BNP’s Anime Summer 2023 Season Preview

Summer 2023 is HERE, and we’re anticipating some great, hard-hitting series covering everything from our fave curse fighting boys to slow burning romance to gut-busting hilarity with heroes in fighting tournaments! Here’s a quick sampling of what to expect from just a few series airing and premiering this summer that you should have your eye out for!

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2

Premiere Date: July 7, 2023 on Crunchyroll

Premise: One day, to save a classmate who has been attacked by curses, Yuji eats the finger of Ryomen Sukuna, taking the curse into his own soul. From then on, he shares one body with Ryomen Sukuna, feared by nearly all and not to be trusted or underestimated. Guided by the most powerful of sorcerers, Satoru Gojo, Yuji is admitted to Tokyo Jujutsu High School. He finds not only an organization that fights the curses but a new family that includes Megumi and Nobara, his new friends and comrades. Yuji became a curse to exorcise a curse and moves forward from a life from which he could never turn back.

What to Expect: The Return of Sorcerer Fight Club!

Recommended for lovers of: The Shonen Manga/Anime machine that will never die, stunning animation from MAPPA once again

First Episode Review/ First Impressions: We knew that the first handful of episodes this season are covering teenage Gojo, Geto Shoko, and the other folks associated with Jujutsu High. It has been a feast for the eyes to see not just them but also Toji–finally seeing DILF Supreme animated (Sorry Megumi!) I love the prequel-ing that the series has taken to introduce some characters and better help explain the motivations and sorrows of others. It is an approach that works as this first episode really brings back that JJK vibe but with characters other than our usual teenage crew. This first episode is fun and breezy in a way that only, Jujutsu Kaisen can be…you know before the heartbreak comes. I know fans rejoiced having JJK back in rotation this summer season even if we all know the emotional damage that will scar us before the season even ends!

My Happy Marriage

Premiere Date: July 5, 2023 on Netflix.

Premise: Hello to everyone who read the light novel and then started on the manga series! My Happy Marriage follows the meeting of Miyo and Kiyoka, who seem like total opposites but start to see each other in a new light. So, in a Japan that feels like the turn of the century like Demon Slayer (correction: Taishō Period for Demon Slayer, 19th-century Meiji Restoration Era for My Happy Marriage) where guns and Western attire are popular, we are introduced to Miyo Saimori a young woman who hasn’t felt much love in her life. Although she has been raised in a prestigious family, she’s been shunned and abused since she’s been a child for her perceived lack of talent.

In this Japan with a slight fantasy setting, families with long lineages all have special abilities and can see a special type of creature that plaques the land. Miyo’s awful family deems her worthless – but together with her powerful husband-to-be, her true self and hidden powers slowly begin to shine. Kiyoka Kudo is a fearsome and chilly army commander. But as the two learn more about each other, love may have a chance.

What to Expect: a slow burn™️with incredible animation!

Recommended for lovers of: Romance anime, swoon worthy moments, and a female protagonist stepping into her own

First Episode Review/First Impressions: So for those who are not already familiar with the light novel series and the manga adaptation, My Happy Marriage opens and closes with a reminder that it is doing so on its own pace. This is a slow burning romance and story so I am happy to wait it out and see the story build and build until it shines. I’d hate for viewers to get upset or sick of the two characters Miyo and Kudo so soon before you get to know them both!

Miyo is a young woman who has been abusive, shunned and unloved properly since her mother’s passing as a young child: she is timid, quiet and not used to asserting herself or even standing up for herself. Kudu seems cruel and impatient, but he’s someone who has been fighting and battling and is overall sick of political ire and calculating individuals around him. Together, their lives are brightened by each other and the world building present in this series around each family’s talents and powers in an ever-changing Japan is captivating. This is a near-perfect introduction to this series for those who are always looking for an unlikely couple coming together from unhappy circumstances in their anime. There is also a live-action adaptation that is hopefully soon on the way for a streaming app that I’m betting may also be Netflix.

ZOM 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Premiere Date: July 9, 2023 on Crunchyroll (Also on Netflix and Hulu)

Premise: One day Akira wakes up, dreading going to work and finds that the world has gone to hell in a handbasket! The zombie apocalypse has started, and it is only now, ironically, that Akira finds he can live his best life! He happily kisses his old life behind and starts on an ongoing bucket list. Our protagonist figures that he’ll kick the bucket and die one day–so why not have some fun and do all the things that he wanted to do in the world before? Akira is determined to complete all 100 items on his bucket list before he kicks the bucket.

What to Expect: a guy reclaiming his time and ZOMBIES, of course!

Recommended for lovers of: Zombie media, seinen stories getting animated, laughter, and life changing realizations

First Episode Review/First Impressions: A very solid first episode that takes it time and doesn’t rush in meeting the other characters! Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead features Akira, an overworked yet optimistic employee that rediscovers the joy of living during the zombie apocalypse. The anime series under all the jokes and semi-NSFW situations, looks ready to present characters coming to terms with their mortality and how their passion and personalities color that journey. On the visual side, I love the animation studios decision to play around with color: the shifting to monochrome to color is a treat on the screen! Using blood splatters with several colors is fun to look at and most likely an easier way to make sure censorship didn’t tank the show.

I have always loved zombie stories and how the best pieces of medium that include them make us question our humanity and who we are in the quest of survival. Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is going to be a fun, new series to keep in your anime watching rotation this summer for a hilarious and new take on zombies. It has characters that you’ll want to get to know–especially since they all have different wants and desires at the end of the world. It is visually stunning to watch as well. Come August, Netflix is airing the live-action adaptation!

