2022 was another year filled with excellent anime. With even more manga and light novels getting adapted along with long-running series getting additional season pick-ups, 2022 gave us a lot of anime to watch. Now that we’ve come to the end of the Rokk and I voted on what The Revolution’s 10 best anime series of the year are. Scroll down to find out what made our list of The 10 Best Anime of 2022.
10) KOTARO LIVES ALONE
Kotaro Lives Alone is an anime by Liden Films. This anime is far different than what I usually watch. Kotaro Lives Alone centers on a 4-year-old boy who is living on his own. Kotaro’s neighbors take on the roles of his family. This leads to the overall general sense of unease that lurks in the background of this anime throughout the entire season. There are themes of loss and abandonment. Abuse and neglect. Everything feels off and the viewer retains that odd feeling in their stomach throughout the entire season.
However, at the same time, there are also the themes of love and family. Love in particular is not full of grand gestures like in many anime series. Instead, love is found in small acts. Washing someone’s hair or going to a school recital. Kotaro Lives Alone does not have any really long episodic arcs. Instead, the viewer is treated to small more self-contained episodes that create a spontaneous feeling to the story. Of course, there are elements from each episode that build on each other.
Now, I love glorious-looking anime. Kotaro Lives Alone cuts against that preference of mine. This anime delivers an animation style that is simple, yet highly effective. The animation effectively evokes childhood without looking like a childish kiddie cartoon. – Rokk
9) BLEACH: THOUSAND-YEAR BLOOD WAR
After a decade’s wait, we finally got the start for the adaption of Tite Kubo’s Thousand-Year Blood War story arc in Bleach. Maybe it is the fact we needed the break because of how the Bleach anime was plagued by filler seasons but it is great to have the series back. There is an instant sense of being refreshed when you start the first episode of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War. All the memories of the filler seasons are gone, and the focus is straight up on the content from everything that happened in Kubo’s Bleach series.
The quality of the first part of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is as high as when the anime was at its best. You can see how the animators and the rest of the staff have been able to take time to tackle all of the content as they aren’t rushing to produce a weekly series, as part 2 of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War will be aired in the Summer anime season. That has resulted in every single battle looking fantastic and the major moments hitting on the dramatic tension that Kubo did so well for Ichigo and his friends.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War also instantly reminds you that no anime or manga does style like Kubo’s series. The music is spot-on throughout the season. As soon as you hear “Number One” by Shirō Sagisu and Hazel Fernandes you are reminded how cool the series is. It all added to the big event feel that the final story arc for Bleach. – Kevin
8) KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR – ULTRA ROMANTIC
Kaguya-sama is an anime that has nailed the anthology format for adapting manga chapters for the series it is based on. For those that don’t know about Kaguya-sama it is a series where Miyuki Shirogane, a student even with his lower-class standing, attends the prestige’s Shuchiin Academy where he is the president and is in love with his vice president Kaguya Shinomiya, whose family runs the biggest company in Japan. Both Miyuki and Kaguya are in love with each other but because of their A-type personalities and respective social standings want the other to say “I love you” first. That all leads to both doing everything they can to make the other confess to them.
With the third season, titled Ultra Romantic, the series hit the tipping point when it came to the competition Miyuki and Kaguya were secretly playing with each. Their respective emotions were too much and led to this season telling more of an ongoing arc of their growing relationship making it so the game had to end. The way the animators handled the season you can see that they knew this was the payoff season and put everything into all the character moments for Kaguya and Miyuki’s character arcs leading to the big final moment of the season.
In between all of that we got a lot of great character arcs. We saw Yu Ishigami and Miko Ino start to grow out of their respective shells. Then there was the whole rap battle arc that Chika Fujiwara somehow once again found herself trying to teach the musically challenged Miyuki how to rap with Ai Hayasaka. The special ending for that episode was a nice touch for a season that could be the best of the series. – Kevin
7) DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA
The Demon Slayer manga ended back in May 2020. However, the Demon Slayer anime continues to go strong! Part 2 of Season 2 debuted on December 5, 2021, and ended on February 13, 2022. So, the fact that seven of the eleven episodes came out in 2022, that it was fair enough to include the Demon Slayer anime in our Best of 2022 list.
Part 2 of Season 2 voters the Entertainment District Arc. Ufotable did an incredible job bringing this story to life. Demon Slayer remains a gorgeous-looking anime. The action scenes are flat-out fantastic. The fight scenes do an impressive job of weaving the digital effects into the animation in an organic fashion. The characters are nice, but let’s be honest, you come to the Demon Slayer anime for the breathtaking action scenes. No doubt about it. Demon Slayer has few peers when it comes to the choreography in the battle scenes. – Rokk
6) MY HERO ACADEMIA
When it comes to highly anticipated story arc anime adaptions the Paranormal Liberation War Arc from My Hero Academia is up there. As soon as Kohei Horikoshi completed the Paranormal Liberation War Arc I couldn’t wait until Bones Studio animated all the events. Bones Studio did not let us down as they delivered what fans want to see from an adaption of the Paranormal Liberation War Arc.
