The winter season for 2024 is well underway. There are new, continuing, and returning anime shows to watch for the next few months. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of shows you may want to see or avoid, depending on your preferences, and if there’s a star (*) next to the name, put that show at the top of your list to watch.
The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic (Fantasy, Isekai) Recent anime about people with healing magic are not necessarily the most appropriate anime, looking at you Redo of Healer, but I’m happy to say that The Wrong Way to Use Magic is absolutely nothing like that show. The story follows three high-schoolers who were summoned to another world to help save humanity from the demon army, who is preparing to attack again. The kids learn what kind of magic they have, and go about their training, except the regiment for healing is anything but ordinary. Train until your body breaks, heal yourself, and do it all over again. This show is pretty average with plot and setting, but the twist with healing magic, and the way it’s handled, makes this show definitely worth a watch.
*The Unwanted Undead Adventurer (Fantasy, Reincarnation) Rentt Faina is a hunter who really stinks at his job. For the last 10 years he has never really advanced in level to be able to do anything but beat slimes and skeletons for a few coins each day. His luck turns when he finds an undiscovered path. As he enters a large chamber, he suddenly meets his end in the maw of a legendary dragon, but he wakes up as a skeleton monster himself! Rentt sets out to get his life back as he works to achieve Existential Evolution, the ability to become a higher ranking monster, and maybe, just maybe, regain his humanity. This show is definitely one to watch. A more original idea in an oversaturated market of fantasy anime (just look at the rest of this list), this show stands out as one of the best anime this season.
The Weakest Tamer Began a Journey to Pick Up Trash (Fantasy, Isekai?) (Content Warning: strong themes of abandonment and isolation) Ivy, a happy little girl who loves and is loved by her family, turns five, and suddenly her world is turned upside down. In this world, job class and level are determined by the gods at age five, and this decides your fate. However, Ivy got a Tamer class with a level of zero stars, an ill omen of rejection by the gods to the townsfolk. She is kicked out of the village and hunted so that she will not bring misfortune on anyone. Now on the run, she leads a lonely life of salvaging rubbish to survive. She soon befriends Sora, a weak little slime, in the forest. Together, the delicate duo embarks on a heartwarming journey of survival and discovery as Ivy finds there is more to her than just being starless. A show that in the first few episodes is focused greatly on the emotion of being on the receiving end of cruelty and hatred for no reason. If that is a trigger for trauma in your own life, be advised that this show is not for you. Otherwise, it has been a slow build so far, and it will be interesting to see what twists and turns the story will take in the coming weeks.
The Strongest Tank’s Labyrinth Raids -A Tank with a Rare 9999 Resistance Skill Got Kicked from the Hero's Party (Fantasy, Adventure) Rud finds himself at a loss. Once in the Hero’s Party, he now finds himself fired and doesn’t know where to go, because his goal of raiding the labyrinth as a Tank was to find a cure for his ill sister. Legend has it there lies a treasure within the labyrinths that grants wishes, but now Rud cannot reach his goal. With nowhere to go, and no gear to progress himself, he’s forced to return home, and as he is journeying there he saves a young girl who reveals his true power—the highest defense stat in history and the ability to be the best Tank imaginable! This show hasn’t been overly impressive in the first few episodes, but it is entertaining in its own way. If your schedule is full, this could be one to let go by you.
Villainess Level 99: I May Be the Hidden Boss But I'm Not the Demon Lord (Fantasy, Isekai) A college kid finds herself reborn as Yumiella, the hidden villainess of an Otome RPG that she played before she met truck-kun, and she’s not exactly thrilled. Wanting a quiet life for just herself, she abandons her evil duties to live a more discreet life. But she doesn’t understand the world, and does what any good RPG gamer does and grinds levels while she was still a child. Now, in school for nobles, she finds that she is level 99, a feat no one has ever done! With her black eyes and hair, everyone suspects that she’s the infamous Demon Lord returned. How will she stay away from the game’s main characters and story and live a peaceful life? In a genre (isekai to an otome video game) that has a lot of very "meh" anime, this show is really reminding me of Trapped In a Dating Sim, which speaks well of the show. Having the MC try to avoid or do other things other than the main plot of the game and deal with the main characters, but being continually dragged back to it is definitely fun.
