With the year 2022 in the books and before all of the upcoming 2023 shows kick off, I wanted to take a look back at the anime I watched and rank my top five of the year, ultimately crowning my personal Anime of the Year.
Of course, whenever it comes to editorials such as this, I have to put the disclaimer out there that this is based on what I have personally watched so if your personal favorite show didn’t make the cut, it’s because I either dropped it or I didn’t watch it. If you have your own choice, feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Before we get to that though, let’s pay homage to the shows that made it since I’ve been doing these (note, some of these were picked before I joined The Outerhaven in 2014. I used to have a podcast where I picked my Anime of the year (AOTY) before then.
2021: Tokyo Revengers
2018: Violet Evergarden
2017: Made in Abyss
2015: Death Parade
2014: Your Lie in April
2013: Kill la Kill
2012: Shinsekai Yori
2011: Steins;Gate (also my Anime of the Decade)
2010: RAINBOW: nisha rokubou no shichinin
So, which show will be joining this prestigious list? Well, first… let’s take a look at all of the shows I watched in 2022 as each and every one of them is a contender!
Attack on Titan: The Final Season: Part 2 Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru Spy x Family (cours 1 and 2) The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san Paripi Koumei Yofukashi no Uta Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun The Devil is a Part-Timer Season 2 Rent-A-Girlfriend Season 2 Bocchi the Rock! Chainsaw Man My Hero Academia Season 6 Fumetsu no Anata e Season 2 Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall Sasaki to Miyano In the Land of Leadale Tokyo 24-ku My Stepmother’s Daughter is My Ex Engage Kiss Prima Doll
Whew! That’s quite the list. Unfortunately, half of it is eliminated because for Anime of the Year, I do not count second seasons (or sequel seasons). If I did, then Made in Abyss would win hands-down and I just don’t personally think it’s fair. To play some sort of spoiler here… Made in Abyss will be eligible for Anime of the Decade should I still be doing this in 2029 but let’s worry about that six years from now, shall we?
I like to pick something fresh and new… something that captures my imagination and made me want to see more of it. With that being said… let’s narrow things down and get to those coveted Top 5.
Even though I just finished watching it and sang its praises in a review, it made last place because of what I said in my previous statement. I like something that captures my imagination and makes me want to see more. The thing here is… I already have seen more. I’ve read and completed the manga, so I know what’s going to happen if/when this gets a second season. I think I would have enjoyed this show a lot more had I not read the material, but that doesn’t mean the show is bad by any means. It’s an incredible show, and if you’re an anime-only watcher, I’m sure this could be that show that does it for you. It is certainly worth being on this list but, again, it’s all about personal experience and since the manga has spoiled me, that level of excitement wasn’t there for me. Sadly, that means you can all predict number four.
Same situation as with Chainsaw Man. Spy x Family is not a bad anime. It’s absolutely fantastic and does the source material justice. Besides, thanks to this show, we received TONS of cute cosplayers pulling off their best Yor impersonations, and we’ve gotten more of our fill of Waku Wakus, and despite being overstuffed with it, we keep asking for more. Spy x Family really is a generational comedy that can capture an audience and, again, if I wasn’t reading the manga, I probably would have rated this show much higher.
I know that I had some criticisms of this show in my review regarding the character development but those flaws were overwritten by the sheer genius of the comedic aspect of the show. Bocchi’s portrayal was masterful and even though I dislike it when anxiety is turned into a comedic plot device… it just worked. Plus, the mixture of real-life scenery with different kinds of Bocchis was hilarious. Plus, the music in this show is right up my alley. I love rock (and metal) so this style fits just right with me. Plus, there is always something awesome about cute rocker girls.
Also known as Ya Boy, Kongming, this one wrestled in my mind for the number one spot along with my other pick. Eiko was brilliant, Kongming even better than that. The whole story of Azaelia and how they were just portrayed on a human level rather than some supervillain rival band… it all just tied together so perfectly. Plus, it was centered around music which gave us one heck of an amazing soundtrack! Heck, even if this ended up at the #2 slot, I’m going to crown this with the Anime Opening of the Year. I still jam out to Ciki Ciki Ban Ban nearly every day, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find an opening that slapped harder than this one so while it just barely fell to number two, I still hold this show close to my heart, and hope for a season 2!
So, without further adieux, here is my pick for Anime of the Year…
Call of the Night takes the top spot for me this year! Although I had to get used to the art style, this show completely changed my stance on vampire anime. I don’t really care for vampires, I’m not a fan of the genre, yet, this show made me want to watch it every single week. It gave me that “DAMMIT IT’S OVER ALREADY!?” feeling at the end of every episode. It was the ONLY show this year that I made a point to watch each week when it was released without exception. Paripi Koumei could have been that, but I started late and had to marathon the first seven episodes. I just loved Nazuna as her tomboy attitude was perfect for the role. While I wish the show did more with their side characters, it didn’t need to. It knew that Nazuna and Kou were the main focus and putting that focus on them was the right Call (of the Night).
So, that’s it! Those are my Top 5 Anime of 2022. Again, if you have something different, feel free to toss it in the comments below.