Another anime season is behind us as Spring 2023 comes to an end. This time around, we got a chance to witness so many amazing adaptations, from old fan favorites to highly anticipated new titles, but also some underdogs that no one expected. As always, the Anime Corner News team got
forced to come together and we all chose our top titles of the season!
Keep in mind that this list was chosen by some of the Anime Corner News writers and Grant from the Social Media team and that it in no way represents hard facts – it is simply our own opinions written down for fun. There is no ranking (of the anime or the writers) and the titles below are not in a particular order. So without any further ado, let’s see what the ACN team enjoyed the most this season!
Best Spring 2023 Anime – ACN Team
Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion – Brett
Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion flew under the radar this season, most likely because of the clearly-strained animation budget. That’s a shame, because, despite production constraints and some questionable animation, Typhoon Graphics put so much heart and soul into the adaptation of this manhwa. Some of the flashier, more expensive productions this season felt devoid of soul compared to the intimate story of Raeliana McMillan and Duke Noah Wynknight.
What appears to be a run-of-the-mill shojo isekai turns into a heart-warming romance with excellent comedic timing and bickering, and some wonderful side characters. Raeliana’s sass resonates nicely with Noah’s cold demeanor, and their sham marriage engagement slowly evolves into something more genuine. Every week, I found myself thrilled to watch the latest episode of Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion, and I really hope we’ll see a second season soon.
Tengoku Daimakyo – Tamara
Tengoku Daimakyo was one of the best anime I saw in recent years. As a fan of dark storylines, the plot, albeit heavy at times, was so compelling and engaging. I loved the characters and that finale left me wanting more. I really hope we get a new season soon because I am really tempted to read the manga even though I don’t want to miss out on the beautiful visuals. As a bonus – I had such a hard time choosing the image to accompany this paragraph, but in the end I decided to go with one of the most touching moments in the series.
Dr. Stone: New World – Eric
Despite it being one of the first series to finish this season due to it having 11 episodes, this first cour of Dr. Stone: New World made sure to give us non-stop fun with every episode. The production for this season hit a new high for one of the best arcs of the series and every episode left you waiting for the following week to hurry up so you can watch the new episode. Once again, the staff for the series adapted Riichiro Inagaki’s and Boichi’s work wonderfully. While it was a stacked lineup this season, Dr. Stone: New World managed to stand above the likes of Demon Slayer, Skip and Loafer, and Insomniacs After School for me which all rightfully deserve their roses as well.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 – Carla
I’m sure everyone has had that one anime that deeply moved them and shaped their lives. Some in big ways, others in smaller things… but every once in a while, a story comes along to just gently exist alongside you when you’re a bit lost. I chose The Ancient Magus’ Bride sequel as my pick of the season because it’s filled with so much depth, beauty, and warmth. The stories are imbued with mystery and wonder, the music with its calm, and the visuals that inspire imagination. The comedy (cute chibi moment) is light-hearted as well, even though the majority of the show is heavy and, well, the stuff of nightmares. But that’s the thing – the uniqueness of its plot is because it is not like any other rom-com or fairy tale. It’s designed as a story of emotional growth, a paced journey of how one can allow themselves to learn to live, love, and be free.
Just like the first season, the watching experience is something I fondly remember. My favorite part about the second season was seeing how Elias and Chise have changed and are continuing to grow alongside each other. Even the school has its fair share of intriguing people and lore that keeps one curious to unpack. I’m really happy and excited for the second cour to come soon.
Oshi no Ko – Ken
Crowned as the most anticipated anime of the season, I initially felt nervous when it surpassed even more popular shonen titles, especially considering the studio handling the series is quite unfamiliar with the genre. However, Oshi no Ko truly lives up to the hype thanks to its impeccable and immaculate production quality. The love and passion poured by the staff and cast for the series were evident as each episode was weaved into perfection.
As someone who always has been intrigued by Japan’s entertainment, Oshi no Ko feels a dream come true. I would be bluffing if I say at first that this wasn’t my anime of the season, after all, lying is the most exquisite form of love.
Insomniacs After School – Teddy
Lately, I’ve been a sucker for slower and slice-of-life shows, and Insomniacs After School really hit that spot to perfection. In each scene between Ganta Nakami and Isaki Magari, whether it was just your dumb shenanigans or a genuine intimate moment, I felt like I really rooted for them. There’s something about their chemistry that really made me recall all of those sweet teenage years. It wasn’t just a typical teen story: it was also a beautiful story that also depicts the emotional and fragile years we have.
We often forget that in the absolute hype and glory, new anime titles are expected to achieve each season, a great anime title should have a combination of great direction, animation, and music: even if it is just about a typical tale of boy meets girl. And, in this case, who could forget? The anime’s astronomy tributes really awakened a past version of me who was really into the subject. Insomniacs After School is, I can guarantee, this season’s hidden gem.
Tengoku Daimakyo – Marko
Being very hyped for Tengoku Daimakyo from the trailers, I ended up happy that it managed to deliver on the high expectations and show an interesting story with great production value. While it was hard for me to decide whether I enjoyed it more overall than VINLAND SAGA Season 2, its cool storytelling with the parallel plotlines and twists make me call it my AOTS of this season.
Hell’s Paradise – Matt
The spring 2023 season was packed with excellent shows, so this was a tough choice. Demon Slayer had yet another excellent arc, Oshi no Ko exceeded my expectations, and Insomniacs After School was one of my, um, “sleeper hits” (wink, wink). But Hell’s Paradise grabbed my attention week after week, and not a single episode disappointed. The pace of this 13-episode arc really impressed me, starting off as a simple MacGuffin story and gradually turning into a survival horror tale as the island becomes increasingly weirder and more dangerous. I also love the ensemble cast, which features loads of compelling characters and puts some fresh new spins on popular ninja anime archetypes.
Most of all, the intense, violent fight scenes absolutely put Hell’s Paradise in the top tier for recent action anime. The unusual physiology of the island’s monsters leads to plenty of surprises and unexpected twists as the heroes try to learn their weaknesses and figure out how to kill them. Even the monsters’ designs range from grotesque, to unsettling, to awe-inspiring in their appearances, powers, and personalities, so there’s plenty of variety and imagination at play here. Throw in some mysterious secrets about the island that have yet to be revealed, and some big questions in the series finale about the main character’s past, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Vinland Saga Season 2 – Grant
Vinland Saga Season 2 has shown us just how beautiful a man who doesn’t resolve to violence can become. Continuing from the first season we follow our main character Thorfinn, but to everyone’s surprise, he’s not the same bloodthirsty, badass Thorfinn we knew from the first season. We first see how broken he is even to the point where he felt death was all that he wanted because in his words “Not a single good thing has happened to me in my entire life.”
But during this time we also meet Thorfinn’s first friend – Einar 1ho helps him to want to live again and as the two work through their trials together they eventually form a bond so strong they become brothers to each other! This than leads to various other things but the true climax of this season two is when Thorfinn finally understands what his father meant all those years ago when he said “You have no enemies!” And thus we see a man amongst men is born… It’s been one hell of a ride and as the saying goes we still have a long way to go! And that is why Vinland Saga Season 2 is my pick for the best anime of the Spring 2023 Season!
That’s it from us! What was your favorite?