Winter 2024 is upon us, and we’re anticipating some new series dealing with everything from the love of food and found family to following a worthwhile power-scaling adventure. This year the Shojo fans are rejoicing along with fans of light novels. There is variety to be had! Here’s a quick sampling of what to expect from the highly anticipated series to some continuing seasons making their way to our television screens this month!
Premiere Date: January 5, 2024 on Crunchyroll (Solo Leveling, will premiere Episode 1 of its English dub on Saturday, January 20 at 1:00 pm PST only on Crunchyroll – new episodes will be added each week.)
Premise: They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but that’s not the case for the world’s weakest hunter Sung Jinwoo. After being brutally slaughtered by monsters in a high-ranking dungeon, Jinwoo came back with the System, a program only he could see, that’s leveling him up in every way. Now, he’s inspired to discover the secrets behind his powers and the dungeon that spawned them.
What to Expect: I watched the first two episodes of Solo Leveling and reviewed them here. This series has such a huge following online from its light novel and mahnwa that millions of people read online first in the web-comic format. Jinwoo–anime’s latest underdog start his journey to unlock his potential and change the world as he knows it!
Recommended for lovers of: the original Korean web comic, Action packed mahnwa, shonen anime like storytelling
Delicious in Dungeon
Premiere Date: January 4, 2024 on Netflix
Premise: “In the depths of the dungeon, the younger sister of adventurer Laios was eaten by a Red Dragon ― and he barely made it back to the surface with his life. Laios attempts to venture into the dungeon again, but his money and rations are still in the dungeon’s lower depths. Knowing that his sister may be digested at any moment, Laios decides: “I’ll get my food from the dungeon itself!” That means eating slimes, basilisks, mimics and even dragons! Go forth, adventurer ― traverse the dungeon and eat whatever stands in your way!”
What to Expect: I’ve been told that the manga is one that I should have read yesterday. I have been told that the manga series blends brilliant storytelling and world-building with characters that have been popular enough for a manga ongoing run of over ten volumes. Most of the fandom that I know personally have high hopes that the magic of the original work will translate pretty well in its anime adaptation. I’m set to go in and enjoy the first episode and jump head first into the fandom, and I feel pretty sure I’ll love it.
Recommended for lovers of: The fantasy genre, D&D, and lovable characters that everyone on the internet has opinions about
A Sign of Affection
Premiere Date: January 5, on Crunchyroll
Premise: Yuki: a first-year college student, whose world revolves around her friends, social media, and the latest sales. She’s happily exploring the world by way of her college classes, the new people she’s meeting on and off campus, and even considers a part-time job. A chance encounter on a train leads to her meeting fellow student Itsuomi-san and her world starts to widen.
What to Expect: A Sign of Affection is full of real-life details about Japanese sign language and living without hearing. I love that audiences will get to see how creative Yuki is in how she communicates to others and the challenges she faces. To me, the core of this series is the value and importance of communication. There are a few languages spoken in the original work through Itsuomi: he’s a polygot, of course. There’s Japanese, the language both he and Yuki speak. There’s Japanese sign language that Yuki knows and slowly teaches the young man who enters her life one snowy day. Read more about the anime adaptation here in this handy primer guide that I made.
Recommended for lovers of: Shojo and Shojosei genres, romance centering slightly older people–out of high school and anime centering a hearing impaired character
Gushing Over Magical Girls
Premiere Date: January 3, 2024 on HIDIVE
Premise: “Hiragi Utena is a major fangirl of the magical girls protecting her city, so when she has the chance to become one herself, she leaps at the chance to join their technicolor ranks… but when she transforms, she learns she isn’t fated to be a daring do-gooder, but rather a villain on the side of evil! At first, she tries to quit her new gig as the leader of the local baddies, but she quickly realizes she enjoys it and is a total natural at tormenting the magical girls she loves so much. With both a bang and a whimper, Hiragi’s journey as a magical-girl-tormenting sadist has begun!”
What to Expect: Caution: this is only the TV-MA aka MATURE title on this preview list! My best guess is that this is for the fans of ecchi who also enjoy the magical girl trope possibly subverted. There doesn’t seem to be a dub version for this one, but it will be uncensored so take that information and do what you will.
Recommended for lovers of: Comedy, Yuri, and Ecchi Galore!
