If there’s one thing that is the bane of any anime fan’s life, it has to be trying to keep up with the never-ending conveyor belt that is the seasonal anime schedule. New shows are coming out all the time and for many of us, that leaves a whole lot of things in the “I’ll get to it eventually pile.” This compounds even further if, for whatever reason, you step away from anime for a while. Suddenly you find yourself with all of these new shows that are sometimes dozens of episodes in with no idea how you’re supposed to catch up.
That’s where this list comes in. Here are just a few of the anime that you might have missed that you should add to your queue right away and start catching up on. Of course, whatever anime you fancy watching a finding a great free otaku service where you can watch anime for free is always going to be a big help. Also, don’t blame us if a whole new set of shows have come out by the time you’re all caught up with these ones!
My Hero Academia
Even if you’ve been away from anime for a while, there’s a pretty good chance that you know about My Hero Academia. This superhero shonen series is the reigning king of the genre that has managed to cross over into the mainstream in the way that not a lot of anime manage to do.
The story of Deku, powerless boy born into a world of superheroes, as he inherits the powers of his idol All-Might and starts his education at a high school for superheroes, My Hero Academia isn’t necessarily doing anything revolutionary. It’s just happy to be an incredibly charismatic version of exactly what it is. Not only that but the effort taken to populate this world with delightfully fun and interesting characters means that it’s nearly impossible not to get invested once you get started.
Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba
Shonen anime really has been killing it lately. Between My Hero Academia and Demon Slayer, it kind of feels like classic shonen is back in way not seen since The Big 3 were at their height in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump!
Demon Slayer is one of the most traditional shonen anime to come out in a long while. It’s the story of Tanjiro, a nice anime boy who always tries hard who comes home one day to find his family slaughtered by demons. The only survivor is his younger sister Nezuko, who herself has been turned into a demon. Tanjiro then embarks on a quest to find a cure for his sister and take revenge on the demon that killed his family.
This might sound like a pretty obvious premise but when it comes to Demon Slayer, the devil really is in the details. For one thing, the show is drop-dead gorgeous! Some of the fight scenes in Demon Slayer feel like they’re practically feature film level in terms of their production quality and there is no shortage of amazing sakuga moments to choose from. Not only that but the world is filled with engaging and likeable characters. Tanjiro might be as traditional as shonen protagonists get but boy if it isn’t easy to root for the little guy. Not to mention that Nezuko is one of the most adorable supporting characters in any modern anime for a long time.
Do you care about volleyball? No? Well, watch more than one episode of Haikyuu and you will find yourself incredibly invested in volleyball! The set up couldn’t be simpler. Shōyō Hinata loves volleyball and dreams of playing it. The only problem? Shōyō is short and volleyball is a tall people’s game. You couldn’t come up with a more perfect sports anime premise if you cooked it up in a lab!
Even if you’re not interested in volleyball there’s plenty of love in the interactions between teammates, Shōyō’s constant drive to reach the highest heights (pun intended), and the incredible animation of the matches themselves. The love of the sport that oozes from every frame of Haikyuu is so intense that it’s actually created a pretty significant spike (pun intended, again) in the rates at which Japanese high school students are signing up to play volleyball.
The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland is a tricky anime to talk about because the thing that makes it so interesting to watch is also something that’s best enjoyed without being spoiled. So take this as your spoiler warning: go watch The Promised Neverland, it’s fantastic.
Okay, still here? So, The Promised Neverland follows a group of children living in an orphanage under the guardianship of their “Mom.” In the first episode, Emma, the series protagonist, discovers the dark truth behind their idyllic life: The orphanage is actually a farm and the children are being prepared to be sold and eaten by a terrifying race of creatures. Now that’s what you call a premise! And that’s just in episode 1! The series then follows the children as they plot their escape despite being physically and mentally outmatched by the adults around them at every turn. Whether you’re looking for a truly terrifying villain or you just want some serious nail-biting suspense, don’t miss the promised neverland.
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Of course, if you’re looking for something that’s not quite as intense as all of that, why not settle back with something a little lighter and funnier. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is one of those rare anime that can best be described as “a battle anime without any battles.” The concept is this: the president and vice president of the school council are both madly in love with each other. They have a suspicion about how the other feels but they’re not entirely sure. Instead of actually talking to people they contrive various different games and tests to try and trick the other into revealing their feelings first.
So, where other shows create drama through fistfights or card games or stand battles, Kaguya-sama achieves through mind games played between two people who both have genius-level intellects, but still aren’t intelligent enough to recognize a good thing when it’s right in front of their faces.
The two leads are both incredibly charismatic in their own ways and the primary supporting character, the seemingly ditsy student council secretary, turns out to be the most emotionally capable member of the cast, constantly frustrated by the inability to the two leads to actually communicate with each other. Kaguya-sama is one of the most charismatic and witty anime in the last few years and with season 2 on its way, now is the perfect time to jump in.
One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t have to be constantly beholden to the seasonal schedule. Sure, it’s nice to be able to watch the same shows that everyone else is talking about so that you can join in the conversation but there are so many great anime out there that you could well end up missing if you’re only ever focused on trying to keep up with the latest releases. Why not try checking out some things from previous seasons that flew under the radar. Or why not go back to some of those old classics like Mobile Suit Gundam or Trigun that you always said you’d check out but never got around to. Whatever your tastes, no matter where you look, there are always great anime to be found.
What do you think of our list of anime shows to catch up on this season? Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comment section below.