THE MAGIC RAIN’s Best Anime of 2023

2023 was simply a buffet of shows with exceptional storytelling, amazing animation, and heart jerking moments. There were multiple bangers and big hits in every single season throughout the year, and we’re sure that there are more than a few shows in 2023 that hold a special place in your heart.

Compiling this list was no easy feat as there were so many new and excellent shows to choose from. Without further ado, here are THE MAGIC RAIN’s best anime of 2023 — in no particular order!

1. Dead Mount Death Play

The legendary necromancer Corpse God is reincarnated into the body of Polka Shinoyama, a mysterious young boy who was just assassinated in modern-day Tokyo. This anime might not be the first reverse-Isekai anime to come out, but it is undoubtedly one of the best in the genre. Mystery, fantasy, action, comedy, and drama all intertwine and intersect with its fantastic worldbuilding and charming characters, making this anime an unmissable gem. — Caleb

2. Hell’s Paradise

In order to be pardoned from a death sentence, the ninja Gabimaru the Hollow is instead tasked with finding the mysterious Elixir of Life from the island of Shinsekyo. However, both his allies and enemies soon realise that beneath the beauty of the island lies deadly dangers. This show combines the grittiness and unpredictability of Chainsaw Man with a sense of mystery and discovery. No characters are also safe in this anime as they can die at any moment. — Caleb

3. Skip and Loafer

Country girl Mitsumi travels to Tokyo filled with aspirations and clear life goals. However, a series of mishaps causes her to befriend Shima, a classmate who seems to be her complete opposite. Skip and Loafer is a fresh and warm take on the high school genre. Instead of focusing on just one or two main characters, everyone gets opportunities to shine. This show also stands out because of the realistic nuances of its characters and the natural flow of their dialogue. — Caleb

4. NieR:Automata Ver1.1a

As we watch the adventures of androids YoRHa 2-gou B-gata (2B) and YoRHa 9-gou S-gata (9S) in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by machines, it does feel like we are travelling alongside them in a familiar yet unfamiliar world. This show is deeply philosophical, as we get to see different perspectives from multiple characters, be it humans, androids, and even self-aware machines. While this show also has plenty of action, its moments of introspection and quietness are equally welcome and engaging on an emotional level. — Caleb

5. The Apothecary Diaries

Maomao, an apothecary’s daughter who is kidnapped into the palace, discretely offers advice on a medical incident and soon finds herself in the centre of various mysteries that are plaguing the imperial court. Entertaining, captivating, and humorous, this show is filled with a diverse cast with their own quirks and nuances. The musical score and colourful palette also makes this show a delight for both the ears and eyes. — Caleb

6. My Happy Marriage

Miyo Samori, a maltreated woman, suddenly finds herself in an arranged marriage to Kiyoka Kudou, a man of ill-repute. Despite her misgivings, she soon finds love and acceptance in her new husband’s household. This story is very much like a traditional fairy tale filled with moments of darkness, drama, and intense emotions peppered with supernatural elements and political intrigue. Its brilliant plot and characters aside, the artistic visuals and beautiful soundtrack alone makes this show worth a watch. — Caleb

7. Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Bogged down by work, Akira Tendou finds his life flipped upside down in a zombie outbreak. He now decides to compile a list of a hundred things he wants to do before he becomes a zombie. This anime is as colourful as its premise is outrageous and silly. It also has one of the best and most fluid animation among all the other shows on this list, and the camera angles and transitions gives this show a cinematic experience. The opening and ending music of this show is also a definite banger. — Caleb

8. Heavenly Delusion

Maru and Hiruko are teenagers searching for a place called Heaven in a post-apocalyptic world filled with monsters and danger. Despite its simple premise, this show is unpredictable and filled with many twists and turns. There’s sci-fi, mystery, and horror, but underlying it all is heart and the triumph of the human spirit. This show’s intriguing atmosphere will quickly draw you in, but be forewarned that there are several disturbing scenes making this show not for the faint of heart. — Caleb

9. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End

Frieren, an female elf who previously joined the hero’s party, now embarks on a trip to the far north of the continent with a new group of companions. While most of the shows in this list are fast-paced, this show takes the slow approach instead, with more focus on the characters’ emotions, introspections, and life philosophies. Its animation, soundtrack, and characters are simply perfect, which makes it no surprise that this was THE show of Fall 2023 and a strong contender for anime of the year. — Caleb

10. Pluto

Based on the sci-fi classic Astro Boy, and written by Naoki Urasawa, the story revolves around the mysterious case of human murders made by robots. In this case, robots are programmed not to harm humans and thus a fellow robot detective needs to investigate how this could happen. A spectacular sci-fi show which is beautifully animated with a cast of great characters and a compelling story. It’s one of those anime you wouldn’t want to miss out on. — Aliff

11. Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Part 2

Part 2 of the final Bleach arc sees our boy Kurosaki Ichigo getting ready to fight back the Yhwach and the story about to enter the final part of the show. The stark contrast between the manga and the anime is like light and day. At the same time, the amount of time Tite Kubo put into this anime is also a sight to behold, especially with new exclusive anime scenes. For Bleach fans, this season can’t be skipped. — Aliff

12. Attack on Titan: The Final Season

Disregarding the naming convention, Attack on Titan is a marvellous rollercoaster ride of an anime series from the start to the end. The action scenes and all the characters’ final stories tie together to make for a remarkable send off. After 10 years the story is finally over, and better yet, it ended how it was supposed to end. — Aliff

13. Jujutsu Kaisen: Season Two

Jujutsu Kaisen: Season Two was a banger of a season, where we not only got to see the majestic Gojo but also the awakening of a popular character in the series. The amount of sakuga that MAPPA has put into this show is truly amazing, especially considering the amount of work the animation team put into Jujutsu Kaisen to make it one of the best anime of the year. — Aliff

Finally, we have….

14. Oshi no Ko

Oshi no Ko tells the tale of gynecologist Gorou Amemeiya who is murdered. However, he finds himself reincarnated as the son of pop idol Ai Hoshino, and resolves himself to revenge after Ai was murdered several years later. Arguably the biggest anime of the year with one of the most recognisable opening songs of the 2020s, this anime delves into the hidden world of Japanese celebrities and the human psyche. Filled with strong emotions, an ensemble cast of characters, and an intriguing plot, this anime is a must-watch which we cannot recommend enough. — Caleb

The hype of Oshi no Ko, especially the number #1 song in Japan, “Idol” by YOASOBI is tremendously high. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking that Oshi no Ko is about idols themselves. Instead, it is a story about the idol scene and how to get into it. It has some great social commentary on the scene in Japan and incredible character explorations. Hopefully there will be a sequel and we can get more of Aqua and the rest. — Aliff


Did your favourite anime series from 2023 make the list? Let us know what we missed in the comments below!

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