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‘Demon Slayer’ To ‘Chainsaw Man’: The Anime That Wowed Us In 2022

From stunning animation styles to über kawaii characters, 2022 was a great year for anime.

By Marguerita TanPublished 27 days ago Updated 25 days ago 6 min read
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The ultimate battle in ‘Demon Slayer’ Season 2 Part 2. [Netflix/Ufotable]

2022 was a great year for anime lovers.

Established hits such as Demon Slayer and Attack on Titan continue to wow with stunning new animation styles and exhilarating scenarios, while new series the likes of Spy x Family and Chainsaw Man—offering contrasting levels of deft visual action and humorous elements—deserved their rave reviews.

While Studio Chizu gave us arguably the best animated feature film of 2022 with the enchanting science fantasy Belle, anime powerhouse Studio Ghibli caused a disturbance in the Force late in the year when they released their first collaboration with Lucasfilm—the charming hand-drawn Star Wars-meet-Spirited-Away short film, Zen: Grogu and Dust Bunnies.

In no order of merit, here are but five anime that wowed us in 2022:

5 Anime that Wowed Us in 2022

1. ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’ — "Entertainment District Arc"

The great lengths our Demon Slayer heroes have to go through... [Credit: Netflix/Ufotable]

The second cour of Demon Slayer Season 2, namely the 11-episode “Entertainment District Arc”, truly propelled the artistry of the highly-rated dark fantasy anime to another level.

Based on Koyoharu Gotouge’s award-winning manga, the latest story arc finds our young demon slayers Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu following Tengen Uzui the Sound Hashira to the Yoshiwara red light district to investigate demonic presence.

Not only did the series arguably provided its funniest episode to date when our teenage heroes have to go undercover as geisha wannabes (pictured above) so to infiltrate the local courtesan houses, the season’s penultimate episode also showcases an electrifying and visually stunning battle between Tanjiro, Tengen and the Upper Six demon Gyutaro (see top main picture).

From the district’s glittering nightlife to the epic fight scenes, Demon Slayer Season 2 Part 2 was truly outstanding and beautifully illustrated by anime studio Ufotable.

Season 3, featuring the “Swordsman Village Arc”, is due in April 2023.

2. ‘Belle’ (2021)

Though made in 2021, Studio Chizu’s Belle was only released worldwide in 2022. The story follows shy schoolgirl Suzu who transforms into an immensely popular pop diva named Belle on the virtual reality platform “U”. All’s well till she meets the unpopular Dragon that reminded her that one should not judge a person online by his or her avatar.

Written and directed by Oscar-nominated Mamoru Hosaoda (Mirai, Wolf Children), Belle repackages the classic Beauty and the Beast story with angsty teenagers dealing with social issues such as self-esteem, bullying and domestic abuse, embedded in lushly hued visuals and some of the best Japanese songs ever heard in an anime film.

Mesmerizing from start to finish, it received five nominations including Best Indie Feature at the 2022 Annie Awards, the most garnered by a Japanese anime film (one more than 2001’s Spirited Away and 2019’s Weathering With You).

3. ‘Spy x Family'

Cuteness combined with fun action is key for 'Spy x Family'. [Credit: Netflix/Wit Studio x CloverWorks]

Funny, thrilling and with an abundance of cuteness overload, it was easy to see just why Spy x Family became one of biggest new anime hits of 2022.

Based on Tatsuya Endo’s top-selling manga and produced by Wit Studio x CloverWorks, the action comedy scores on its intriguing premise alone: dashing spy Loid, pretty clerk-cum-assassin Yor and cute little orphan-cum-telepath Anya came together to form a pretend family, whilst hiding their true identities from each other.

The adorableness of the lead characters, especially the expressive meme-worthy Anya, coupled with catchy opening and closing theme songs plus other interesting key characters, definitely contributed to the series' instant and immense popularity.

A second season and a full-length feature film, with an original storyline by Endo, have already been earmarked for 2023.

