Winter is finally here and soon the year 2023 will be over, but instead of looking back on the past year, we will look ahead with 10 anime recommendations.
Did you know that AVO Magazine started this article series in 2016 where crew members of AVO Magazine came together with one or more suggestions for a season? Time flies, doesn’t it? Just like how the year 2023 has flown by. Below is a collection of anime recommendations for the winter season. Let us know what you will be watching for the winter season of 2024.
Yubisaki to Renren (ゆびさきと恋々)
Type: TV Anime Studio: Ajia-do Genre(s): Romance Alternative title: A Sign of Affection Based on the eponymous manga by Suu Morishita.
Starts airing: 6 January Number of Episodes: Unknown
As a hearing-impaired university student, Yuki Itose is used to keeping to herself. The only person she lets in is her best friend Rin Fujishiro. One day, on her way to school, she meets a mutual friend of Rin. This man, Itsuomi Nagi, and his open attitude towards Yuki despite her impairment begin to change her world little by little. He fascinates her, both because of how he responds to her and because of his experiences abroad. When he shows her more and more of his world, how will hers change?
Recommended by Yuki:
Another cute romantic anime, which promises to be pretty light-hearted and sweet. I hope everything works out for them and that they help each other along the way. If you’re into sweet romances you should definitely try this one out!
Dungeon Meshi (ダンジョン飯)
Type: TV Anime Studio: Kadokawa Genre(s): Comedy, Fantasy, Gourmet Alternative title: Delicious in Dungeon
Starts airing: 6 January Number of episodes: Runs for two seasons
In a world where people explore dungeons as part of their daily life the young adventurer Laios loses his sister to an encounter with a dragon. Not only that but they don’t have enough resources to keep adventuring. But even then Laios and his team are determined to save her. However without supplies they only have one way to survive and that’s by eating the monsters in the dungeon.
When they try to start making monster meals they encounter the dwarf Senshi who has eaten many a monster before and who teaches them the ropes. This is the beginning of a gourmet adventure in another world where we learn about delicious dishes made with unconventional ingredients.
Recommended by Lecros:
Nowadays the fantasy genre has a lot of tropes of people regressing or transferring to another world to gain overpowered abilities. And even though I enjoy those, it’s nice to go back to a simpler story where we put the various fantasy creatures in the spotlight. Even though the concept of cooking with dungeon creatures might sound crazy the mangaka came up with a lot of creative ways to make dishes we know with ingredients we don’t and that makes for a super unique story.
Type: TV Anime Studio: Bones Genre(s): Action, Sci-fi
Starts airing: 11 January Number of episodes: Unknown
Rouge, an android girl is living in a world where humans and androids coexist. Together with her partner Naomi she is on a mission on Mars to murder nine artificial humans who are hostile to the government.
Recommended by Hageshi:
I actually went in blind with this anime. For me the characters just looked amazing and looking at the information I could find about the anime I saw the characters are designed by Kawamoto Toshiro who also did the character designs for anime like Cowboy Bepop and Wolf’s Rain. And to me the character designs apply a lot to be able to like or dislike an anime, so I am having a good feeling about this one.
Ao no Exorcist: Shimane Illuminati-hen (Blue Exorcist)
Type: TV Anime Studio: Studio VOLN Genre(s): Action, Fantasy, Shonen Alternative title: Blue Exorcist: Shimane Illuminati Saga
Starts airing: 7 January Number of episodes: Unknown
Rin Okumura, an orphan raised by Father Shiro Fujimoto, who is also an Exorcist. One day, Rin discovers he and his twin brother are sons of Satan and a human mother. After having an argument with his adoptive father, Satan possesses Shiro who then dies protecting Rin, and in the process Rin unsheathes a sword that unknowingly to him had been sealing his demonic powers. This sets Rin on a new path of using these powers to become an exorcist. The third season, is set after the events of the Kyoto Saga. Rin and his friends are forced to deal with the Illuminati group, whilst Izumu is forced to confront her past.
Recommended by AlexD:
It will be 6 years after season 2 started airing when this season starts, and finally the wait is almost over. It feels so strange there is such a gap between each series, particularly after the success of the second. As the stakes were raised at the end of last season, I’m desperate to see where this series is headed.
Ore dake Level Up na Ken (俺だけレベルアップな件)
Type: TV Anime Studio: A-1 Pictures Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy Alternative title: Solo Leveling Based on the Korean web novel by Chugong.
Starts airing: 7 January Number of episodes: Unknown
Set a decade after “the Gate” appeared, linking the real world to a different world filled with magic and monsters. Ordinary people at the time also received magical powers to fight the monsters and became known as Hunters. The story follows Shun Mizushino, regarded as the World’s Weakest Hunter, who only takes on weak monsters to pay for his mother’s medical bills. However this changes when Shun wakes up in hospital after a mission went wrong, only to find a mysterious screen floating in front of him, demanding him to complete an intense training programme or face a penalty. Reluctantly agreeing, Shun finds it may develop him into becoming one of the strongest and deadly Hunters out there.