Every episode of season six of My Hero Academia delivered hype moments. The desperation the heroes felt in stopping Tomura Shigaraki and the villains were there from the moment the first episode started. From then on it was non-stop with one big moment after another. The moment that delivered the most was Dabi’s pipebomb promo as he completely changed the landscape of the war and the perception of the hero community with one taped video. Even knowing what happens My Hero Academia anime delivered and I can’t wait for them to adapt future events already going on in the manga. – Kevin
5) ATTACK ON TITAN: THE FINAL SEASON PART 2
Attack on Titan’s Final Season has been one of the longest-running seasons of any anime I can remember. Episodes 60-75 rolled out between January – May 2021. Part 2 of the Final Season came out in February 2022. Wow, this was definitely worth the wait. MAPPA’s animation is incredible. It is obvious the hard work that MAPPA has been putting into this Final Season.
Part 2 of the Final Season delivers all the high-stakes drama, intrigue, strong character work, and heartbreaking moments that this anime is known for. The level of storytelling and action is high quality and on a different level than most anime in Attack on Titan’s genre.
The Final Season of Attack on Titan is one of the most anticipated final seasons of any anime I can remember in quite some time. MAPPA has a tough job meeting the high expectations of viewers. Part 2 of the Final Season definitely met those lofty expectations. – Rokk
4) RANKING OF KINGS
When it comes to finding a protagonist you can’t help but be invested in right away you don’t have to look further than Prince Bojji. Even without saying anything Bojji’s design immediately makes you want to know what kind of adventures this little guy will get into. That adventure does not disappoint as Ranking of Kings delivers some of the best moments you’ll find in any anime. Both the world and characters in Ranking of Kings are made better because Bojji is in it. The anime gets you to look at everything from the eyes of a little kid, making every episode feel big in scope no matter what is going on.
There cannot be enough said about how well Wit Studio translates the world Sōsuke Tōka created with the Ranking of Kings manga. Everything from the design of the characters to the setting feels like you are entering a children’s fantasy book. Even as we are bombarded with more and more animes that have medieval settings Ranking of Kings stands out because of the aesthetic Wit Studio created. Wit Studio adds so much to the adventures Bojji goes on and you can’t help but fall in love with Ranking of Kings. – Kevin
3) MOB PSYCHO 100
Bones has been doing an excellent job with the Mob Psycho 100 anime. Season three was no different. Look, if One makes something I am absolutely going to read it and watch it. No doubt. Mob Psycho delights the viewer with fantastic animation. This anime is crazy and offers plenty of wild-looking action scenes.
Of course, Mob Psycho 100 is more than just cool animation and kick-ass fight scenes. Season 3 also delivers the trademark humor that we love about this anime. There is also plenty of excellent character work with such a wonderful roster of unique characters. Speaking of characters, I would be remiss if I did not compliment the voice actors for doing a fine job bringing all of these characters to life.
Fans who love humor and insane action/adventure definitely need to give Mob Psycho 100 a try. You will not be disappointed. – Rokk
2) CHAINSAW MAN
2022 was the gift that keeps giving. First, Spy x Family’s new anime debuted. Then a few months later we got the debut of the brand-new Chainsaw Man anime! MAPPA did an amazing job bringing Tatsuki Fujimoto’s manga to life in a vivid fashion. To be sure, the trademark bloody violent fight scenes of the manga were brought to life in the anime and met my wildest expectations. The Chainsaw Man anime is able to make the quiet scenes visually appealing. But, you watch this anime for the fight scenes and they are spectacularly animated.
MAPPA deserves a ton of credit for being extremely faithful to Fujimoto’s style of art as well as sticking fairly closely to the story. I appreciate that the anime closely follows the source material. Even if you have never read the manga you absolutely have to give this anime a chance. – Rokk
1) SPY X FAMILY
I don’t think there has ever been an anime adaptation I have been more looking forward to that for Spy x Family. As Rokk and I have mentioned a lot on the Manga Revolution Podcast Spy x Family manga is one of the best series going right now. Tatsuya Endo has created something truly special. Even with those high expectations Wit Studio and CloverWorks knocked it out of the park with the Spy x Family anime adaptation. This is not surprising given that Wit Studio and CloverWorks are two of the best animation studios in the world.
Truly, Endo’s unique art style is taken to another level by Wit Studio and CloverWorks. They make the world of Spy x Family feel even bigger than the manga has been. One of the best examples of that is the fifth episode of Spy x Family, “Will They Pass or Fail,” where Loid rents a whole castle so he, Yor, and WISE agents can act out an episode of Anya’s favorite anime as a reward for his daughter getting into Eden Academy.
The attention to detail from the animation, music, and voice acting, both dub, and sub, is all top-notch. Everything comes together to create an anime you can’t help but fall in love with every single character. There is no other series that does the shifting from comedic to serious to cool better than Spy x Family. Anya, Loid, and Yor are a fantastic trio who you are fully invested in seeing them grow individually and as a family. If there is one anime from 2022 to watch it is without a doubt Spy x Family. – Kevin