A new season means new anime, and we’ve got some Fall 2023 Anime Picks! I finally have time to watch this slate of anime debuts, and here are some that may have fallen beneath the cracks. (Well, minus one huge appearance, but other than that…) If you still need something to curl up and watch while the temperatures fall, check out these picks this season!
I’ve taken a liking to the Manga Plus app, and there are a few series I’ve been checking out there. One such series is Ron Kamonohashi: Deranged Detective, which is a fun detective series with a neat twist. The anime adaptation (with the subtitle “Forbidden Deductions”) holds a great start for the series. This show is one for fans of Moriarity the Patriot, Ace Attorney, or even western shows like Columbo or Sherlock.
After some mishaps with a serial murder case, Isshiki Totomaru is scared that he might be kicked out of the local investigation team. He gets advised to recruit the help of Ron Kamonohashi to help him with his job, knowing little about him. It turns out Ron is a perceptive detective and instantly deduces the situation at hand.
One tiny problem: He pressures his culprit to kill themselves, and they comply.
Additionally, Ron is monitored by BLUE, a renowned detective academy that destroyed Ron’s detective aspirations because of a fatal incident. It’s up to Isshiki (a regular Watson-like character) to harness Ron’s deductive prowess while keeping the accused alive. Rounding out the duo is Isshiki’s boss Amamiya, who tags along with the two most of the time.
What follows is a cool buddy detective story with comedy/drama trappings and lots of great twists. I love a good mystery series, and I enjoy the manga’s pacing where most cases take multiple chapters to solve. (For reference, one of the most recent arcs took more than 20 to wrap up!) The anime follows suit, and the studio takes its time with building the narrative. It helps that Ron and Isshiki’s dynamic and chemistry is amazing, and the two play off together quite well. For those that adore well-written mystery narratives, you need Ron Kamonohashi’s Forbidden Deductions on your watchlist.
Continuing our Fall 2023 Anime Picks, let’s get into something a little more fantasy based. I’m getting into VR games recently (keep an eye out on our gaming review roundup soon, hint hint). While they haven’t reached the tech of Sword Art Onlline or Bofuri, they’re still tons of fun. Shangri-La Frontier explores the wonderful world of futuristic VR titles with a funny premise for an action series.
Rakuro Hizutome loves beating crappy video games, so much so that he continually hunts to beat them. At the suggestion of the gaming store clerk, he decide to check out a “god tier game”, Shangri-La Frontier. Immediately he uses his skills from exploiting glitches from bad titles to usher in some player advantages. His playstyle reflects this, as he begins as a shirtless man with a bird mask and slightly more powerful weapon. However, in a world that works how it’s supposed to, will Rakuro struggle from… the game working as intended?
I appreciate the protagonist’s determination and struggles in the first episodes. While his experience abusing bad game mechanics does help occasionally, Rakuro faces the harsh reality of sequence breaking. He solos harder enemies with a bit of trouble, and one unique monster encounter wipes him out entirely. I do enjoy how optimistic the whole anime is regarding this, and Rakuro’s a nice enough protagonist that I want to see him succeed in a game that’s actually fun to play. I’m waiting for the next episodes weekly, and you should too!
Look, there’s a ton of people that will tell you to watch this anime, and I’m one of them. Heck, I recommended the manga last year for our holiday gift guide; it’s that good! Because of this, I’ll just quickly go over why this is on our list of coveted Fall 2023 Anime Picks.
When talking with people about this series, I always point to Final Fantasy X-2 as a reference. The hero’s party defeated the demon king after a grueling 10-year quest. Everyone parts ways as the story skips to 50 years later, with elf mage Frieren as young as ever. However, her human companions age normally by comparison, and Himmel the hero passes away right after a final adventure. It’s here where Frieren regrets neglecting her friends and goes out on a quest to rediscover herself. Finding an apprentice in fellow mage Fern (as well as warrior Stark), the team travels across a wondrous fantasy world.
Madhouse is my favorite anime studio, so I’m ecstatic that it’s adapting this amazing series. (I’m also secretly hoping it can adapt most of the manga run in its two cours.) The animation is beautiful, and I love the action scenes when they’re present. While it’s a shonen series, it’s not a traditional action one, so these scenes are few but meaningful. I also liked how the anime portrays the passage of time. The manga depicts weeks and even months in mere panels, while these are shown as brief montages which keep the same pacing. This means that while the main narrative is a slow burn, the overall speed of events is brisk and refreshing.
If you’re still sleeping on Frieren: At Journey’s End, please watch it! You won’t be disappointed.
It might be the accountant in me, but I love series that go behind-the-scenes and delve into business talk. Quality Assurance in Another World would be an example of a series that has an interesting profession showcased. Bullbuster would be another, which mixes mecha battles with the economic costs of the whole shebang.
Tetsurō Okino is the newest employee at Namidome Industries, which is tasked with some pest extermination at Ryugan Island. He’s even created Bullbuster, a gigantic machine that he can pilot to wreck big threats! Unfortunately, these pests are actually Giant Beasts, Kaiju-like creatures that continue to terrorize Ryugan Island. Additionally, there’s a toxic gas that threatens the land, and Namidome Industries needs to figure out what’s happening while destroying the beasts… all within budget, of course.
In a way, Bullbuster feels like Magilumiere Co. Ltd., where the exciting action scenes contrast with the mundane business aspects of the series. While Okino is raring to go, he and the rest of the members are dictated by monetary restrictions (such as boat rentals to the island). It’s interesting to see the “boring” parts of the mech business come to light, such as rebranding the company. There are even some ramifications with heroics, such as an uploaded video featuring the undocumented beasts causing a viral controversy. The company also needs to quell the fears of the islanders who were displaced because of the Giant Beasts. It’s an oddly human aspect to an otherwise mechanical premise.
Admittedly, this series won’t be for those looking for constant mech fights, but I love the balance of work and play that Bullbuster depicts. The first few episodes really piqued my interested, and I will be checking in for the next ones!
Wrapping up our Fall 2023 Anime Picks (though there are so many to choose from!) we have The Apothecary Diaries. This is a series I wasn’t expecting to enjoy (and indeed, I started reading My Happy Marriage instead of this initially). However, after taking the time to check this anime out, I can wholeheartedly recommend this to everyone wanting something new. With a Chinese-inspired imperial setting and great main characters, this is a series on which to keep tabs.
This anime follows Maomao, a pharmacist who unfortunately gets kidnapped and forced to work at the imperial palace. While pretending to blend in, she uses her medicinal knowledge to help emperor’s children from a curse. (This ends up being a fatal allergic reaction which Maomao deduces.) Impressed at her skills, the eunuch Jinshi allows Maomao to become a lady-in-waiting and solve mysteries within the court. The first few episodes are episodic, highlighting a strange phenomenon that later gets demystified through Maomao’s prowess.
Solving these medical mysteries makes the historical setting much more intriguing, as we must work with the setting’s limitations. Things like chemical reactions causing poisonous fumes or even aphrodisiacs weren’t well-known back then. I love this historical context and it makes for an engaging mystery series. The chemistry between Maomao and Jinshi works perfectly too, and the “will they won’t they” scenarios are adorable. (Knowing how eunuchs can’t… procreate also adds an odd amount of depth to the relationship too.) This anime is a great historical mystery series, and will catch the attention of a lot of anime fans.
There you have it, our Fall 2023 Anime Picks for this season! Is there something we missed, or do you have a favorite moment from these series? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned for more anime and manga news here on Miso!