The 2023 Spring anime season has been anticipated by fans for a while. If you didn’t know, this season is stacked. We have a plethora of returning favorites, including Dr.Stone, Ancient Magus Bride, Ranking of Kings, and, of course, Demon Slayer. Not only that, but there’s a heap of new series gracing our screens that fans have been anticipating for years, like Hell’s Paradise, Oshi no Ko, and Mashle.
And if you’re anything like me, being faced with so many choices is a little daunting. There’s so much to watch, and we only have so much time. So, I’ve gone through the shows we’re anticipating this season to help you sift through and find what you should be excited about!
And, of course, this list isn’t exhaustive! I put the shows that I think look the best and tried to cover a range of different genres, but there’s likely something out there I missed. So, never be afraid to go exploring for yourself.
We have a very promising lineup over the next four months (and beyond, for some of them), so let me take you through what caught my eye.
But Why These Shows?
When looking for shows to recommend, I want to be sure I’m only showing you something I’m confident you’ll have a good time with. As such, I didn’t list any shows, either new or returning, that I don’t believe held some kind of stand-out quality.
Some of these shows made the list because I know and enjoy the source material, and others due to outstanding animation, or because of my faith in the studios and individuals behind the production. And where possible, I also watched the first episodes, although not all of these shows have started as of writing.
I know as well as anyone else that there’s a lot of fun to be had with poorly made media; I love indulging in trashy fun as much as the next person.
However, I decided to leave off shows in this category in favor of objective quality, hoping that this will be friendlier to readers just looking for something good to sit down with this spring. So, just because something has been left off, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching, just a bad fit for the list.
Also, I’ll focus more on new series than sequels (or prequels), as our returning darlings are likely already on your to-watch list.
The exciting part of starting an anime airing block is finding all the new shows to dig your teeth into. And this season, we’re spoiled for choice.
For each show, I’ll be listing the genres, age ratings, the main production studio, and where and when to watch them. However, a heads up. Age ratings for anime are notoriously all over the place, thanks to the differing standards between Japanese and Western rating boards.
So, I’ll be making some of the calls myself to match better with an American palette. Also, airing days and dates are according to US releases and may differ depending on where you are.
So many great new shows are on the spring schedule, and here, in no particular order, are my top picks!
Mashle: Magic and Muscles
Genres: Fantasy, Gag comedy, Magic School
Production studios: A1-Pictures
When: Fridays (7th April)
In a world where everyone uses magic, Mash Burnedead was born mundane. His adoptive father raised him to be strong, hoping it would keep Mash safe in a world without mercy for people like him. But, when his identity is exposed and his father is put in danger, Mash must enroll at Easton Magic Academy and achieve the title (and riches) of Divine Visionary. But to do that, he must prove that muscles can crush magic.
Simply put, Mashle is if One Punch Man was Harry Potter (and if that doesn’t sell you on this immediately, I don’t know what will). Our protagonist Mash is an overpowered beast in a world of extraordinary people, capable of smacking magic out of the air with his fist and pushing his way through meter-thick concrete walls. This simple premise lays the groundwork for an excellent gag manga, and Komoto Hajime throws jokes at you relentlessly.
This popular Shonen Jump title has at long last achieved an anime adaptation, and fans are hyped to see it brought to life. I’ve seen it around for a while, and the anime announcement finally prompted me to dive into the manga. It’s a lot of fun! This series deserves a good adaptation.
I had hesitations when I saw it was being produced by A1-Pictures. Their model for anime production is by its nature hit or miss and has brought us both utter disappointments like Asterisk War, Ace Attorney, and Persona 5 the Animation, but also timeless hits like Kaguya-sama: Love is War, Anohana and, one of my all-time favorites, Tsuritama.
Thankfully for Mashle, there’s only one necessary factor for this show to work. As Saiki-k proved, the show doesn’t need to be beautiful or fluidly animated as long as it’s funny. And from the trailers and the source material, we’re likely in for a good ride. This is one to keep your eyes peeled for. If you’re in the mood for a laugh this season, Mashle: Magic and Muscles is the first place to look.
