The year is winding down, and it’s time for fans to take stock of the state of anime in 2022. There were a lot of changes in the anime industry this year, and a lot of challenges for all of us all over the world. Let’s take stock of it all, and find out what the most important anime of 2022 were according to J-List customers!
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What Kind of Year was 2022?
2022 was a “bad” year for many reasons, mostly regarding Putin’s war against Ukraine. Sadly, many of us knew people from the region who had to sign off of Discord servers we were on, unable to finish Attack on Titan because they had to go off to war. This would be unthinkable for most of us.
But for the anime industry, it was a banner year, as those wonky cartoons from Japan we all got shade for watching back in school took over the world. Here are some of the major changes in anime:
- The global anime industry grew a strong 13.3% to $24 billion, easily eclipsing the pre-COVID peak in 2019. It was helped by income from streaming services and the return of movie theatre releases.
- Fresh from buying Crunchyroll, Sony (“Playstation? We don’t need no stinking Playstation!”) used their Kimetsu no Yaeba bucks to purchase anime retailer Right Stuf. Predictably, all NSFW products were removed from the store, leaving more business for J-List (muhaha!).
- Disney+ followed Sony’s lead by pinning its star on the anime industry. They licensed “real” anime like Summertime Rendering for their streaming platform… then managed to anger fans by not distributing it in most markets outside Asia.
- Anime Expo returned with a vengeance, bringing in even more fans than the event had in 2019. We were happy to see so many of you at our booth!
What Were the Most Important Anime of 2022?
Chainsaw Man. I’m actually torn on this one. While I share the frustration of some fans at the high amount of CGI — one Japanese viewer made a petition on Change.org to re-make the entire series with a new director and new voice actor for Denji — the fact is I was enthralled with the anime at all turns, and really appreciated the risks the story took with its characters.
Bocchi the Rock. The most important music anime since K-On!, this is a cute-girls-doing-cute-things anime that has won the hearts of many fans this season.
Shingeki no Kyojin The Final Season Part 2. So much has happened this year that it can be hard to believe the latest “final” chapter of Attack on Titan aired this year rather than several years ago. While the show just gets weirder and weirder, it’s still an amazing achievement in the history of anime. I wonder when the final “final” season will air?
Akebi-chan’s Sailor Suit. Another breakout hit of 2022, this relaxing series had us obsessing over the thighs of JK Akebi-chan, who had realized her dream of attending the high school her mother went to…only to find out that she was the only girl wearing the old-style sailor uniform rather than the more modern blazer-type uniforms.
Tensei Shitara Ken Deshita. Another show that fans loved was Reincarnated as a Sword. Cheering for loli catgirl Fran as she increased in strength was so relaxing!
Isekai Ojisan. If Reincarnated as a Sword is a fun-but-somewhat-formulaic show, Uncle from Another World is just about the freshest new isekai idea in years. It was animated by a smaller studio AtelierPontdarc, which had difficulties keeping up with the animation schedule, leading to a gap in the airing of the episodes.
Akiba Maid War. I expected this to be a cute anime about maids, but it was a violent yakuza story with many twists and turns. Great fun!
Follow the coverage of Akiba Maid War on the J-List blog!
Made in Abyss Season 2. Another anime that made a big splash was season 2 of Made in Abyss, allowing us to enjoy the continuing adventures of Riko, Reg, and Nanachi as they delve even deeper into the mysterious Abyss. All the wholesome fun times we experienced in season 1 were back, as expected!
Summertime Rendering. When Disney+ kicked off their funding of “normal” anime with this popular title, fans were happy that a new player had entered the anime streaming ring. Sadly, Disney has only streamed the show in Asia and Oceania, including Australia and New Zealand. Does the company intend to ignore the demand for shows like this in other markets, encouraging piracy? Did they get sidelined by the high number of pantyshots in the show, because they fundamentally don’t understand what anime is all about? Will they put it on Hulu, or sub-lease it out to other services like HiDive? Fans will be watching to see what the company does in 2023!
Lycoris Recoil. “Lesbians with Guns, The Anime” was a fun show that got fans excited…and generated some great hentai doujinshi for J-List to sell. That’s a win in my book.
Cyberpunk Edgerunners. One of the most popular anime of 2022 was Trigger’s Cyberpunk Edgerunners, set in the world of the Cyberpunk 2077 game. It took fans by surprise with its visuals and quality storytelling…and of course the violent loli Rebecca.
Who were the top anime waifus in 2022? Read my blog post!
My Dress-Up Darling. My own personal favorite anime of 2022, the story of shy dollmaker Gojou and super-sexy cosplayer Marin had all fans going Dsj;gfhaslkn! as the couple got closer to each other emotionally. The show generated lots of figures and sexy doujinshi for fans to buy, too!
Spy x Family. I love the way the Syousetsu ni Narou! system has allowed many creators to go professional and see their novels made into anime, and some of the best anime ideas have come from writers of
online fanfiction web novels that got licensed for publication. That said, the best stories probably come from professional writers and manga-ka who’ve proven their skill after many years of working in the industry, like Spy x Family creator Tatsuya Endo.
Kaguya-sama Season 3 and Movie. Finally, 2022 was the year fans got what we waited so long for, the conclusion of the long courtship of Kaguya and Shirogane-kaicho, in season 3 and the final movie. It was a long time coming, and a very satisfying one for me as a fan.
Thanks for Your Support of J-List in 2022!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your warm support of J-List over the past year, reading our blog posts and crazy tweets, and browsing our anime and hentai products. We hope 2023 is a happy and peaceful one for all of you and a positive one for the anime industry that we all love so much!
It’s been an amazing year for J-List’s sister company J18 Publishing, which has brought out so many amazing uncensored hentai doujinshi and manga that we need to find a new, larger warehouse in 2023! The latest work is My Little Sister is a Shut-in, by Ichihaya! Link is here.