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Promotional art for Jujutsu Kaisen season 2, featuring a fish-eyed lens shot of the series’ cast standing in a subway train. Image: MAPPA

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The must-watch anime to look out for in summer 2023

Here’s what you have to look forward to through July, August, and September

Toussaint Egan is an associate curation editor, out to highlight the best movies, TV, anime, comics, and games. He has been writing professionally for over 8 years.

2023 has already been a great year for anime, and it’s only going to get better. The summer anime season (which runs from July through September) is right around the corner, and with it comes a whole slew of exciting new premieres and highly anticipated returning shows to choose from. This spring season saw the debuts of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc, Heavenly Delusion, and Oshi no Ko, not to mention the conclusion of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury and Vinland Saga season 2.

This summer, we have the second season of Jujutsu Kaisen, the second part of Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War, and the second season of the isekai fantasy anime Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation. There’s new anime series to look forward to as well, including the supernatural horror mystery drama Undead Girl Murder Farce and the apocalyptic comedy-horror Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, among others.

We’ll continue to update this list as we get a clearer picture of everything this upcoming anime season has to offer, but in the meantime, here are some of the most exciting anime airing this summer that you should look forward to.

Horimiya: The Missing Pieces

The shojo rom-com anime Horimiya (a portmanteau of the series’ central love interests, Kyouko Hori and Izumi Miyamura) won our hearts and earned a spot on our best anime of 2021 list. Horimiya: The Missing Pieces will adapt previously unadapted plot lines from the original manga.

Masashi Ishihama, who directed the original anime, will return as the director for this new series, as well as series composer (head writer) Takao Yoshioka and score composer Masaru Yokoyama.

Horimiya: The Missing Pieces premieres July 1 and will stream on Crunchyroll.

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Season 2)

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation returns for a second season this summer following the series’ well-received debut back in 2021. For those unfamiliar, this isekai anime centers on a 34-year-old shut-in who dies after rescuing the life of a child in an unexpected act of heroism and is reincarnated in the body of a baby named Rudeus Greyrat.

Determined to make good on his second chance at life and gifted with an innate ability to wield magic, Rudeus embarks on a personal quest to become a powerful mage and protect his loved ones from danger. The second season picks up after a mysterious magical catastrophe destroys Rudeus’ homeland and teleports thousands of people into danger— including Rudeus and his distant relative Eris Boreas Greyrat.

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Season 2) premieres July 2 and will stream on Crunchyroll.

Undead Murder Farce

This supernatural fantasy drama follows an unlikely pair of travelling detectives — the living head of a demon in a bird cage and her assistant who carries her around — who wander the countryside of Meiji era Japan solving macabre mysteries and searching for the fiend who cursed them both. That sounds pretty fun, right?

Adapted from Yugo Aosaki’s light novel series, Undead Murder Farce is directed by Mamoru Hatakeyama (known for his work on Kaguya-sama: Love Is War – Ultra Romantic) with a script written by series composer Noboru Takagi (Golden Kamuy).

Undead Girl Murder Farce premieres July 5 and will stream on Crunchyroll.

Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon

Looking for another wacky isekai with an absurdly long-winded title that explains the entire premise like That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime or Life With An Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated Into A Total Fantasy Knockout?

Try Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon, an anime about an unnamed nerd with an inexplicable love of vending machines who is accidentally crushed to death by one before waking up in a fantasy world where he is reborn as... well, you get the idea. The trailer looks bizarre, and if you’re looking for yet another isekai that attempts to put a parodic spin on the fantasy subgenre, this will be right up your alley.

Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon premieres July 5 and will stream on Crunchyroll.

Jujutsu Kaisen (season 2)

Jujutsu Kaisen, the highly acclaimed martial arts fantasy anime based on Gege Akutami’s original manga, finally returns for its second season this summer. Set to air continuously from July to December, Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 will cover the Gojo’s Past arc of the series — set approximately a decade before the events of the first season — as well as the Shibuya Incident arc, which picks up immediately after the conclusion of season 1. We’ll see a lot more of Satoru Gojo, protagonist Yuji Itadori’s mentor and teacher, as well as Yuta Okkotsu, Gojo’s prior pupil and the protagonist of the 2021 anime film Jujutsu Kaisen 0.

While you wait, why not bide your time by watching some great anime for fans of Jujutsu Kaisen?

Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 premieres July 6 and will stream on Crunchyroll.

Rurouni Kenshin

This new adaptation of Nobuhiro Watsuki’s 1994 martial arts adventure manga chronicles the story of Himura Kenshin, an itinerant vagabond and pacifist swordsman with a dark past saturated in blood and violence. Wishing to put aside his former life as an assassin, Kenshin befriends a young Kendo master, Kamiya Kaoru; an orphaned thief, Myōjin Yahiko; a street fighter-for-hire, Sagara Sanosuke; and a doctor with her own troubled past, Takani Megumi. The group joins forces to fight back against the many ne'er-do-wells and adversaries from Kenshin’s past itching to make their name or claim revenge by taking his life and the lives of those around them.

[Ed. note: Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of the Rurouni Kenshin manga, was charged and fined for possession of child pornography in 2018. It is not known to what extent, if any, that Watsuki was involved in the production of this adaptation.]

Rurouni Kenshin premieres July 7.

Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War (cour 2)

The reboot of the Bleach anime adaptation, Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War, returns this season for its second cour of episodes. Based on the popular manga series created by Tite Kubo, Bleach follows a boy named Ichigo Kurosaki who becomes a substitute Soul Reaper when his predecessor is injured. Thousand Year Blood War adapts the previously unadapted final arc of the original manga, with Ichigo leading his fellow Soul Reapers in battle against the Wandenreich, a secret society of vengeful warriors embroiled in a conflict known as the “Quincy Blood War.”

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War (cour 2) premieres July 8 and will stream on Hulu.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

This dystopian comedy-horror anime follows the story of Akira Tendou, a bright-eyed college grad who lands his dream job at a highly respected company. Unfortunately for Akira, the job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be on the inside, as exploitative management and abusive coworkers leave him feeling dead inside.

Luckily for him — and unluckily for nearly everyone else — Tokyo is suddenly beset by a zombie apocalypse that motivates Akira to finally get off his butt and start seizing the day before some undead creature sinks its teeth into his trachea.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead premieres July 9 and will stream on Netflix and Hulu.


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