*Solo Leveling (Futuristic Fantasy, Action) (Content Warning: this show contains a lot of blood and maiming in the first episodes) Sung Jinwoo, the world’s weakest hunter, can’t catch a break. He can’t do anything in dungeon raids, he can’t even kill the weakest monster, and ends up in the hospital more than bringing in any money, which he desperately needs for his mom’s hospital bills. But he keeps on trying, and finds himself in a raid with a second dungeon in it, which turns out to be more than any of them can handle. Sung, battered and mutilated, stays behind to sacrifice himself while the remaining survivors flee. And just on the verge of death, with less than a second to spare, he beats the first quest that allows him to join the System and live on. With this program only he can see, giving him quests and rewards, he is leveling up and soon decides to discover the secrets behind his powers and the dungeon that spawned them. Coming from Manhwa in South Korea, this show has been all the rage across all social media. It is apparently highly regarded and loved by fans. Watching the first few episodes, I can definitely see the hype for how the story is going and how much action is in it. With Attack on Titan finished, this show definitely looks like it could fill the shoes AoT left behind in many ways.
Tales of Wedding Rings (Fantasy, Isekai) (Content Warning: Mature content/Ecchi/Harem) After years of growing up with her, Sato, now in high school, is in love with his best friend Hime, an unearthly beauty from another realm. Suddenly, she has to move back to her home world to get married. Yet Sato doesn’t think twice as he follows her headlong into the portal connecting their worlds, where he crashes her wedding which is then interrupted by a monster. To save him (and herself), Hime rushes to Sato and kisses him. But low and behold, Sato is now her groom and the Ring King, chosen by the Ring Princess of Light. With evil chasing them from Hime’s home, they set out on a journey to make Sato stronger by collecting the other rings of power, and more, so that he can vanquish the Demon Lord. I didn’t watch this one initially because I had quite a few other shows to watch, and not as much time to watch them, so I binged the first few episodes. The description of the show on Crunchyroll does not really explain what the overall plot of the story is, and I wish I had known before I got going. Basically, the main character marries his childhood friend, and soon afterwards, gets his butt kicked out of the castle, so they journey to find the other rings. All well and good, but unless you’ve watched or been told, getting the rings means more than just bling, but also the girls holding onto them. I did not expect this show to be a harem anime when I first started watching it. This show is censored on Crunchyroll. I don’t know if I’m going to continue because this premise is a little weird, but if you think an anime about a guy traveling across the world to marry five girls while getting into a lot of awkward situations, then go for it.
Sasaki and Peeps (Fantasy Comedy, Isekai) Sasaki, a middle-aged office worker in Japan, is feeling drained by the dull corporate world he slogs through, so he heads to the pet shop in search of a new companion. He finds an adorable bird named Peeps and takes him home. But little did Sasaki know that Peeps isn’t your average bird, but rather a powerful mage from another world! Together, they embark on a magical adventure filled with swords and sorcery. I want to start this show, because from the beginning of the season it sounded like a lot of fun. I don’t know why I watched other things before it, but I have. This show has been getting good press, and sounds like a light hearted adventure to chill with.
Fluffy Paradise (Fantasy, Isekai) Another overworked office lady, Midori, finally meets truck-kun, and she’s given a choice to be reborn with whatever ability she wants, and she chooses an adorable ability. She is reincarnated as a noble young girl, Nema, and must help decide if the humans there should continue to exist, or whether they are too cruel to remain. Her ability, she gains the power to be loved by all nonhuman creatures. From fantasy beasts to mythical monsters, she’s free to pet and snuggle any floofer and dragon to her hearts content! The first show that started off the winter 2024 season, this show is as ridiculous as it sounds. She was overworked in her first life, so the MC just wants to pet all the animals, and that is the focus of the show. She sometimes remembers why she is in that world, but most of the time, it’s collecting all the creatures each new episode. Definitely a cute and fun anime.
*A Sign of Affection (Slice of Life, Romance) Yuki Itose is just a typical student dealing with the pressures of college, with an added difficulty, she is deaf. One day, Yuki finds herself struggling on the train when an upperclassman named Itsuomi Nagi helps her out. Thus begins a story of a pure and mature (not sexual) romance, where these two find themselves in a wonderful love story. Another show I NEED to start. Most anime characters are high school and younger, so all the romance that is done in them is a little more immature and childlike, which it should be because they are kids. But from everything I have heard about this show, it is a wholesome and mature love story that is actually a well done and realistic love story. Definitely put this show on your list.
7th Time Loop: The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life Married to Her Worst Enemy! (Fantasy, Romance) Rishe, the duke’s daughter, has been reincarnated seven times now. Each life restarts at her broken engagement, and she lives as a different kind of person in each life. Having been everything from a merchant and maid to an herbalist knight, she always found herself being killed in a war ten years after her reincarnation. On this, her seventh life, Rishe decides to leave her broken engagement by a different path, but stumbles into a prince, who killed her in a past life, and more than that, proposes in this one! To prevent war and live to a ripe old age, she begins her seventh life as the bride of an enemy nation’s prince. Again, a show in a genre (villainess anything) that is filled with mediocre shows, this show actually has an interesting and, so far, well executed story and premise. The main character literally has PTSD because of the man who has fallen so madly in love with her because minutes before she met him in this life, he killed her in the last one. Time will tell if this show keeps up with being a fairly good show to watch, but I have high hopes for it.
