With every season comes underrated anime that flies under a lot of people’s radar. Most of the time these kinds of series don’t get much attention in the anime polls and their ratings are more often than not on the lower end of the scale. But that’s what makes them underrated gems — because most anime fans don’t know about them and, despite the ratings, they’re great series. So in this article, I’m highlighting five underrated anime from the Winter 2024 season that everyone needs to start watching immediately.
1. The Witch and the Beast
I’d go as far as to say The Witch and the Beast would be a contender for Anime of the Season if it ever starts to garner more interest like Undead Girl Murder Farce ended up doing last season — that’s how good it has been just three episodes into the series. Studio Yokohama Animation Lab may have given fans a bust last season with Kingdoms of Ruin but this time around they’re doing something special. Taking place in a Victorian-style era, The Witch and the Beast is a fantasy-action series involving mages, beasts, and witches with two colorful main characters Ashaf and Guideau that take serious jobs from clients involving any sort of magical conflict.
The mysteries they have to uncover are just pieces to the ultimate puzzle that could lead them to find the powerful witch that cursed Guideau in her past. With stellar artwork and a boatload of action and mystery, The Witch and the Beast is undoubtedly a must-watch from the Winter 2024 season for any anime fan of any genre. The season is listed for 12 episodes with new ones released every Thursday on Crunchyroll. It currently boasts a 7.25 rating on MyAnimeList, 69% on Anilist, and has yet to crack the top 20 in Anime Corner weekly polls. Oh, and did I mention the opening for the series is one of the best from the season as well?
2. High Card Season 2
The anime original series is back for a new season and it has been off to a tremendous start in both story and production. The new season wasted no time diving into the action and the mystery of who killed Finn’s parents. With the two main families currently in a battle for the cards and things running amuck, High Card is about to reach its thrilling tipping point. So the best time to get caught up is immediately!
High Card Season 2 is slated for 12 episodes with new ones releasing every Monday on Crunchyroll. The series is animated by Studio Hibari and currently holds a 7.1 rating on MyAnimeList, 71% on Anilist, and has yet to even crack the top 35 in Anime Corner weekly rankings during this season, making it undoubtedly one of the most underrated anime of the season. (*Note: Season 2 starts with episode 13 on Crunchyroll)
3. Mr. Villain’s Day Off
If you’re looking for something that you can just sit back and enjoy with some warm fuzzy socks on these cold winter nights then look no further than Mr. Villain’s Day Off. The series is similar to Too Cute Crisis from the Spring 2023 season in many regards, including the overall plot and style of comedy. It currently has a 7.1 rating on MyAnimeList, a 69% on Anilist, and the highest it has placed in Anime Corner weekly ranking for this season is 30th, making it a prime candidate for one of the most underrated anime of the season.
Will it be a series that contends for anime of the season? Absolutely not. But does it deserve some more popularity for the audience it targets? Without a doubt. The fantasy slice-of-life series is co-animated by studios Shin-Ei Animation and SynergySP with new episodes released every Sunday on Crunchyroll. Mr. Villains Day Off is listed with 12 episodes.
The latest anime original series from studio MAPPA is off to a strong start spearheaded by director Hiroko Utsumi (Sk8 The Infinity). With colorful artwork, a solid voice cast lineup, and some head-turning animation that has been genuinely impressive so far, this comedy-action delinquent anime has been a blast so far and it even delivered one of the best openings of the season.
The series is rated 7.48 on MyAnimeList and 72% Anilist, placing it towards the bottom of the Winter 2024 lineup when it shouldn’t be anywhere near it. Bucchigiri?! hasn’t done well in the Anime Corner polls so far nor has the series given fans a groundbreaking new start that they should wait for new episodes on Saturdays over, let’s say, Mashle: Magic and Muscles and Apothecary Diaries. But it’s a good series to hold up for the next day depending on your timezone since Sunday’s lineup is rather vacant this season.
5. Meiji Gekken: 1874
If you’re a fan of historical anime that involves coups, espionage, gangs, and political corruption, then Meiji Gekken: 1874 is a must-watch. The main character, Shizuma Origasa, a former samurai who is on a mission to find his fiancee, is voiced by none other than Yuuichi Nakamura, the voice of Satoro Gojo from Jutusu Kaisen, and has been what might be the most underrated anime of the entire season.
The series debuted in the Anime Corner weekly polls in week 3 at 46th (out of 55) and is shockingly rated one of the worst series on MyAnimeList for the season with a score of 6.46. The anime original series by studio Tsumugi Akita Animation Lab releases new episodes every Sunday on Crunchyroll and has given viewers plenty of aspects to be tuned into.
What’s Your Favorite Underrated Anime of the Winter 2024?
I’ve explained before that certain series cannot be underrated. For Winter 2024, those series include Dangers in My Heart, Solo Leveling, etc. Any popular series that does well in both ratings and polls cannot be underrated. That being said, what underrated anime from this season would you recommend to everyone? Let us know in the comments!
©︎ TMS/HIGH CARD Project
© BS SHOCHIKU TOKYU Co.,Ltd.
© Kousuke Satake, Kodansha / “The Witch and the Beast” Production Committee
© BUCCHIGIRI?! Production Committee
© Yu Morikawa / SQUARE ENIX, Mr. Villain’s Day Off Committee