Ranking My Top 10 Anime Of 2023 From Bloody Brilliant To I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying

Ranking My Top 10 Anime Of 2023 From Bloody Brilliant To I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying
At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

I feel like I say this every year, but my god what a great year 2023 has been for anime. From brand new original series, to epics based on classic manga, and, of course, sequels to anime shows that we already know and love.

Trying to pick my top 10 was really difficult, but after thinking really hard about whether I enjoyed the BL undertones of My New Boss Is Goofy more than the delicate balance of history, medicine and josei themes in The Apothecary Diaries, I finally settled on a list that is very much defined by my tastes, but also shows how diverse this year was for anime.

As I watch more people become enamoured with animated TV shows and films, I feel like we can look forward to more great series and fantastic discussions around them, and my god it makes me so happy to be an anime fan.

Anyway, I’ll stop yappin’ and get on with it.

Ranked from ‘Good’ to ‘Oh my god I’m so emotional, help’, here’s my top 10 anime of 2023.

10. The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today

This train-wreck of an anime still has me in a chokehold. I first mentioned it to David and Emily when I guested on the Kotaku Australia podcast to talk about anime. The series had only just started airing, and it was getting a lot of mixed reactions from anime fans.

I very quickly fell in love with the premise of the series, which sees a woman adopt a cat that grows to be about seven feet tall and has the intelligence of an adult human. The cat, Yukichi, can’t talk, and is still very much a cat in his mannerisms, but his competence in doing household tasks is impressive.

GoHands’ exaggerated and ill-fitting visuals, reminiscent of K Project, somehow made the series even more ridiculous, but also more endearing. I love it.

Where to watch:

The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today is available on Crunchyroll.

9. My New Boss Is Goofy

Recently there’s been a rise in anime about silly, goofy guys, and I’m here for it. Shows like Play It Cool, Guys and Sanrio Boys lean into the trend, but My New Boss Is Goofy puts the pedal to the metal and combines an all-adult cast with a workplace setting, and shows the audience that yes, even grown men can be silly and have fun.

The BL undertones are also a massive draw card — this one’s for the girlies.

Where to watch:

You can stream My New Boss Is Goofy on Crunchyroll.

8. Otaku Elf

Another recent anime trope is the pretty or cool hikikomori or otaku. The breakout series for the trope was Himouto! Umaru-chan (my favourite anime of all time), but since then, it’s become more popular, with anime like Onimai: Now I’m Your Sister! and Gabriel DropOut.

Otaku Elf jumps on the bandwagon too, but does it from a historical perspective. Elda is the otaku elf that has been acting as the local shrine goddess for over 400 years, and her new shrine maiden has stepped in to look after the shrine and make sure the goddess is happy. While this sounds simple, Elda is a massive hikikomori and otaku who likes collecting gacha toys, eating snacks and playing video games.

The series blends the situational comedy of having an otaku elf pretend to be a goddess with interesting historical facts and the pure relationship between Elda and her community.

Where to watch:

Otaku Elf is available on HIDIVE.

7. “Oshi no Ko”

With a movie-length first episode and an opening theme that you won’t want to skip, “Oshi no Ko” is a standout series this year. Without spoiling anything, it follows two twins born to a world-famous idol and their struggles as they attempt to navigate the cutthroat world of entertainment.

This series has bits of everything, but the beautiful art and animation along with harrowing scenes and dark themes had me hooked from the first episode.

Where to watch:

You can stream “Oshi no Ko” on HIDIVE.

6. Skip and Loafer

Despite having all the elements of a great romance series, Skip and Loafer completely subverts this expectation and gives us something much more beautiful. Mitsumi moves to Tokyo from the countryside with the dream of becoming a government official and making her hometown better for everyone that lives there. Of course, the sudden change of environment is stressful, and she struggles to fit in, but ends up befriending the most popular guy in her class, Sousuke.

The story explores friendships and platonic interpersonal relationships in a way that’s just as engaging as a good romance anime. Skip and Loafer is beautifully charming and helps solidify the idea that friendships are just as important as romantic relationships and are something to be nurtured and cherished.

Where to watch:

Skip and Loafer is available on Crunchyroll.