Continuing from Last Season
*Frieren: Beyond Journey's End (Fantasy, Adventure, Cozy) Frieren and company are continuing their journey to the north, but have reached an impasse. In order to continue their journey northward, they need to have a First Class Mage license. So Frieren and Fern both join the test to become one, even though it’s a meaningless title in Frieren’s long lived elf eyes. This show NEEDS to be on your watchlist for both this season and last. Actually every show in this category here from Crunchyroll NEEDS to be on your list, because they are all absolutely fantastic! The story is simple, we follow the life of an elf after she had a grand, but short, ten year adventure with her party, and she is trying to understand what her connection to this group was eighty years after they finished their quest. It is often a quiet show, but when there is action, the animation is absolutely gorgeous. They focus on all the characters, and they all actually learn and grow as the show goes on. This season has seemed to be a sort of tournament arc so far, but it has still been so much fun. I don’t think there has been a bad episode yet. I cannot sing the praises of this show enough.
*The Apothecary Diaries (Drama, Mystery, Romance) Maomao finds herself back in the palace, but not the rear palace, but this time working directly for Jinshi, doing his bidding and solving even more mysteries. The intrigue in the palace is rising, and more is happening behind the scenes. Maomao will be staying busy using her apothecary knowledge as well as she can, but will she ever get to ingest any more poison? When this show first came out last season, I was not expecting anything great. I honestly decided to watch it on a whim, and I’m glad I did. The main character really drives the show, and the main supporting cast helps her along very well. She goes from withdrawn and lazy to intense to absolutely ridiculous because she loves poisons so much that she inflicts them upon herself as often as she can. The show has an appropriate balance of seriousness and humor. Overall, this show is a diamond in the rough that you really should watch.
*Shangri-La Frontier (Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Video Game Isekai) Rakuro and his co-conspirators are putting their plan in motion to defeat Wethermon, but first Ashura Kai needs to be dealt with. With the final preparations nearing completion, and the day of the new expansion soon approaching, will they prevail in the fight with just three combatants? This is so far beyond trash games and these elite players are loving every minute of it! Honestly, I thought this show would be super fun, but I did not expect how much I would just love this show. I’m really getting the feeling like I did when I first watch the first season of Sword Art Online (which I really liked). A video game isekai (though in this the main character is actually just playing it in a non-life-threatening way) that has a ton of action, a ton of concepts that are solely video game, and characters that work so well together (side note: the voice actors for the MC and his main company actually got married recently in between the first and second cors of this show). This show is just a ton of fun, and I definitely encourage you to watch it.
One Piece (Shonen, Action, Comedy, Fantasy) With Kaido defeated and Wano behind them, Luffy and the crew are setting sail onwards towards the One Piece. What new adventures await them on the seas ahead? If you’re this far in the show, you’re going to keep watching. If you aren’t here yet, why are you reading spoilers? GO WATCH THE SHOW AND CATCH UP! Ahem. That task is accomplished one episode at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be at the current content.
TSUKIMICHI -Moonlit Fantasy- (Fantasy, Isekai) Makoto Misumi is back, with his “ugly” face and garish tongue, still surviving as well as he can in this world where he lives, forsaken by its goddess. All the crazy magic keeps flying as we are introduced to two new Earthlings who have been dragged into this fantasy world. What adventures await them all in season two? This show is pretty fun/funny. The main character is extremely overpowered, but he can only talk to monsters and humans run, screaming at the sight of him if he doesn’t have a mask on, hiding his aura. If you are unsure, the entire first season is also up on Crunchyroll, so you can watch a few episodes to see if you like the show or not. A good show to pick up if you have the time.
*MASHLE: MAGIC AND MUSCLES (Shonen, Fantasy, School Story) Mash Burnedead’s journey to be a Divine Visionary as a person with no magic continues, and his secret is out! The stakes have been raised as now Mash is literally fighting to stay alive. The test to become a Divine Visionary is underway. Will Mash make it through all these tests? He and all his named muscles will try to punch their way to the top! Last year, this show came out of left field as a “smash” hit. It is literally Harry Potter meets One Punch Man. The main character can’t use magic in a society that everyone can, so his adoptive father had him focus on building up his strength and stamina since he was baby. He is so strong that he makes whatever he does actually look like magic. There are a lot of silliness and off the wall character interactions, but that all adds to the personality of the show, which is wild. This is a must watch for the season, as is watching the first season.
