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What lies ahead in anime world

January is gone, and we have yet to discuss the awesome anime coming in 2023. Vinland Saga season two is already out (January 9).

The first season did nothing for me, because I read the first few volumes of the manga years ago and loved them. Season two has my interest because this is brand new territory for me; a section of Thorfinn’s arc I never read.

Season one followed Thorfinn, the violently angry child, on his quest for vengeance. In season two, Thorfinn is a listless teenager without a purpose. I can’t wait to see how his tale unfolds.

I was late to the Mushoku Tensei party. I must have watched the first four episodes five different times. Each time, I got to that fight in the alley where Rudeus rescues Eris, and stopped. For some reason, I couldn’t get invested in Rudeus as a protagonist, let alone the supporting cast.

I kept returning to the anime because it appeared on every ‘Best of..’ anime list I came across, but something failed to click until recently when I pushed passed that alley fight, and suddenly, I saw the light. The show’s incredible.

This is an isekai, so the concept is hardly original. A 34-year-old Japanese man from the real world dies and reincarnates in a magical realm as Rudeus Greyrat. But in this case, Rudeus is a baby with all the memories and experiences of his 34-year-old self.

You watch him slowly morph into a precocious pre-teen with incredible magical talent. Season one ended with team Rudeus suffering the most devastating defeat. I assume Rudeus will find the rest of his family in season two.

We have discussed the Rurouni Kenshin reboot before. I may tune in once the reboot enters the Enishi arc, which the original Samurai X never covered. But that won’t happen in 2023, hence my disinterest.

I am equally disinterested in Solo Levelling, which is a blasphemous opinion. The last time I checked, it was still the biggest webtoon in the world. I read the Korean manga back when it first came out.

While I appreciated the concept, the execution was sorely lacking. But since those early days, the comic has grown significantly in popularity. An anime adaptation was inevitable.

Again, I’ll say the unpopular thing. I have no interest in Jujutsu Kaisen season two. The first season felt like Tite Kubo’s Bleach, but less exciting. The protagonist eats a demon’s finger and trains to become a sorcerer at a special academy. Once more, the concept sounds cool, but the execution is lacklustre.

Surprisingly, I loved the movie (Jujutsu Kaisen 0). So, part of me is hopeful that season two can win me over. We can end on Attack on Titan, which is expected to return in March for the third part of the final season. The anime community is holding its breath for the finale of what might be the biggest anime of all time.

Manga readers are still fuming over the final chapters. Apparently, the mangaka dropped the ball. Maybe the anime will deliver a more satisfying conclusion to anime’s version of Game of Thrones.

There is plenty of anime coming in 2023 that we have not covered, including Goblin Slayer season two, Kengan Ashura season two, and NieR: Automata. But the anime community is primarily buzzing about those six titles above.

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