what i think about the fall 2022 season

I need to borrow 2,000 words– words that are abandoned or forgotten or worse. Find the nearest temple with the highest altitude, and reserve it. Also, I need some new memes, if you would.

Fall 2022 is probably the best season of anime I’ve seen in a while, and it all leads off with the phenomenal Chainsaw Man. It joins Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006), Clannad (2007), Gurren Lagann (2007), Bakemonogatari (2009), Madoka (2011), Attack on Titan (2013), KILL la KILL (2013), Yuri on Ice (2016), and Cyberpunk Edgerunners (2022) as shows I watch and think, “Bullseye.”

(Maybe taking some production time off during COVID gave some studios a creative boost.)


Everything about Chainsaw Man is extraordinary– the animation, the music, the pacing, the storytelling, the characters, the backgrounds– nothing is ordinary. MAPPA went Perfected Ultra Instinct. Not even Edgerunners took on the additional work of having unique EDs for each episode. I was trying to think of another show that had a different ED and different ED animation for every episode that fit the episode, and it might be Sister Princess Re:Pure (2002) [1]. Yes, I did it. I compared Chainsaw Man to Sister Princess Re:Pure.


Production aside, Chainsaw Man does one thing I never thought I would see in an anime, and I’ve been watching anime now for almost three decades: An honest discussion about sex. There’s no tropes here [2]. Denji gets disillusioned by Power’s melonpan, and then Makima says to him, “I believe that, when it comes to sex, the better you understand the other person, the better it feels.” She intertwines her hands slowly with his. There’s a short cut to Denji’s eye, and you can see Makima’s serious facial expression in his eye’s reflection. She continues, as she moves her hand with his, “But it’s hard to understand how someone else feels. So, start with observing the hand, carefully.” She continues playing this Denji’s hand, and every small movement has a purpose. “How long are their fingers?” She grasps his palm and touches her face with it, “Are their palms cold? Are they warm?” She then brushes her ear with his finger, “What’s the shape of their ears?” Every line has an impact because of how it’s drawn matches what is said matches what is moving.


I can imagine any generic studio taking this scene and just putting Denji and Makima as static heads with some barely animated hand movements. MAPPA not only gave us this honest discussion of sex but sold it with their animation.


The world-building and getting all the characters believable raison d’etres are great too. But I think what sets this show apart from all the other numerous shounen demon/devil slaying anime like Jujutsu Kaisen and Demon Slayer is nothing is sacred. Tatsuki Fujimoto does not go easy on his readers.


The dark horse for the season is Bocchi the Rock!. CloverWorks has been putting out a lot of great productions lately, but they have been mostly known quantities like Spy x Family, Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia (2019), and My Dress-Up Darling. Bocchi the Rock! is a 4koma that the original fan translation group dropped years ago. It’s a previously unknown story that has breathed new life into the 4 girls after school club genre.

Besides being well-animated and produced (love the claymation Bocchi segments), the show has comedy down. The pacing, the characters, the dialogue all serve the show’s comedy, and I haven’t enjoyed a comedy this such since probably Nichijou (2011). But it isn’t just raw comedy– the characters are growing, making mistakes, and learning from them too [3]. They’re also likeable too. Bocchi’s not just the sad girl from WataMote (2013) [4] because she not only shows her trauma but how she tries to escape her trauma. I was so ready to give the 2022 best music anime award to Ya Boy Kongming too. Bocchi‘s characters feel real with their own ambitions and issues and hopes.


Another thing I really enjoy about this show is that it takes place in Shimokitazawa, which I’ve been to multiple times. The last time Fashion Czar and I visited Japan, we also stayed there. I recognize a lot of the sights and areas from the show. Through the locale and also fashion, Bocchi manages to feel trendy and current. Empty mango boxes are super hot this year.

(Also, I like Bocchi’s family too. It’s nice seeing a family acting like a real family in an anime. Probably most wholesome family since Nadeshiko’s family in Laid Back Camp (2018).)