*Classroom of the Elite (Drama, Seinen, Thriller) The students of Class D, now C, are riding high after their promotion to not being the worst class in the school. But that rejoicing might be short lived. The school continues to hand out test after test, and the other classes are starting to get more active too. But who is the target of each of the other classes? Will the allies and friends Class C has made with the rest of the school be able to stay safe and not expelled? Another thrilling season of Classroom of the Elite is right here, right now! If you are a fan of people in shows playing 5d chess while trying to protect people from without and within, then this show is for you. With two seasons already out, this show is well underway, but it is never too late to catch up. The intrigue and positioning of people who are way smarter than they should be in high school is truly impressive. This is yet another show that should be on your watch list.
Banished from the Hero's Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside (Fantasy, Adventure, Slice of Life?) The decision has been made. The Hero no longer wants to be a Hero, but to enjoy life and live with her brother and friends. There is also love in the air, and maybe a soon-to-be wedding, if Red can get all the materials he wants to make a ring for Ruti. The world is moving on, and everyone in the small town of Zoltan is just focusing on themselves. But their peace will not be for long. There is already in motion, individuals bent on either bringing the Hero back, or killing her. Time will tell if life will ever be peaceful again. This show is a fairly basic fantasy anime with a trope that is getting played out more and more of late (being kicked from the hero’s party). You can watch the first season and see if it speaks to you, or you can let it pass you by. It is a good show to watch if you have nothing else to watch.
My Instant Death Ability Is Overpowered (Fantasy, Isekai) After being left by their class after they were all summoned to a different world and given power, Yogiri and Tomochika make their way through the world, trying to find a way to either get back home or to live. They have a little trump card though, Yogiri can kill anything and anyone with a thought, or even if there is lethal intent coming his way. The catch? He gets really tired after using the ability. This show’s premise and early episodes have shown the whole show to be somewhat boring so far. The main character is just too powerful so far, with no real way as shown yet to be beaten. We’ll see if there gets to be any actual consequences or conflict, but I’m not overly hopeful with what I’ve seen so far.
This is just a content warning PSA for if you get a Hidive subscription to watch the shows there. There are two shows this season that are very much rated Mature and are not censored at all. Chained Soldier and Gushing Over Magical Girls are both fairly free with nudity, BDSM, and kink focused content. If that is something that doesn’t bother you or offend you, do what you will, but if you have concerns for age reasons, desires to not watch, or struggle with pornography, just be aware that these shows are here and advertised a bunch on the site, especially the main page.
Continuing from Last Season
Ragna Crimson (Fantasy, Drama, Action) Ragna and Crimson are continuing their campaign to annihilate all of the dragons, but now the enemy is coming to hunt them! With their newfound allies, they make their stand against these conquering beasts, to save humanity, get revenge, and fulfill dreams. This show is pretty intense. Dragons are wreaking havoc to destroy all of humanity. The main character is a quiet introvert who was the most useless hunter but gained knowledge and power to protect his loved ones and fight back. The action scenes are quite impressive in this show. The decisions/actions the MC makes kind of get on my nerves, but he is true to his personality most of the time, so I can’t fault the show too much for that. This is definitely one to watch if you already have a Hidive subscription, but if you don’t make sure you find other shows you’d want to watch too to make the cost worthwhile (Made in Abyss and Eminence in Shadow are good shows to watch that will make the sub more worthwhile).
*Delicious in Dungeon (Fantasy, Comedy, Offbeat Cooking) With his sister in trouble in the belly of a red dragon at the bottom of the dungeon, Laios and his team are desperate to get back before she’s digested. The problem? They have no money and no food. How will they survive to get back? Monsters. Let’s eat monsters. Laios has the most hairbrained idea, but that is what they have to do if they’re going to make it back in time. Join these adventuresome culinary pioneers as they eat their way to the bottom of the dungeon. This show is probably the hidden gem of the season, especially since it is on a different platform than many of the rest of the anime are. The premise is ridiculous, but it works. The show is funny, charming, and an absolutely good time. Food anime are really in the shadow of Food Wars (a COMPLETELY different kind of show), but this one carves its own niche into the genre and serves up a healthy portion of entertainment. If you have Netflix, definitely put this show on your list!
And there you have it, a non-exhaustive list of many of the anime that you can watch for the winter 2024 season. I wish I had Hulu so that I could talk about the shows that are on that platform, but alas that will have to be for another time.
What is your favorite show this season? How many are you watching? Let us know in the comments!
Jacob Wagner is a gamer, podcaster, and streamer. You can find him on Twitter and Twitch @Hallowedfoxmoon or visit his YouTube Gaming Public Radio.