Summer 2023 Review – Expectation Defying

Key points for Summer 2023 Review:

  • Summer 2023 exceeded expectations with several anime, including “My Happy Marriage,” “Undead Murder Farce,” and “Zom 100,” surprising viewers with gripping narratives and unique themes.
  • Notable sequels like “Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2,” “Bungou Stray Dogs Season 5,” “Horimiya Piece,” and “Bleach TYBW Part 2” received high praise for their storytelling, character development, and exciting plot twists.
  • Despite a few underwhelming shows, the season offered a wide range of anime genres, ensuring there was something enjoyable for fans of almost every type of anime.

Man, what a season. Summer 2023 was truly expectation-defying. So many anime I expected very little from, ended up completely blowing past my expectations. With the gift of hindsight, it is kind of ridiculous how little expectation I had with some of these anime. But the season is at an end now.. so how good was it actually? Well, that is what we are here for. Welcome to my review for the Summer 2023 Season.

Everything I am about to say is purely my opinion and yours may differ.

So there were a few stinkers from this season as well like Am I Actually the Strongest, The Vending Machine anime, Rent-a-Girlfriend (I don’t know why are they continuing this), etc. Then there was the “mid gang”. These are anime that had potential but didn’t end up being as good as they should have. So let’s talk about them first.

The Mid Gang

  • The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses suffered from a repetitive premise and a lack of side characters.
  • The Reign of Seven SpellbladesΒ suffered from uneven pacing and really bad animations
  • Liar LiarΒ suffered from the “too many plot twists” syndrome
  • The Dreaming Boy is a RealistΒ needed a little more of everything. It had a decent premise but failed to nail what matters the most important part of a rom-com, the character interactions. And hence ended up feeling like another average rom-com/harem.

Neither of these anime are “bad” they are very middle of the road. They could have been a lot better if certain aspects of them were given more time.

So why am I so happy with Summer 2023 and why do I call this review “expectation-defining”? Well, let’s talk about those anime

My Happy Marriage

Yeah, nothing blew through my expectations quite like My Happy Marriage. What I assumed to be your usual romance anime, and maybe a Cinderella-like story has turned out to be so gripping and solid. It does have a few small issues here and there but boy did the story really blow me away. Lots of politics and family issues, decent world-building, and very well-paced with some cleverly placed twists. All this combined with a cast of solid characters really makes for a gripping narrative. There is some surprisingly decent action in this anime as well.

Undead Murder Farce

Another anime that completely blew past my expectations. Now, unlike My Happy Marriage, I always expected Undead Girl Murder Farce to be somewhat good purely based on the setting. But it ended up being even better than I thought. Just the first arc alone was so gripping and fun to watch even though it was just a simple murder mystery of a vampire woman. The 2nd arc, my favorite just kicked things up a notch and had some of the best twists to boot. Compared to the 2nd arc, the 3rd arc is scaled back a little but it makes up for it by giving us loads of new info on the world. Adding to the world-building.

Zom 100

Once again, I expected this to be a regular zombie anime. But it turned out to be a class on how people behave and act when society goes out of the window. Could even pick up a few life lessons from this anime, it that kind of good. And it started with a really dark look into the corporate work culture of Japan. I can’t say how accurate that was but it served as an awesome introduction to a series like this. It defined the MC’s personality for the rest of the show.

So those were the new animes I loved. Here’s a quick word on the many awesome sequels of the season

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2

The Shibuya arc is finally here. Looks like we won’t be getting a chance to recover from the depressing ending of the Hidden Iventory arc given how things have been going so far. And I am all in for it, 16 more episodes to go, can’t wait to see how things shape up going forward. I do know a few spoilers from this arc but I am still excited to see them in animation.

Bungou Stray Dogs Season 5

10/10… that is all I will say. For me, this season was perfect in every regard. It delivered a very satisfying conclusion to a massive arc that has been ongoing since the last season. It had loads of amazing plot twits and some frustratingly good cliffhangers. The pacing was crisp and added a sense of urgency to the plot. All of that with some awesome character writing as we have come to expect from the show.

Horimiya Piece

Another 10/10 series for me, personally. I loved every single moment of this season, just like I enjoyed the first season. Obviously, Horimiya Piece had more of a focus on comedy compared to the original series since it is a collection of chapters that were not adapted in the original anime. But the show still did a great job of showing us different sides of characters we all know and love.

Bleach TYBW Part 2

I don’t care what the haters on Twitter say, Bleach TYBW Part 2 is still an anime of the contender me. Especially after the latest episode. Yes, they did cut a bunch of content but they added a lot of new stuff in the anime as well. They significantly improved the pacing of the 2nd invasion and obviously, the fights all looked amazing. Yes, the animation was inconsistent at times but it looked breathtaking when it came to important moments. As Nodt vs. Rukia, Kenpachi vs. Gremmy, and Ichigo vs. the Bambies are all examples of this.

Mushoku Tensei Season 2

Scaled back the action, scaled back the pacing focused on character development and world-building more than the previous season, and still managed to work. Mushoku Tensei Season 2 is so different from Season 1 yet it feels so natural. I love the sheer amount of character moments we got in this season. And that one big lore drop from Nanahoshi gave us so much world-building to think about. I love it.

That is all for now

So that was my review for the Summer 2023 season. An amazing season overall It definitely had a few stinkers like every season but on the good side, the season has decent to great anime in almost every genre. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I will take my leave here. See ya!!

Also, check out our full guide for the Fall 2023 season here!!

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