What next? Spy x Family, the hit manga that is dominating 2022? Well, the next anime is about family– space family. I keep expecting Miorine to give a “Money will come and go. We all know that. The most important thing in life will always be the people in this room. Right here, right now.” speech to snap Suletta out of a slump in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury [5]. It’s all about family, albeit one with a complicated harem structure.

I think the less serious tone of Witch from Mercury coupled with the mostly likeable cast is a nice change-up after the maybe-too-serious Iron Blooded Orphans. Some parts of this show is so ridiculous like the whole “ARE YOU GUNDAM OR NOT?” plot. It ends up being a dumb, fun Gundam, which is probably my favorite Gundam. Either go all in on the war is brutal angle like Thunderbolt or just go for the unintentional comedy like Seed. The show knows it too, like when Lady Propera just drops the, “Honey, it’s been a Gundam all along” line. Damn.

I would have liked if this show leaned more into Utena (1997) meets Gundam, but Witch from Mercury has been an enjoyable show by itself, even if there were a whole episode that resembled this year’s second worst business plan. We don’t know how we are going to make money yet, but we need a logo, song, and a commercial ASAP! [6]


Next up is our beloved returning show of… Mob Psycho 100. Mob is so powerful at this point that he manages to defeat multiple secret organizations of evildoers, a giant evil sentient broccoli, and much more… so how does One finally take him out? Mob gets hit by a truck [7].

While the art and production is top notch, this season’s exposition is uneven. I do appreciate that the story circles back to a lot of Mob’s relationships with his friends, but I’m like “What the fuck am I watching?” during the arc when Mob and the psychic club get taken by aliens, and his friend impregnates a bunch of aliens or something. Still a very strong show, but we can tell that the characters’ stories are coming to an end.


Finally, what we all came here for… his Eminence in Shadow. Probably the best Mai Otome (2005)/Code Geass (2006)-like that I’ve seen lately [8]. The show has so much unbounded unintentional comedy (maybe intentionally?). The first episode starts off with a kidnapping, and then the MC named “Shadow” who cosplaying as Batman tries to save her. I’m like, “Okay, costume vigilante genre isn’t done much in anime. This show might be interesting.”

Then it’s peeled back a little to reveal that he’s not trying to be a crimefighter like Batman. He’s a chunibyou acting out his massive delusion, and he just stumbles into fails into success to save the girl. It doesn’t stop there though. The episode ends with a truck killing him [9].

The next episode reveals that he’s been reborn as a baby in a fantasy isekai world. It’s one of the weird ones where he retains all his knowledge as a baby. So now we put the chunibyou in an isekai situation, and he stumbles across a girl getting kidnapped. He saves her and makes up a delusional scenario where the Cult of Diablos is trying to enslave the world, and only he can stop them.

The third episode peels back to show that the Cult of Diablos is actually real in this world, and the girl helps him build an entire organization, Shadow Garden, to oppose it. To recap, we’re now at the “chunibyou gets isekai’ed, but his chunibyou delusions are real” stage. We’re not done. In this episode, his sister gets kidnapped. He randomly makes shit up as part of his chunibyou, and they’re all pretty much true, which leads to her being rescued. It’s fake-it-till-you-make-it like when Ains Ooal Gown stumbles into success for his plots except the super hyper mega gigantix version of it.


The fourth episode features, yes, you guessed it, another kidnapping of another girl. This episode becomes a two-parter, and so we finally break the cycle of a girl getting kidnapped each episode in episode five. However, this story reveals that his chunibyou delusion originally sprang from his desire to beat every weapon. He trained to defeat knives and guns and then… he jumps to nuclear bombs. No, seriously, he was honing his body to defeat a nuclear bomb when a truck ran him over. But in this fantasy isekai world, he was blessed with a special power… which lets him defeat a nuclear bomb by becoming a nuclear bomb. It’s gloriously dumb. He then beats the bad guy kidnapper and instead of just handcuffing him or killing him with his sword, he decides to nuke the entire town. I’m not sure what is dumber: The fact he uses his ultimate move after he already won or that he has to say, “I AM ATOMIC!” as he detonates himself. The town is completely cratered. RIP to an civilians around.