The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes
Premiere Date: January 2, 2024 on HIDIVE
Premise: “Kaoru Tono heard a rumor: The laws of space and time mean nothing to the Urashima Tunnel. If you find it, walk through and you’ll find your heart’s desire on the other side…in exchange for years of your own life. One night, Kaoru just so happens to find himself standing in front of a tunnel that looks suspiciously like the one the rumor describes. He finds himself thinking of Karen, the sister he lost in an accident five years ago. To Kaoru’s surprise, he’s been followed by the new transfer student Anzu Hanashiro, who promises to help him experiment with the mysterious tunnel—but what does she want from Kaoru in exchange? And what will he have left to give, after the tunnel’s done with him?”
What to Expect: I’ve got great news for those of you who’ve never seen The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes (Natsu e no Tunnel, Sayonara no Deguchi) or didn’t get the chance to see it in theaters. This critically acclaimed movie is now available on HIDIVE.
Recommended for lovers of : The coming-of-age genre, the science fiction genre, and fans of such films like Your Name and Suzume
7th Time Loop: The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life Married to Her Worst Enemy!
Premiere Date: January 7, 2024 on Crunchyroll
Premise: “Rishe Irmgard Weitzner, a duke’s daughter, has a secret: she died at the age of 20 and returned to the moment five years prior when her engagement was called off. She has already experienced this time loop six times and lived out those five years a different way each time, as a merchant, a doctor, a maid, a knight, and more. Now, on her seventh go-around, she’s determined to live to a ripe old age and spend it relaxing. But the moment she flees the castle with that decision in her heart, she runs into the infamously cruel crown prince of a rival kingdom, Arnold Hein. He happens to be the one who killed her during her life as a knight, but now, he seems to have taken a bizarre liking to her… and begs her to become his wife. Thus, in order to stay alive and prevent a war, Rishe utilizes her previous experiences to kick off her seventh life as the bride of an enemy nation’s crown prince.”
What to Expect: Another light novel adapted into a manga and now airing with anime adaptation! Y’all already know that I love the Isekai genre when it leans more female protagonist. I fell off reading the light novel and manga but loved main character Rishe and all the interesting lives she’d had. All the knowledge and past experiences in all of her trades come in handy and make her a remarkable character that everyone keeps being surprised by. If you love your reincarnation drama via anime in the Shojosei- genre with LOTS of surprises, you’ll want to catch the first episode!
Recommended for lovers of: Reincarnated characters, fantasy world building, and the Shojo and Josei genres
Mr. Villain’s Day Off
Premiere Date: January 7, 2024 on Crunchyroll
Premise: “One evil supervillain spends most of his time hatching nefarious plots to take over the world-but on his days off, nothing gets between him and the cute pandas he adores! This fresh, charming comedy series answers the age-old question of what a villain does off the clock! The mysterious and dastardly man known only as the General within the evil organization plotting to take over the world is one of the top targets of Earth’s defensive unit, the Rangers. But on his precious days off, he’s more likely to be at the local zoo staring at his beloved pandas or trying out new ice cream flavors! Will his secret hobbies be jeopardized forever when his natural enemy-a Ranger hero out to save the Earth-catches him in the act?”
What to Expect: Did you have a fun anime last year that you watched as a palette cleanser for a series that killed off too many of your faves? (Yes, we’re all looking at you JJK. GEGE, WHEN I CATCH YOU.) For me that was such series like My New Boss Is Goofy . Enough fluff and silliness in mind to be perfect to enjoy after a long day. Something like comfort anime? This series, Mr. Villians’ Day Off gives me the same vibes of goofiness, and overall there’s something everyone can enjoy.
Recommended for lovers of: Slice-of-life, wholesomeness, and for fans of anime like Love After Domination and The Way of The Househusband
Continuing Cours/Seasons of These Series:
Urusei Yatsura: Thursday, January 11, 2024 on HIDIVE
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End: 2024 Air-times on Friday on Crunchyroll
The Dangers in My Heart: Thursday, January 6, 2024 on HIDIVE
One Piece: (Beginning the all-new Egghead Island Arc) 2024 Air-times on Saturdays on Crunchyroll
The Apothecary Diaries: 2024 Air-times on Saturdays on Crunchyroll
01/20/24 Update: Added info about Solo Leveling English dub!