It’s easy to see that 2022 has been a sensational year for anime. Shows we’ve never heard of came to be, and loads of stirring moments dazzled the hearts of fans. Better yet, every studio went all out in presenting snazzy new visuals and unique sequences. Tons of fresh anime content dropped, so calling this year overwhelming wouldn’t be an overstatement.
Choosing what we’d call the cream of the crop that aired this year was definitely a daunting task because of the sheer number of amazing anime, but someone had to do it. While we’ve compiled a list featuring what we think are the best anime of 2022, it’s totally alright if you like one particular anime more than the other. But as far as our picks go, here is the best anime of 2022 that you need to watch.
NOTE: we’re only including anime that has concluded at least one season/part over the course of the year as of this writing, which is why the likes of Chainsaw Man don’t make the cut.
15. Lycoris Recoil
Lycoris Recoil is one of those rare cases where an original anime project turns out to be so good that a manga adaptation of it gets made. The show has much in common with Black Lagoon and takes the same thrilling approach to the “girls with guns” subgenre.
Takina was raised to be a trained assassin under the government-operated “Lycoris” program. When she disobeys orders to save a partner, the higher-ups have her transferred to a subsidiary LycoReco. While eager to return back to her former place, Takina’s beliefs start changing when she starts working together with the eccentric Lycoris prodigy Chisato Nishikigi.
14. Call of the Night
Call of the Night is an anime that oozes feelings of living life to its fullest, being merry, and remaining passionate about the choices you make. Its unconventional story of how Ko Yamori, a dull loner, befriends the bizarre vampire Nazuna will leave you craving for more as the lively nightlife of Japan depicted is something you can’t get enough of.
Out of all the narratives that made their way into the anime-verse in 2022, Ko’s efforts to fall in love with Nazuna so he can become a vampire too will always brighten up your mood, even on the saddest of evenings.
13. Classroom of the Elite: Season 2
Classroom of the Elite originally aired in 2017 and received huge praise for its sharp animation and thrilling twists, but years passed since any word of its renewal. Fast-forward to 2022, the mysterious and adrenaline-fueled story about high schoolers competing against each other finally returned.
After their special exam on the Island, class D decides to take it easy for a while. In a strange twist of fate, they’re greeted by the staff with yet another puzzling new exam. Unable to see any chance of success, and with enemies trying to cripple them at every corner, it seems as if only Ayanokouji may be able to lead class D to victory again.
12. Overlord: Season 4
Not many isekai anime have been able to reach the same heights Overlord has. There’s no arguing every one of its seasons ends up being a banger, but the fourth one in particular is clearly levels ahead. We wholly suggest that you should watch the series’ 2022 return, and once you’re done, do get yourself ready for the upcoming Overlord: Holy Kingdom movie.
Overlord: Season 4 continued the stellar story about an otaku living life as a grumpy skeleton inside the hit MMORPG Yggdrasil. This time, Ainz Ooal Gown showed us more of his menacing new plans to conquer the world, and yes, like always, they were quite chucklesome.
11. Tomodachi Game
Yuuichi Katagiri values friendship above all as only due to Yutori, Shiho, Makoto, and Tenji is he able to make his high school days memorable. Unexpectedly, the funds for the upcoming class trip are stolen, and Makoto and Shiho, who were in charge of collecting them, are made suspects. As tensions rise between the friends, they’re all kidnapped and forced to participate in a series of psychological games. Why? Because one of them has amassed a massive debt and may be responsible for stealing the funds.
Tomodachi Game pits close friends against each other and portrays what a person is willing to do for personal gain. The impressively dark concept of Tomadachi Game is something unique, and it has effortlessly gamed its way onto our list of the best anime of 2022.
10. My Dress-Up Darling
Amid 2022’s superb batch of anime, My Dress-Up Darling takes the cake when it comes to romcoms. Recluse Wakana Gojou spends his time trying to make clothes for dolls, hoping to one day become as good as his grandfather. But when an outgoing peer of his, Marin Kitagawa, catches wind of his hobby, she wastes no time in spilling that she’s an avid cosplayer.
Now tasked with making Marin all the clothes he possibly ever can, the duo works closely together, and both of them start to realize how different their lives truly are. While My Dress-Up Darling doesn’t exactly have an astonishing plot, its lighthearted slice-of-life moments are ones that are bound to melt your heart.
9. The Case Study of Vanitas – Part 2
The initial episodes that were released for The Case Study of Vanitas came as a pleasant surprise. Getting to see a boisterous yet arrogant mage help save the lives of corrupted vampires was pretty nice, but when his agenda for doing so was revealed to be revenge on a Vampire too, things became very interesting.
A meticulously designed plot, an energetic cast of characters, and gorgeous animation just made the show stand out even more. The second batch of episodes for The Case Study of Vanitas built upon those already solid aspects, making it one of the best anime of 2022.
8. Sabikui Bisco
Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, everyone is susceptible to getting afflicted by rust. Only one thing seems to stand a chance against this plague: special mushrooms. And so begins Mushroom keeper Bisco Akaboshi’s quest across the plains to eradicate the rust by finding the “Sabikui” mushroom of legend.