Needless to say, Eminence in Shadow is a dumb, fun show. It’s like the opposite of Chainsaw Man, and that’s okay. Anime is a rare medium where both type of shows can exist at the same time and provide enjoyment. Though it would be fun if Denji has to shout, “I AM CHAINSAW!” each time he actives his devil powers.

Two final thoughts…


I’ve watched Frozen and Frozen 2 at least 15,532 times already. “Hey, all the connective tissue between songs and the grand showtunes of Frozen? Let’s not do that at all for the sequel.” I still can’t believe they gave Kristoff almost as much songtime as Elsa. It’s like they started production trying to make it appeal more to boys hence the unnecessary soldiers with swords fight scenes at the beginning and the weird Kristoff 80s torch song, and then they were like “Oh shit, this movie is dogshit for boys too!” and then just gave Elsa a magical horse at the end because they needed to sell more toys. Frozen is the Disney version of Aldnoah.Zero (2014).

(Akiba Maid Sensou feels like I show I might have enjoyed in the 2005-2010 timeframe, but it feels a bit dated now. It also feels a bit too much like a mobage waiting to happen as well. Maybe I’ll circle back when I have more time to watch anime.)


I was thinking back to Darker Than Black (2007) when they had ruminations for their powers. They could use the powers, but they had to pay a fee. It was more of an inconvenience in that show whereas in Chainsaw Man, they are major trade-offs. I kinda like that in the superhero genre (maybe overplayed in the magical girl genre) [10]. I think other manga and shows have tried similar things, but they were always… sexy. There’s an upcoming show, Chained Solder, that has girls using powers but leads to sexy ruminations for using their powers.


Emo facial distortion!

Alright, I’m out. Enjoy anime, and Happy Holidays.



[1] There are a few shows like Amagami SS (2010) that did a new ED every few episodes.

[2] Ok, Dommy Mommy Makima trope.

[3] The only character that seems out-of-place is the older alcoholic bass player. She seems like she stumbled out of a 2008 anime and into this show.

[4] I’m putting years next to everything to show how old we are now.

[5] Dominic Toretto is a family man.

[6] I fully believe Miorine would be successful as CEO of Twitter. Though I think Makima would be a hilarious CEO of Twitter. Now that I think about it… how would a Social Media Devil manifest itself in Chainsaw Man‘s world?

[7] One should do a spin-off where Mob goes off into a fantasy isekai world after being hit by a truck where he lives a lifetime but it occurs in only like five seconds in his world’s time kinda like Picard in Star Trek The Next Generation’s episode The Inner Light. That’s a long, confusing sentence that I just wrote, and I don’t want to edit it.

[8] Maybe MaiGeass-like to refer to a type of anime like SoulsBorne-like or Metroidvania-like for games?

[9] I guess it reflects real life. Deadliest weapon in Japan according to anime? A truck. Deadliest weapon in 2022 eastern Europe? A truck.

[10] Has Madoka ruined the magical girl genre? What happened to my aerial duels from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (2004) and A’s (2005)? When in doubt, blame Shinbo. Andohbytheway, I originally asked this like six years ago, and it’s still true.

4 Responses to “what i think about the fall 2022 season”

  1. Ah yes! So many comparisons ring true! I didn’t think to relate Eminence with Mai Otome!

    I’d say Eminence and Bocchi are two of the sleeper hits this season, they are such a joy to watch.

    After 3 seasons I finally dropped Mob, at the first alien episode. To me it jumped the shark, though I appreciate that I got to witness the amazing fight of the previous ark.

    I AM ATOMIC is probably THE sentence of 2022 imo.

  2. Akiba Maid Sensou was a show just made for me, and you saying that you would’ve enjoyed it in your 2005-2010 timeframe made me realize that that’s how long I’ve been reading this blog……. actually this is the only blog I still have bookmarked…….
    That being said, Maid Sensou was my #1 for sure because I’ll never get bored of that dumb ****. But everything else listed here was great too, minus Mob.

  3. Crazy how your blog is still going after 20 years. Good to see you’re doing well.
    derailedbydarry, or derailed by life?!

  4. But now cool is Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End?

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