Recommended by AlexD:
There has been a lot of buzz about the original web novel and comic, it is set to be one of the most talked about anime of the season already. I always love an underdog story, and this one looks filled with cool action scenes alongside it. Where I haven’t read the originals, I’m looking forward to seeing what the hype is about although it is a shame in a sense they have opted to relocalise it to have a Japanese setting over the original Korean.
Mato Seihei no Slave (魔都精兵のスレイブ)
Type: TV Anime Studio: Seven Arcs Genre(s): Action, Fantasy, Ecchi Alternative title: Chained Soldier
Starts Airing: 4 January Number of Episodes: Unknown
When he gets lost in a dimensional portal on his way home from high school, Yuuki Watura finds himself rescued by Kyouka Uzen, a girl with special powers that fights monsters in other dimensions. But she wants something in return, for him to become her slave and join her and the other girls that are fighting the monsters.
Recommended by PHX:
The studio was behind the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series and movies and also behind the romantic comedy Tonikaku Kawaii so I think this has potential to be an entertaining mix of fast paced combat along with good character interactions and progression. Done well, it is a good combination that makes it worth checking out.
Akuyaku Reijou Level 99: Watashi wa Ure-Boss desu ga Maou dewa Arimasen (悪役令嬢レベル99 ～私は裏ボスですが魔王ではありません～)
Type: TV Anime Studio: Jumondo Genre(s): Fantasy Alternative title: Villainess Level 99: I May Be the Hidden Boss but I’m Not the Demon Lord
Starts Airing: 9 January Number of Episodes: Unknown
A girl born into nobility that is fated to become the hidden boss in a certain RPG game, however after years of training her abilities and level 99 stand her apart from everyone else at the school of magic. With suspicions growing in the minds of some that she may be a demon lord, will she be able to avoid her fate.
Recommended by PHX:
The plot gives me the impression that it will have a lot of situational comedy in it as the girl tries, perhaps in vain, to avoid her fate and live a normal and peaceful life. Something with a bit of fun to lighten up the dark winter evenings.
Mahou Shoujo ni Akogarete (魔法少女にあこがれて)
Type: TV Anime Studio: Asahi Production Genre(s): Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Ecchi, Magical Girl Alternative title: Gushing over Magical Girls
Starts airing: 3 January Number of episodes: 13
In this mundane world, a girl named Hiiragi Utena dreams of joining the force of magical girls. Fate finds her as an unusual doll-like figure called Venalita, is it finally time for her transformation? Unfortunately, the magical girl’s life isn’t picked out for her and she turns into a villain. Utena tries to quit the magical girl scene, but a war erupts, revealing her secret enjoyment in causing pain. With each step deeper into the shadows, she embraces her sadistic instincts, blurring the line between good and evil.
Recommended by Natsu:
I choose this provocative anime because I find it an interesting new way to view the world of magical girls. Also because of the nature of the villain being portrayed here.
Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san (休日のわるものさん)
Type: TV Anime Studio: SynergySP, Shin-Ei Animation Genre(s): Comedy Alternative title: Mr. Villain’s Day Off
Starts airing: 8 January Number of episodes: Unknown
Warumono-san is a killing machine sent to Earth by a wicked organization to attack and wipe out humanity, but he, like the rest of us, needs a break. Join him on his finest day off, when nothing, not even his team, can keep him from going to the zoo and enjoying some well-deserved ice cream.
Recommended by Natsu:
Have you ever wondered what an extraterrestrial (evil) being would do on his off-day on our planet earth? Me neither, but I am certainly intrigued about this silly, fun, feelgood adventure.
Yami Shibai 12 (闇芝居 十二期)
Type: TV Anime Studio: ILCA Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural, Avant-garde Alternative title: Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories Twelfth Season
Starts airing: 15 January Number of episodes: Most likely 13
In case you have a liking for horror and an interest in Japan’s rich occult history and ghost stories, the title Yami Shibai will probably not be unfamiliar to you. The first season was shown in the summer of 2013 and during this winter, the twelfth season will start. This season will feature urban legends told with the theme ‘rules’ mimicking the kamishibai, a traditional way of storytelling with the use of paper figures and scrolls.
Recommended by Francisca:
After noticing the amount of recommended fantasy anime series in this article, I thought: let me look for something of mystery and horror, because I do have a preference for that. Yami Shibai has not been recommended before, about time to shine a light on it.. The advantage of this series is that it is perfect to watch in between our daily routine, because of its short duration per episode, just like Kowabon, another TV anime from the same studio.
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Never satisfied, always exploring. Started with AVO in 2003. Now active as a writer, reporter, reviewer, promoter, photographer, interviewer and presenter. Can be found regularly at conventions and concerts in the Netherlands and sometimes elsewhere in Europe or even in Japan. Big passion for Japan and music, can be made happy with coffee. (click on Soundcloud logo)
Online magazine since 2012 and based in the Netherlands. AVO Magazine is a Japan-related entertainment website with information about events in especially in Europe. There is a big focus on Japanese music. Other contents we publish are reports, reviews, informative articles, and interviews. AVO Forum, founded on May 16, 2003, served as the foundation for AVO Magazine.