10 Best Japanese Anime Series of 2023 No True Fan Can Miss

10 Best Japanese Anime Series of 2023 No True Fan Can Miss
Image credit: Netflix, Crunchyroll, Aniplex of America, Sentai Filmworks, Disney Platform Distribution

It was probably the best year for anime in the last decade.

As 2023 draws to a close, it's time to sum up the anime results. This year turned out to be unexpectedly rich with outstanding titles in almost every genre, from comedy to sci-fi.

To help you know what to look for, we have compiled a list of the ten most impressive anime series.

1. The Apothecary Diaries

Maomao helps her father in the pharmacy and loves to experiment on herself, testing the effects of poisons and medicines. One day, she is kidnapped and sold as a maid to the imperial palace. Soon her medical skills become known and the girl is assigned to check the food of one of the emperor's concubines for poison.

The Apothecary Diaries is a medical detective story in the spirit of House, M. D. set in medieval China. Maomao not only checks the food, but also helps the court physician treat various diseases.

2. Pluto

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In the future, robots live on equal terms with humans: they have families, get jobs, and can even adopt children. Among them are seven of the most powerful machines, which are considered weapons of mass destruction. Suddenly, someone starts destroying these robots. Robot detective Gesicht begins the search for the criminal.

This is the adaptation of Naoki Urasawa's manga. Pluto is an anime that has been awaited for more than ten years – the first news about the production appeared back in 2010.

3. Tomo-Chan Is a Girl!

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Tomo has been practicing karate since childhood, which made her stronger than many of her peers. Including her best friend Junichiro, with whom she is secretly in love. But Junichiro doesn't see her as a romantic interest – and Tomo wants to change that.

This is the funniest anime comedy of the year so far, where we watch how the girl tries her best to please her crush. The guy falls for her tricks, but tries not to reveal himself – otherwise he will destroy their old friendship.

4. Nier: Automata Ver1.1a

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In the year 5012, an alien race arrived on Earth and took over the entire planet. Humans moved to the Moon and spent seven thousand years searching for ways to return, while androids fought the invaders. As a result, humanity created an army of super-powerful battle androids called YoRHa and tasked them with getting rid of the invaders once and for all.

The main thing is to get through the first episode – there is a lot of action but little story. But then there is a fascinating story unfolding, partly reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell: mankind is confronted with the main question – can a machine not only gain intelligence, but also a soul?

5. Level 1 Demon Lord and One Room Hero

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The hero Max and his friends defeated the Demon Lord and his army, but the villain promised that he would return to take revenge. And just ten years later, the Demon Lord has risen.

In the meantime, Max has gone from being the savior of humanity to being an ordinary guy: he drinks beer in the morning and keeps the legendary sword in a pile of garbage. The Demon is not satisfied with the hero's condition. He moves in with Max in order to restore him to his former power.

6. Mashle: Magic and Muscles

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The world is ruled by magic, and people who do not possess it are killed. The boy Mash manages to survive even though he has no magical powers at all. He lives secretly in the forest with his adoptive father, training his muscles. One day, the others will learn of his existence. Then Mash must enter the magic school to change the world order.

Mashle is basically a wild mix of Harry Potter and One-Punch Man. The anime pokes fun at the clichés of the main wizard franchise and introduces an all-powerful character who solves problems only with his muscles.

7. Heavenly Delusion

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Kiruko lives in a post-apocalyptic world full of creepy monsters. She agrees to help the boy Maru reach a mysterious place called Heaven. Meanwhile, in Heaven, teenager Tokio dreams of finding out what lies on the other side of the high walls.

This is one of the most intriguing anime of 2023 – the creators are not in a hurry to reveal all the secrets. You won't know right away where the monsters come from, what Heaven is, or why Maru and Tokio look like twins. But after each episode, you will want to tune in to the next one.

8. Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku

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The Tokugawa Shogun 's scouts discover a mysterious island from which no one returns alive. There are rumors that the elixir of immortality can be found there. In an attempt to explore this place, the Shogun decides to send Japan's most dangerous criminals to the island.

Hell's Paradise is a story from the Dark Trio: three titles that were published in 2018 in the most popular manga magazine, Shonen Jump. These works are united by cruelty and grotesque depictions of monsters. Two manga from the Dark Trio have already received extremely popular anime adaptations – Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man. Now you see why this anime is undoubtedly a must watch?

9. Buddy Daddies

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The main characters Kazuki and Rei are roommates… and assassins. During one of their missions, the killers eliminate the mafia boss, leaving his four-year-old daughter, Miri, with no parents. The two killers raise the girl themselves, hiding their gruesome work from her.

Studio P.A.Works was inspired by the success of last year's Spy x Family and tried to make its answer to the anime. There is also a sweet little girl and guardians with a dark secret, and a bright action with deep family drama.

10. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End

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The main character is an eternally young elven sorceress who finds it difficult to understand that human life is limited to several decades. The situation changes when she returns to the city after 50 years and sees how much her companions have changed: they have grown old, and lost their strength. The loss of her companions makes Frieren want to get to know people better.

Frieren is the best fantasy anime of the year and possibly the best anime series of 2023 in general. The fantasy world only makes the main line of the show a little brighter – a story about the value of a short human life.