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Action-Adventure, Psychological Thriller
Production studios: MAPPA
When: Saturdays (1st April)
Legendary Shinobi Gabimaru the Hollow faces execution after his clan turned against him for trying to leave. He’s convinced himself he’s ready for death but resists it at every turn, clinging to life despite himself.
After accepting that he doesn’t want to die, determined to find a good life for his beloved wife, he agrees to set out on a dangerous quest into the underworld, Shinsenkyo, to bring back the elixir of life and earn himself a full pardon.
Hell’s Paradise, or Jigokuraku, is possibly the most anticipated new series this season, and for good reason. The manga is a standout among the Shonen Jump lineup, exalted alongside titles like Chainsaw Man, and widely considered a must-read experience. And this adaptation promises to do justice to its source material.
The series translates the characters well to the screen, using excellent music direction to help capture the heavy atmosphere of the manga.
While the first episode is quite dark, we get hints at the bright, colorful environments we’ll be seeing towards the end, not to mention the catchy opening, which is pure eye candy. This show started with a bang, and if it keeps it up, we could be looking at one of the best series all year.
This is a show you’ll hear a lot about this season, and I highly recommend jumping on this train and riding the hype. Of course, provided you’re old enough; Hell’s Paradise promises to be a show for a mature audience.
Tengoku Daimakyo (Heavenly Delusion)
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-fi, Action-Adventure
Production studios: Production I.G.
When: Saturdays (1st April)
A group of children is raised within the walls of an idyllic school, safe and well cared for. But beyond those walls, outside of the outside, the world as we know it has fallen to pieces.
Left to decay and stalked by man-eating monsters, the few remaining survivors scour the abandoned world as they fight for survival. We follow Kiruko, born after the collapse, and her charge, Maru, as she escorts him across the land in search of Heaven.
Tengoku Daimakyo is a show that immediately makes an impression on you. Production I.G. has brought us yet another beautiful series with gorgeous animation and a great atmosphere. Helped by its well-received source material, Tengoku Daimakyo promises to stand out this spring.
So far, it is a bit slow-paced, taking time to show us the post-apocalyptic setting and how our main characters exist day-to-day before picking up on the action towards the end.
The first episode bounces back and forth between Kiruko and Maru’s journey and the children hidden behind the walls, ignorant of the world outside. And while it’s a little confusing, I found it was in service of the immediate questions instead of turning me off. And the end of episode one left us on a cliffhanger I’m eager to see continued.
If it weren’t airing alongside Demon Slayer season 3, I would confidently say this is the prettiest show we’ll get this spring. Still, even with that, it’s a hard hitter. Packaged with a fantastic premise, thoughtful, mature writing, and intriguing characters, I can’t see Tengoku Daimakyo disappointing viewers. We’re looking at an older audience here, though, with nudity and mature themes.
Oshi no Ko
Genres: Drama, Showbiz, Reincarnation
Production studios: Doga Kobo
When: Wednesdays (12th April)
Alright, now I’ll need you to bear with me on this one. It’s a hard sell, but it’s worth it.
Goro is a gynecologist working at a hospital in rural Nowheresville. He’s a massive fan of idols, specifically 16-year-old Ai Hoshino. However, he’s floored when she walks into his clinic 20 weeks pregnant with twins. If news of this got out, her entire career would be ruined, so he vows to help her through this no matter what.
But, on the eve of her labor, he’s stabbed by an obsessed stalker and dies. Only to wake up and realize… he’s been reincarnated as Ai’s baby. With all of his adult memories. Now reborn into a life of cutthroat showbiz, he and his new sister must navigate this savage world and, hopefully, it won’t consume them.
