Fall 2023 is upon us, and we’re anticipating several returns for anime series with second and third seasons! From another serving of the global hit Spy x Family to the long-awaited adaptation of the beloved series like Pluto, here’s a quick sampling of what to expect from the highly anticipated series making their way to our television screens this month!
The Apothecary Diaries
Premiere Date: October 21, 2023, on Crunchyroll
Premise: Maomao lived a peaceful life with her apothecary father. Until one day, she’s sold as a lowly servant to the emperor’s palace, but she wasn’t meant for a compliant life among royalty. So when imperial heirs fall ill, she decides to step in and find a cure! This catches the eye of Jinshi, a handsome palace official, who promotes her. Now, she’s making a name for herself solving medical mysteries!
What to Expect: I have written about the superb manga adaptation and even made sure to bring about my reaction to the trailer for the anime when it first dropped. I am calling it now, The Apothecary Diaries is going to be one of Fall 2023 Anime’s biggest hits. It has everything: some romance, some intrigue, some palace politics, and a lot of funny moments of different characters clashing and having to work together. Crunchyroll has confirmed that the adaptation of Natsu Hyuga’s novel series that is still being adapted to manga will be airing over two consecutive seasons, so for fans already familiar–we can hope that the core parts of the fuller story aren’t condensed down too much (*cries in The Promised Neverland*). Be sure to tune in as this will, perhaps, be the stunner of this season!
Recommended for lovers of: Detective stories, anime series set in historical settings, animation too gorgeous from what we’ve only glimpsed at in the trailers and teasers
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End
Premiere Date: September 29, 2023, on Crunchyroll
Premise: After the party of heroes defeated the Demon King, they restored peace to the land and returned to lives of solitude. Generations pass, and the elven mage Frieren comes face to face with humanity’s mortality. She takes on a new apprentice and promises to fulfill old friends’ dying wishes. Can an elven mind make peace with the nature of life and death? Frieren embarks on her quest to find out.
What to Expect: Not all journeys are built the same, you know? This is certainly a series that is going to be slower paced with a slice-of-life feel. Frieren is a young Elven mage who resurfaces to find that the original party that she once had a grand adventure with has been met with the time: old age and death. As an immortal, she’s blindsided and wants to make her path a more impactful one and perhaps even figure out how to leave a legacy. This time around, she strives to do more, listen better, and experience life more deeply. The manga really created an amazing well-paced story about making your way in life…,and I just checked the first four episodes are up on Crunchyroll now!!!!
Recommended for lovers of: Fantasy themed anime series, anime with incredible storytelling, a rotating cast of interesting and fun characters from a very solid manga
Premiere Date: October 26, 2023, on Netflix
Premise: A murder occurs in an orderly world where robots are unable to kill humans. The robotic Europol investigator Gesicht takes the case, but the mystery deepens when he finds no trace of a human at the scene of the crime. As he pursues the truth, Gesicht uncovers the evilest manifestation of hate that history has ever seen: one that is bent on bringing destruction to the world.
What to Expect: Pluto, created by Naoki Urasawa, is based on an arc in Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy series. Stay with me–with Takashi Nagasaki, the manga series has been hailed as innovative and a hard-boiled reworking of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, often remembered as a children’s classic anime. However, Pluto is dark with murder and mysteries about and a thriller for sure. The manga series is getting an anime adaptation some fourteen years after the manga series finally came to an end. In an age where AI seems to be everywhere we turn and we’ve had some controversial robot dogs and machines patrolling streets here at home in the U.S., I can’t help but feel that perhaps this adaptation comes at a timely yet tense time with a relevant message. I’m tuning in for sure but not before I revisit the manga!
Recommended for lovers of: Robots, cyborgs, and machines, wanting to watch an anime series leaning towards suspenseful, any fan of the original source material of course
Tokyo Revengers Season 3: Tenjiku Arc
Premiere Date: October 2023
Premise: Takemichi Hanagaki is a freelancer that’s reached the absolute pits of despair in his life. He finds out that the only girlfriend he ever had, in middle school, Hinata Tachibana, had been killed by the ruthless Tokyo Manji Gang. The day after hearing about her death he’s standing on the station platform and ends up being pushed over onto the tracks by a herd of people. He closes his eyes thinking he’s about to die, but when he opens his eyes back up, he somehow had gone back in time 12 years. Now that he’s back living the best days of his life, Takemichi decides to get revenge on his life.
What to Expect: You’ll forgive me when I say that I’m behind in catching up with Tokyo Revengers–but one thing I may be a prophet on is bringing along my Takemichi-is-a-literal-punching-bag jokes wherever I go! The upcoming season will adapt the beloved Tenjiku arc from Ken Wakui’s best-selling manga, and manga readers will be happy to see a lot more drama and bromance in the most intense way–with the introduction of a new gang?! Someone’s mental health is going to be shattered with loss after loss and ambushes are everywhere!
Recommended for lovers of: Time traveling, family, pompadours and more antics of teenagers with all the Black Air Force-energy
Spy x Family Season 2
Premiere Date: October 7, on Crunchyroll!
Premise: World peace is at stake and secret agent Twilight must undergo his most difficult mission yet—pretend to be a family man. Posing as a loving husband and father, he’ll infiltrate an elite school to get close to a high-profile politician. He has the perfect cover, except his wife’s a deadly assassin and neither knows each other’s identity. But someone does, his adopted daughter who’s a telepath!
What to Expect: We’ve finally got our favorite little (found) family of misfits back on screen! Loid, Yor, little Anya, and Bond are coming back with higher stakes. Loid faces more continued trouble on the horizon with making sure war and great conflict doesn’t break out. All the while, he’s also trying to figure out how to be a family man and keep up with his wife and daughter. Anya hilariously will surely keep us entertained at school with all her mischievousness and mini missions–the true heart of her little family. If I remember correctly, from my recent Spy x Family manga reread, Yor has a BIG mission which will grant her a lot of screen time and make for some incredible episodes.
Recommended for lovers of: Anime series working with a formula that just works, an animated family we ALL love and lots of silliness and fun
GUNDAM BUILD METAVERSE
Premiere Date: October 6th, 2023, at GUNDAM.INFO
Premise: So work with me, I did some digging online to figure out what this series is about! Gundam Build is a three episode series about an Hawaiian boy who fights Gunpla battles in online metaverse. Thank you Anime News Network for this: “The new story is set in an online metaverse space where users can use avatars to move around and interact with other users, including conducting Gunpla (Gundam plastic model) battles with them.
The story centers on Rio Hōjō, a boy who lives in Hawaii, and who learns how to build Gunpla from a local hobbyist named Seria Urutsuki. In the metaverse, a figure known as Mask Lady teaches him the art of Gunpla battling, and he strives to get better at it every day. With his custom Lah Gundam, he seeks out ever stronger opponents. (Rio customizes an Entry Grade RX-78-2 Gundam model in the image of the “spirit of Japan,” with Lah being the native Hawaiian word for “sun.”)”
What to Expect: The 3-episode series will stream on the Gundam franchise’s official YouTube channel and on Gundam.info‘s YouTube channel in October. There are some cool character designs and some neat Gundam models. This is one of those anime franchises that continues to build upon preexisting series and spinoffs while making new entries like Witch From Mercury. (The Gundam Build spinoff of the Gundam franchise began with the Gundam Build Fighters anime in 2014?). I’ll certainly check it out and hit up my more Gundam knowledgeable friends for backstory.
Recommended for lovers of: GIANT MECHA, fresh new faces and this really fun setting of online spaces and virtual reality