Read also:

* ‘Spy x Family’: 10 Manga Scenes We Want To See In The Hit Anime Series

4. ‘Chainsaw Man’

Denji in full Chainsaw Man mode. [Credit: Prime Video/MAPPA]

Set in a modern Japan overrun by ferocious devils spawned by human fears, this much-anticipated new series follows the debt-ridden Denji who forms a pact with a cute dog-like Chainsaw Devil named Pochita that enables him to become a chainsaws-wielding super being. For livelihood security, he joins the Public Safety Bureau as an official devil hunter, unaware that devils and assassins alike are out to claim his Chainsaw Devil heart…

Based on Tatsuki Fujimoto’s popular manga and produced by MAPPA, one slowly grow to love the eccentric characters of Chainsaw Man as each, with their own reasons, strive to rid the world of bloodthirsty devils. There are gory and violent scenes galore but these are interspersed with dark humor and a few light (and even quiet) moments. Next to the head-bangin' theme song “Kick Back” by renowned musician Kenshi Yonezu, the 12-episode series also deserved brownie points as every end credit sequence is different and paired with a unique ending theme song by 12 different artistes.

A second season has yet to be announced, but if greenlighted, it would probably only arrive by 2024.

5. ‘Attack On Titan: The Final Season’ Part 2

Former foes unite to stop Eren Yeager in Attack on Titan: The Final Season. [Credit: Netflix/MAPPA]

As the acclaimed epic dark fantasy series—based on Hajime Isayama’s best-selling manga—approaches its final stretch, there were lots of twists and turns and oh-so-many-questions-still in Part 2 of Attack on Titan's fourth and final season.

After the astonishing reveal in Part 1 that protagonist Eren Yeager might just be the saga’s biggest villain yet, Part 2 delivered some of the series’ most unforgettable and dramatic moments. These include an epic battle between the Attack, Armored and Jaw Titans; the tension-filled confrontations each time the Survey Corp loyalists have to deal with their former enemies from Marley; and most of all, the shocking sight of The Rumbling, as Eren releases the Colossus-like Wall Titans from the walls of Paradis to launch his planned massacre of the worlds beyond the sea.

Although it took a while to get used to the new animated style by MAPPA—Wit Studio created the first three seasons—Attack on Titan nonetheless remains one of the most visually gripping action anime series there is.

A decade after the anime first premiered in 2013, the third and final part of Attack on Titan: The Final Season will air in 2023.

Read also:

* ‘Attack On Titan’ Season 4: The 10 Things To Expect In The Hit Anime's Final Season

* ‘Attack On Titan’ Season 3: Humans Are the New Threat

Demon Slayer Seasons 1-2, Attack on Titan Seasons 1-4, and Spy x Family Season 1 are available on Netflix and Crunchyroll. Chainsaw Man streams on Prime Video, while Belle can be seen on Netflix.

Read also:

* Studio Ghibli Sees First East-west Collaboration in the Wordless Wonder 'The Red Turtle'

* 6 Great Fantasy Films That Studio Ponoc's 'Mary and the Witch’s Flower' Will Lovingly Remind You Of

* 'Seoul Station': Animated 'Train to Busan' Prequel Is a Zombie Flick That Addresses Social Ills

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About the Creator

Marguerita Tan

A freelance writer who loves God, movies, music and TV; esp Star Wars, Animation/Anime, Games of Thrones, K-Dramas, and anything that's entertaining! Twitter/Instagram: @marfield49

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Comments (9)

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  • ReidS23 days ago

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  • animetipz25 days ago

    2022 was an amazing year for anime!! I can't wait to see what 2023 has in store for us

  • hammad sattar26 days ago

    very good

  • Loved it. Keep up the excellence. very proud of you. BOL to the universe and to us. Good morning, glorious morning.

  • AMK26 days ago

    I have yet to see Attack on Titans and Belle. If it's on this list then I'll most definitely like it

  • The Demon Slayer latest season was my favorite and don’t even get me started on the theme song lol. Excited to see what happens this year with Tokyo Revengers and Jujutsu Kaisen.

  • Spy x Family rules!!!

  • SwaggyMelone26 days ago

    Very nice :D

  • sleepy drafts26 days ago

    This is a great list!

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