idea has only become more central as the second half of the season kicks off too, with Isagi and his friends now needing to adapt to new teams in order to take each other on in the Blue Lock’s next stage.

It’s a little cold-hearted, but makes for some of the most engaging sports drama you’ll see this season. We can’t recommend it enough if you need another show to watch over the course of the next few months.

My Hero Academia Season 6

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Screenshot by Twinfinite via Bones

The whole dang pile hit the fan in the first half of My Hero Academia Season 6, and the second half of the season is set to dig into the ramifications of what that means for the series’ wider world.

After clashing repeatedly over the years, the Villains finally scored a huge win over the heroes during the Paranormal Liberation War. All for One attained near-full control of Shigaraki and his body, and the other villains managed to execute a plan that saw the heroes crippled and the public’s faith in them hampered like never before. As a result, Midoriya must now figure out how to stop All for One and master the power of One for All, facing down his adversary alone if he has to.

It’s what fans have been telling people to look forward to for years now, and the series seems ready to execute on the hype to the best of its abilities. As such, there’s little reason you shouldn’t give this series a look and see what it offers when it’s firing on all cylinders.

Junji Ito’s Maniac

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Screenshot by Twinfinite via Studio Deen

In all honesty, there is a higher than likely chance that Junji Ito’s Maniac will be a dumpster fire of a show.

This isn’t the fault of Junji Ito or his work though. On the contrary: his art and storytelling continue to be one of a kind among horror manga and the wider mediums of manga and anime. If anything, the source material will likely generate some of the few bright points to this series, and will serve as the biggest redeeming qualities for many viewers.

Instead, the series’ downfall will likely come from the fact that it’ll be animated by the same studio that handled the Junji Ito Collection series from 2018. Anyone who watched that series knows that it was a complete disaster, from its lackluster animation and direction to its clunky adaptation of beloved Ito stories.

So why, then, are we recommending this new series? Simple: The Junji Ito Collection was also hilariously bad, and was good for a laugh despite the horrifying subject matter it presented. Given this, we have little doubt that Junji Ito’s Maniac will at least provide the same sense of catharsis should it prove just as terrible as its forebear.

Aggretsuko Final Season

Top 10 Best Anime of January 2023 You Should Watch
Screenshot by Twinfinite via Sanrio

Aggretsuko is an odd beast among the wider anime ecosystem, but that’s honestly played to its strengths in the time since it started.

Across several years, it has told a surprisingly grounded tale of dealing with adulthood and the struggles that come with it. Everyday issues like dealing with overbearing bosses, juggling responsibilities, and trying to navigate relationships with people who are doing the same have been shown with a sense of understanding that other shows lose in the process of providing zany antics; which, to Aggretsuko’s credit, the show has still provided in spades.

With all this in mind, we can’t help but say that people should check out its final season. In addition to concluding several characters’ story arcs, this final cour is almost certainly going to toss in just as much social commentary and relatable problems as past seasons did. It’s sure to be a wild ride, and we have little doubt it’ll conclude the series in a way that does justice by the seasons that came before it.

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