The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen: From Villainess to Savior

Premiere Date: 7/5/2023 on HI-DIVE

Premise: Princess Pride Royal Ivy is eight years old and realizes that she reincarnated as the final boss and the absolute worst villainess of an otome game. She’s an atrocious, self-centered brat who walks around her castle like a mini tyrant. Our protagonist is horrified to learn that she has been reincarnated as the child version of a villainess who causes the ruin of her country and family and faces a terrible death in the end! But choosing the evil path isn’t her style, so she’ll use Pride’s powerful abilities to change the original story! She’ll properly recognize and better the lives of others and see that they can rise and become the best versions of themselves, and she’ll keep her family together! Princess Pride Royal Ivy wants a better ending of everyone including herself!

What to Expect: More Truck-kun ™️ sent another young woman to another world hi-jinks,

Recommended for lovers of: Otome isekai anime, the sub genre of isekai via the villianess anime route, and another female protagonist rewriting her own story to avoid doom

First Episode Review/ First Impressions: Not a perfect landing for a first episode here! While I am familiar with the original material–another Japanese light novel series that gained a manga adaptation, this first episode is full of so much exposition! It is HEAVY on it, and it makes this first episode drag on a bit. If I were not a fan already who anticipated the anime, I may have dropped it-for now. What this episode does manage to do on the positive side is introduce some of the major characters in the cast like an adopted brother, a father that survives a fatal accident, and a host of minor characters that will one day seek to serve Ivy the young princess with all their heart. There’s not much action this first episode, but the heavy emotional foundation is proper of someone trying to make right the sins of the original version of the body she inhabits and make the future a much brighter one.


Premiere Date: July 10, 2023 on HI-DIVE

Premise: In a fantasy setting where the world is populated by humans and demons, the Demon lord soon falls to a human hero of legend. Humans rejoice and celebrate an era of peace and posterity…while the demons of their world try to bounce back. The demons’ solution? Create a fighting tournament where the strongest and worthiest can enter and try their hand to qualify to fight the strongest amongst themselves–all for a shot at possibly becoming the next Demon King to lead all the creatures who hate humans. Wait, who is that? Helck, one of the crowd favorites whose come far in the tournament? He’s…a human who wants to kill all humans? What secrets is he hiding? A world-shaking plot is afoot, and human hero Helck may just be the demons’ last hope…?

What to Expect: To laugh a lot!

Recommended for lovers of: Gag manga and anime, goofy protagonists, cast of fun personalities and character designs

First Episode Review/First Impressions: They nailed it here with the first episode! Helck is ridiculously funny. When I first saw the trailers, I was instantly reminded of big JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures and Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo energy, and the first episode confirmed that tremendously. Helck is having fun in the tournament, showcasing his strength and managing to one up the demons who try to undercut him through silly means. He cheerfully exclaims to anyone who would hear him that he despises humans and wants to get rid of them. Vermilio, his exact opposite, is one of the demons who oversees the realm and seeks to uncover what Helck is truly after as she is very doubtful of him and his motivations. This first episode showed me the fun parts of the story: a fighting tournament (this anime may appeal to fans of DBZ and YuYu Hakusho) but also the gut-busting humor of shows like One Punch Man with several strange and funny looking creatures.

Horimiya: The Missing Pieces

Premiere Date: July 15, 2023 on Crunchyroll, also on Hulu

Premise: Kyoko Hori, the most popular girl in her class, has plenty of friends and is well adored at school. One day, Izumi Miyamura, the class loner, whom everyone assumes is either a severe emo or obsessed otaku, discovers her big secret. Everyone wears a different face or leaves a different version of themselves at home or when they can be around people they trust, right? Miyamura discovers this when he escorts Hori’s younger brother back when he has an accident.

Hori is sweet very much the girl next door who is seemingly always put together at school. Yet at home, she hurries through chores and cooks dinner in sweats and is always brushing off invites to hang out after school because she needs to look after her young brother. When the popular Hori and the gloomy Miyamura meet, they reveal another side of themselves. Their chance meeting becomes something more that sends ripples through their classes and school. The character development is on ten here as these teens do a little growing up, falling in love, and finding ways to make their senior year of high school one to remember!

What to Expect: Continuation of Shonen (romance) in the wholesome way!

Recommended for lovers of: the original series and manga, school life fun, jokes for days

First Episode Review/First Impressions: So I was initially confused on what Horimiya: The Missing Pieces was: a second season or a series focusing on the past of the characters? I was close on the second assumption! This new series actually features stories from the original manga series that were not adapted in the previous anime! At only 13 episodes, many fans were left wanting more, especially since the manga has collected almost twenty volumes. 

This first episode picks up with our favorite crew in the past before they graduated (the last episode of the first series leaves off with them graduating and reminiscing on their final year of school and who they later became, especially Miyamura). Here in this first episode, we are finally seeing the infamous class trip animated which was always a bummer that the original anime missed as Miyamura frets over the possible discovery of his tattoos. It feels like no time has passed, and you can easily jump right back in without watching the first anime–but you can if you really enjoyed it like I did.

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  • Carrie McClain is writer, editor and media scholar. Other times she's known as a Starfleet Communications Officer, Comics Auntie, and Golden Saucer Frequenter. Nowadays you can usually find her avoiding Truck-kun and forgetting her magical girl transformation device. She/Her

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