Top 5 Anime of 2023

Top 5 Anime of 2023

Honorable Mentions

Well, it’s the final day of 2023. And, looking back on the year, there was a decent amount of good anime. But, was 2023 better than 2022? The stats are in, and the answer is no. At least, not in terms of the anime I watched.

I watched 46 anime that aired in 2023, which is up from the measly 37 I watched in 2022. However, my average rating for the year decreased to 6/10 in 2023 from 6.3/10 in 2022. It looks like those extra anime I watched this year didn’t help.

Now, before we get into my top 5 anime of the year, I have a single honorable mention. This list only includes anime that started and finished between January 1 and December 31, 2023. That means Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End didn’t qualify for this year’s list.

But, if Frieren was allowed to be on the list, I’d put it in the #3 spot. So, let’s take a look at what it would have bumped out of my top 5.

5. The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You

The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You anime series cover art
The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You

That’s right, Hyakkano made it onto my top 5 for the year since Frieren didn’t qualify. To me, this was the biggest surprise of 2023. I was not expecting this anime to actually be any good. But, it is.

Hyakkano might be the new best harem anime. It has everything you could want. It’s funny, it has a wide variety of cute girls, it has good ecchi content, and every girl wins. It doesn’t matter who your favorite is, she’s going to come out on top.

Though, if your favorite isn’t either Hakari or Karane, you’re objectively wrong. At least out of the first six girlfriends. Maybe some of the other 94 we haven’t met yet are better than those two. But, so far, the original two girlfriends are my favorite.

4. Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Season 2

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Season 2 anime series cover art
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Season 2

Mushoku Tensei Season 2 is very good. But it has two pretty different halves. And one of those halves was much better than the other. In the first half, we have adventure stuff. And in the second half, we have magic academy stuff. Guess which half I like more.

The main reason why I like Mushoku Tensei is the adventure. I love exploring the world, going on quests, fighting monsters, and meeting adventurers. That’s the cool stuff. And, to its credit, this season had some great adventure content at the start.

Then, we get to the Ranoa University of Magic. Don’t get me wrong, I still think this part of the season is good. And I’m sure it’s building up characters and subplots that are going to be important later. But, it’s not nearly as interesting as following Rudeus’s adventures.

3. Vinland Saga Season 2

Vinland Saga Season 2 anime series cover art
Vinland Saga Season 2

Was there any question that Farmland Saga was going to make it into my top 5 anime of the year? Vinland Saga Season 2 was easily the best drama anime of the year. And, yes, the drama in this season is better than the action in Season 1.

Now, there is one thing Season 1 has over Season 2: Askeladd. But, he still makes some appearances in this season via Thorfinn’s nightmares. And, we get a lot of other good characters in this season to make up for Askeladd’s absence. So, overall, I think this season is better.

The main focus of this season is on how war hurts everyone. It hurts the winners, losers, and innocents who get caught up in it. And this season does an amazing job of illustrating this on an individual level.

2. Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 anime series cover art
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2

I’m sure Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 is the #1 anime of the year for a lot of people. It was a fantastic season. Not every episode was a banger. But, there were a lot of them. And a lot of those great episodes were back-to-back.

The first arc of the season was a flashback arc featuring Gojou’s and Getou’s backstory. It serves as the prequel to Jujutsu Kaisen 0, which itself is a prequel to the second arc of this season. This flashback arc was good. But, the main draw of the season was the Shibuya Incident arc.

I’d heard that the Shibuya Incident arc was the best of the series. And, now that I’ve seen it, that checks out. The start of this arc was a bit slow. But, once it got going, it was almost non-stop action with great animation.

1. Heavenly Delusion

Heavenly Delusion anime series cover art
Heavenly Delusion

Of course, I had to have a controversial #1 anime of 2023. Heavenly Delusion was the only anime I rated 9/10 this year. The others on this list all got 8/10. But, it’s not like I thought this was going to be my top anime of the year when I watched it back in the spring.

Hyakkano might be the anime that surprised me the most. But, Heavenly Delusion was the one I went into expecting it to be a toss-up. Based on the synopsis, I thought it could either be great or terrible. And, it ended up being great.

This series follows two teens as they explore a post-apocalyptic world. They fight monsters, meet other survivors, and uncover dark secrets. If you’re into mystery adventure series, I highly recommend checking this one out.

Final Thoughts

What were your top 5 anime of 2023? I’m assuming a lot of peoples’ top 5 include Mushoku Tensei, Vinland Saga, and Jujutsu Kaisen. But, did Hayakkano make your list? What about Heavenly Delusion? Let me know in the comments.

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2 Replies to “Top 5 Anime of 2023”

  1. Jobless is DEFINITELY in my top 5. And I agree the adventure portion was way better. I feel like his time at the academy focused a lot on Fitz being a big coward.

    Side note, AI is my favourite girlfriend but I know my opinion is super biased.

  2. Vinland Saga 2 is the clear #1 for me.

    As for me, I cannot stand Mushoku Tensei. It is not a redemption story as advertised since I’m 99.9% certain that Rudeus will not have to atone for his sexual deviance. Yeah, he probably become a productive member of society in Mushoku Tensei’s fantasy world, but the main reason that happens is because he was born into the perfect world for his character flaws to be enabled. When looking at it from a critical lens, I find Mushoku Tensei much like any other wish fulfillment isekai harem series out there only with much better world-building and better animation most of the time compared to those series.

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