So yeah, this is a… weird one, for sure. But please, don’t let this wacko premise turn you off this show. Oshi no Ko is based on a manga with art by Yokoyari Mengo, of Scum’s Wish fame, and written by Aka Akasaka, author of Kaguya-sama: Love is War.
With such a powerhouse team, it’s not a surprise to learn that this bizarre series belies a deep stripping down of Japanese idol culture and the media in general, delving into dark and harrowing territory, from cancel culture to murderous stalkers.
I’ve been aware of Oshi no Ko for a while now, and I’m glad to see it’s finally received an anime adaptation. As odd as the premise is, this story is gripping, mature, and has a lot to say, which can be hard to find in popular media. And thankfully, if the trailers are any indication, studio Doga Kobo is bringing all the care this project needs, and it’s already received excellent reviews from the early previews back in March.
Time will tell as to whether this is a good adaptation, but in spite of… everything about Oshi no Ko, I highly recommend you give this one a chance.
My Home Hero
Genres: Thriller, Drama, Yakuza
Production studios: Tezuka Productions
When: Sundays (2nd April)
Salaryman Tetsuo is a loving and devoted father to his rebellious daughter Reika. But, when he discovers that she’s trapped in an abusive relationship and that this boyfriend plans to kill her, he makes the first move and murders him instead.
Unfortunately for Tetsuo, the boyfriend was no ordinary thug but the only son of one of the most fearsome Yakuza leaders in the city. Now, Tetsuo and his wife must work together in a game of cat and mouse to keep their family safe.
After watching the first episode of this, I was tempted to leave it off this list. From what I watched, the production of this anime isn’t the best. There are obviously cut corners, and the redesign of the manga art to animation is a severe downgrade. But, I think this is one of those shows that can survive on its story.
It starts out melodramatic, where the daughter is dismissive of her situation, the dad is milquetoast and characterless, and the boyfriend is over-the-top evil to the point of comedy. But once the story was set in motion about halfway through, I was sucked in despite bad first impressions. It may not be pretty, but the anime maintains great tension in its heavier scenes. You acutely feel the stakes Tetsuo faces.
What sold it to me, though, was the positivity I saw toward the manga. You can find people comparing My Home Hero to Death Note, which is no small praise, and if it can even halfway live up to that promise, this could be a show to keep you glued to your seat all season.
The production quality will turn some viewers off, which is fine. So many gorgeous shows are airing this spring, so you’ll be catered to regardless. But if you’re a fan of shows like Breaking Bad, Death Note, or maybe Oddtaxi, this will be a series to keep your eye on this spring.
My Clueless First Friend
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, School life
Production studios: Studio Signpost
When: Sundays (2nd April)
Gloomy, scary-faced Nishimura is an elementary school outcast, dubbed the ‘grim reaper’ and shunned by the other kids in her class. When she walks by in the halls, they whisper about catching her curse and put up ‘barriers’ to ward her away. But, while it’s meant to be an insult, the new transfer student Takada thinks it’s the coolest thing ever, and he wants nothing more than to be her best friend.
Finally moving away from the adult-oriented shows, My Clueless First Friend is a shot of pure diabetes. With a cute art style, soft colors, and adorable kids taking front and center, this show would be sugary sweet even if it wasn’t about a shy little girl making her first real friend. This show is for everyone, families included, looking for a bit of feel-good fun.
I won’t pretend I expect this show to explore profound themes or earn a space in my Anime of the Year nominees. But this is simply a joy to watch, and I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good, lighthearted slice-of-life. With high-quality production to boot, you can’t go wrong with My Clueless First Friend, especially if you’re looking for something for younger audiences.
My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999
Genres: Rom-com, Slice of Life, Gaming
Production studios: Madhouse
When: Saturdays (1st April)
College student Akane is heartbroken when her boyfriend cheats on her with another girl from an online game before unceremoniously dumping her. She takes out her anger by grinding in the game and runs into the aloof and curt Yamada, a high-level player from her guild.