5. Hell’s Paradise

Hell’s Paradise was one of my absolute favourite anime of 2023. This action adventure show is about Gabimaru, an unkillable ninja who is sentenced to death. Gabimaru, along with other ninjas and criminals, is called upon by the emperor to go to a faraway island to find the Elixir of Life. The criminals are accompanied by a group of samurai who are there to make sure they stick to their mission.

Okay, yes, it is an action anime with shounen as the target demographic, but it was animated by MAPPA and looks fantastic (for the most part), has compelling characters (ninjas and samurai are cool), and a sick soundtrack.

Not only that, but a second season has been officially announced, so I’m looking forward to some more weird bugs and ninjutsu.

Where to watch:

You can stream Hell’s Paradise on Crunchyroll.

4. Heavenly Delusion

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to Heavenly Delusion, but all of it is good. In a dystopian society where monsters prey on humans, Maru and Kiruko are searching for ‘Heaven’, a place where monsters don’t exist and they can be safe. Meanwhile, the story of a facility housing children — and experimenting on them — has to deal with the ever-growing curiosity of the kids under their care. If the kids get out, they’ll be exposed to the monsters and a grim future will await them, but maybe the facility isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Similar to “Oshi no Ko”, Heavenly Delusion deals with dark themes and even darker scenes, many that are etched into my brain as both brilliant and horrifying. It kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting more each week.

Where to watch:

Heavenly Delusion is available on Disney+.

3. Pluto

Tezuka Osamu is the father of manga and anime. He was a prolific storywriter, cartoonist and animator who started the age of manga in Japan with Astro Boy. From this series, Naoki Urusawa, the mangaka behind Monster, wanted to explore a darker timeline. Pluto is an adaptation of The Greatest Robot On Earth arc from the original tale of Atom, and when Netflix announced the anime series, we knew it would be good.

Delving into the laws of robotics and AI, Pluto brings to light a discourse around technology that we only ever bring up as a hypothetical. What if they made a robot that could kill humans?

Where to watch:

You can stream Pluto on Netflix.

2. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End

Just as I was becoming burnt out on high fantasy anime series, Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End started airing. I knew the manga was popular, but I was hesitant to put another fantasy anime on my plate. But I’m so glad that I did.

Frieren explores what it really means to live. What it means to be human, and how the human experience is unique and beautiful. The anime itself is slow and it takes its time — similar to how one might live if their life lasted 1,000 years. That’s how Frieren sees it, at least. But as a human, we only have so much time. We need to choose wisely what we spend our short lives doing, and celebrating, and being sad about. But also, living in the moment is just as important. Frieren beautifully drives this home, and it’s a masterpiece.

Where to watch:

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is available on Crunchyroll.

1. Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2

Fuck. Where do I start. Jujutsu Kaisen is an absolute powerhouse of shounen anime already, but season 2 just blew me away. Starting with the Hidden Inventory and Premature Death arcs, I was a little worried that this season might be lacklustre compared to what we’d seen previously, but honestly, it was the calm before the storm. As someone who doesn’t read the manga, I had no idea what a wild ride I was in for. When we got to the Shibuya Incident arc, I was almost begging to go back to Gojo’s somewhat mundane existence as a teenager (can I even say that? It was at least less stressful than this).

Every week has me staring at my TV, mouth agape, just picturing the absolute chaos that Mahito is bringing to Shibuya. It’s not even real! It’s a cartoon! Someone snap me out of it because I can’t tell fact from fiction at this point. These characters are real and I’m so emotional. I’m so in love with this show with every fibre of my being. I want to protect all of them. All the jujutsu sorcerers are my children and I will hurt whoever hurts them.

Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 is my anime of the year and I will be taking no further submissions thank you and good day.
Where to watch:

If you, like me, enjoy being an emotional wreck, you can watch all of Jujutsu Kaisen on Crunchyroll.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a good anime list if we couldn’t discuss it. We all enjoy different things (and I still haven’t gotten around to watching everything I wanted to), so I’d love to hear what you guys think of the anime that came out this year! Let me know in the comments what your top anime of 2023 are — good luck trying to pick just 10.

Lead image credit: Madhouse

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At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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