Things may appear dire this season with too many weak isekai and rom-com anime, but that doesn’t mean there’s no treasure to be found among the trash.
There’s been no shortage of talk this anime season about how weak the Winter 2023 line-up is, specially in comparison to recent seasons that aired fan favorites such as Chainsaw Man, Spy x Family, Bocchi the Rock. and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. With so many derivative isekai shows and uninspiring rom-coms currently dominating the anime series landscape, it might indeed seem like there’s little to cozy up in this winter.
However, while things may appear dire, that doesn’t mean there’s no treasure to be found among the whole trash, nor that there’s no point in trying out anything that may not look like a major hit at the first glance. For audiences who are willing to try something they’ve never heard of or venture outside their usual genres, there are at least a few titles that can help to tide anime fans over until spring.
The Fire Hunter Is The Unique Fantasy Perfect for Non-Isekai Fans:
In the distant future, following a cataclysmic war decades past, humanity has lost the ability to create or even look upon natural fire without bursting into flame only themselves. Now enveloped by dark forests that are home to monstrous Flame Fiends, most of the well known world is made up of small, scattered villages, their occupants eking out a living while attempting to steer clear of some danger. Only professional Fire Hunters have the tools and know-how to battle the Fire Fiends, whose blood is necessary to create a new kind of fire that people can use for. After stumbling across a Fire Hunter who dies in battle, 11-year-old Touko is forced to travel to the capital to return the hunter’s tools but the journey will be a long and exceptionally perilous too.
What The Fire Hunter (Hikari no Ou) lacks in a big budget, it more than makes up for in originality and a detailed worldbuilding. One of the only fantasy titles airing this anime season that isn’t an isekai or light novel-based series, Fire Hunter excels at nearly everything, from creating realistic characters to setting a deliberate yet engaging pace, with very little in the way of awkward exposition or the unnatural dialogue. Here Given how the show steers clear of the stereotypical and often tiresome tropes commonly associated with anime, Fire Hunter is an ideal pick for viewers who are craving something genuinely unique.
Buddy Daddies Is a Comedic ‘Dad Anime’ – with Guns:
Kurusu Kazuki and Suwa Rei both are housemates and a professional assassin duo, their lives dangerous yet stable — until four-year-old Unasaka Miri enters the picture. Arriving in Tokyo completely alone and searching for her unknown father, Miri inadvertently wanders straight into the middle of a hit right job. Realizing too late that her mother was the mistress of a mafia boss and that they have just killed her father, Kazuki and Rei take Miri in with the intent of returning her own home although fate seemingly has other plans for these soon-to-be “papas.”