By coincidence, when at a game event a few days later, she runs into Yamada in person, who is just as standoffish in real life, but also happens to be drop-dead gorgeous and an idol of her ex. As Akane increasingly ties herself up with Yamada, she’ll pull back his stoic layers and reveal something more beneath.
My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv 999 is your typical rom-com, with pretty protagonists, relationship drama, and lots of doki-dokis to be had, all wrapped up in an MMO-RPG package. The manga has mixed reviews and appears to be yet another cute shojo series to get lost in for a while. But the anime is so pretty and everything so immediately charming that I can’t help but keep my hopes up.
I’ve always been a sucker for love, and this show will keep me well-fed this spring. So, if you’re in the mood for a sweet love story with excellent animation that will continue for a while to come, this might be the show to tune in to.
Skip and Loafer
Genres: Rom-com, School life, Coming-of-age
Production studios: P.A. Works
When: Tuesdays (4th April)
Iwakura Mitsumi is a naive country girl seeking an exciting high-school life in Tokyo. With a scholarship to a fancy new school, and top in her grade, she’s ready for anything life may throw at her… until she immediately gets lost and embarrasses herself in front of everyone.
Thankfully a kind (and handsome) doofus called Sousuke is there to help her and seems eager to be her first friend. Things may have started rocky, but Mitsumi’s confident it’s only up from here!
To round out this list, I have Skip and Loafer for your consideration. Sorry to add another rom-com to the pile, but this one was too cute to leave off.
With its soft colors, high-grade animation, charming and relatable characters, and a laid-back atmosphere you can sit back and relax with, I’d be remiss not to recommend Skip and Loafer to you. This is a coming-of-age, fish-out-of-water story to warm your heart (if our previous two entries weren’t enough), and I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes us.
Now, while my aim is to introduce you to shows that might not have otherwise been on your radar, this article would not be complete without a quick rundown of the series returning to us this spring. And there are so many.
Here are my top picks for the sequels and prequels we’ll see over the next three months and when they’ll air. All of the following shows are slated to air on Crunchyroll.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury (Sundays, 9th April)
- Ranking of Kings: The Treasure Chest of Courage (Thursdays, 13th April)
- Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You (Fridays, 7th April)
- Ancient Magus Bride (Thursdays, 6th April)
- Konosuba — An Explosion on this Wonderful World! (Wednesdays, 5th April)
- Birdie Wing — Golf Girls’ Story (Fridays, 7th April)
- Dr. Stone: New World (Thursdays, 6th April)
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc (Sundays, 9th April)
Question: When Does the Spring Anime Season Start and End?
Early April until late June. Like most television airing blocks, each anime season lasts approximately 12 weeks. Spring 2023 will start the first week of April, and most shows will have begun airing by the second week.
Question: What Anime Sequels are Coming Out in Spring 2023
The sequels of note releasing in the spring of 2023 are: Demon Slayer, Dr.Stone, Tonikawa, Ancient Magus Bride, In Another World with my Smartphone, Konosuba, Ranking of Kings, Birdie Wing, Eden’s Zero, and Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear. Also, we’ll be seeing Vinland Saga season 2 continue from the Winter season.
Question: What New Anime are Airing in Spring 2023
There are so many, but the most notable ones include: Hell’s Paradise, Oshi no Ko, Mashle, Tengoku Daimakyo, My Clueless First Friend, The Dangers in My Heart, Skip and Loafer, My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999, and Insomniacs After School among many others.
Anime to Get Excited for in Spring 2023: So Much to Watch, So Little Time
Of course, this isn’t everything coming out this season. Over 45 shows are airing this spring alone, and that excludes OVAs and movies. The anime market can feel so saturated nowadays. However, we still see excellent series released among the piles and piles of content.
I did my best to pick out the cream of the crop for you this season, and I know I’ve found some shows I’ll be sticking with through June, and I hope you did too. It’s time to get out there and find something new, or maybe return to something we love. Either way, let’s make this a good spring!