Despite being straightforward, Sabikui Bisco has a really strange cast of characters, and to be honest, that’s the anime’s selling point. Compared to other anime like Demon Slayer and Noragami, yes, it’s simple, but the way everything intertwines with each other makes for a unique experience worthy of notice.
7. The Devil Is a Part-Timer!: Season 2
It has been a decade since The Devil Is a Part-Timer!: Season 1 aired, but now we’ve finally got a sequel. The animation has changed but the story still remains one of the best things about the show. This season was one hell of an adventure from start to finish, so you better not miss out on it.
Sadao Maou, or Satan as you remember him, is living a pretty chill life working as a fast food employee in Japan, although he does have to deal with the burden of taking care of his generals and Emi. Out of nowhere, a portal opens while Emi and Sadao are having an argument, and the child who pops out presumes that they are her parents. And so begins another roller-coaster chapter in this peculiar iteration of Satan’s daily life on Earth.
6. Demon Slayer: Season 2
Going in, everyone knew that 2022 would be an entertaining year to be an anime fan as Demon Slayer had just returned with its long-awaited second season. The Entertainment District Arc kicked off and we were instantly dropped into Tanjiro and his friends battling new Upper-Rank Demons. With Tengen Uzui, the wild and brawny Hashira joining them, things were nothing short of flashy.
The series’ stunning animation and the plot itself are adored throughout the world. Naturally, it’d be hard not to name Demon Slayer: Season 2 as one of the best of the year as it excels phenomenally in every way compared to its predecessor. However, half of it recapping and extending the events of Mugen Train does make it a little less essential.
5. Made in Abyss: Season 2
Made in Abyss: Season 2’s promise of delivering us an amazing adventure into the Abyss’ sixth and most vile layer certainly lived up to its hype. As Riko, Reg and Nanachi descend into the final layer, they brace themselves for possible monstrosities they could encounter — which turn out to be plenty.
In this place presumed to be the origin of evil, the trio runs into a group of villagers called “Hollows”, but that’s only the tip of their worries as many challenges await next in their search for Riko’s mother. Adventurous would be the perfect word to describe the sequel, so if you’re someone who resonates with that, then we couldn’t recommend watching Made in Abyss: Season 2 enough to you.
4. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Season 3
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War was a total underdog when it first arrived. Most were under the impression that it was just here to fill in the season line-up, but the anime fortunately did quite the opposite. Its edgy humor and fantastic recurring romantic scenarios had viewers hooked, and its third season especially deserves a mention in this list.
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Season 3 upped the ante of Kaguya and Miyuki’s constant efforts to get each other to confess their feelings first. While on the other hand, Yuu’s eccentric plays on high school life and Chika just acting like she usually does make for an epic dose of anime fun that justifies its spot so high up in our picks for the best anime of 2022.
3. Attack on Titan: Season 4 – Part 2
On the off chance you’ve never heard of Attack on Titan, then you’ve still got much to see when it comes to anime. Time and time again, Attack on Titan has delivered an impeccable story, and each attempt at telling an unforgettable tale has been masterfully crafted. Attack on Titan: Season 4 0 Part 2, the latest entry into the franchise, concluded in 2022, and each episode was as good as we hoped for.
The clash between Eren and Reiner instantly set the mood for an action-packed season. Marley’s assault on Paradis in numbers furthered the emotional aspect of the series, and repeated acts of betrayal added insult to injury to the already delicate bonds between friends. Back-to-back Titan clashes, intense life & death situations, and a plot that thickens by the minute in Attack on Titan: Season 4 Part 2 all build towards a striking last act that may becomes 2023’s biggest.
2. Spy x Family
While romcoms have certainly stepped up their game recently, the spy genre too has produced an anime nothing short of amazing. Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family manga finally received an anime adaptation after three years of publication.
The hearty Forger family consists of Loid Forger, Yor Briar, and their adoptive daughter Anya Forger. Unbeknownst to each other, all three have something special about them. Loid’s a spy, Yor’s an assassin, and Anya can read minds, but even so, all they want is to preserve world peace. Every episode in Spy x Family is one that’ll leave you charmed and giggling through and through. Thanks to its many different flavors, Spy x Family easily ranks as one of the best newcomer anime of the year.
1. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
In 2021, Netflix put out Arcane, a show that succeeded all expectations. In 2022, the service has once again outdone itself with Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, an anime so remarkably well-written that it’s our number-one pick for this list.
When you first start watching Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, the series’ heartwarming character origins, and nomad lifestyle slowly start to mellow you out with every passing episode. Once you’re finally pulled in by its colorful characters and eye-catching futuristic world, the anime shifts gears and begins a story about how an outlaw, David, traverses from severe poverty to becoming a legend in Night City.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners will make you feel thrilled, excited, and things you’ve never felt before, and by the time the credits roll, you may be drenched in a pool of your own tears, and that’s not something many anime can do. As the year now comes to a close, we’re confident in naming Cyberpunk: Edgerunners as the best anime of 2022, if not one of the best ever.
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.