After two years of calendar shifts, 2022’s anime slate is firming up and it’s chock-full of titles we’ve been anticipating for a while. This year’s winter season has already started strong, with Attack on Titan finally wrapping up and the follow-up season of Demon Slayer airing after last year’s box office win with Mugen Train, and more heavy hitters are on the way. Gojo Satoru simps can look forward to the Jujutsu Kaisen movie, Dragon Ball diehards will get a new movie, and the long-awaited adaptation of Chainsaw Man will drop, along with tons of other excellent-looking titles. These are the anime TV series and movies we’re most excited to see in 2022-check back as we’ll be updating this frequently throughout the year.
The series adaptation of Gege Akutami’s manga Jujutsu Kaisen proved itself a smash hit last year, and MAPPA is expanding on the world of jujutsu sorcerers with the highly anticipated feature film adaptation of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (which has already had the second biggest opening in Japanese box office history, behind Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie:Mugen Train). A prequel miniseries unpacking events at Jujutsu High School before protagonist Yuji Itadori showed up, it focuses on Yuka Okkotsu, who suffers from a curse from his late girlfriend. Yuka meets the sorcerer Gojo Satoru, and joins him in order to learn to control the curse. -Kambole Campbell (Watch the trailer)
86 finale (March 19)
Toshimasa Ishii’s tragic military science fiction series 86 was one of our favorite new shows of 2021. The second half of the anime explored new territory under threat by the series antagonist, the Legion, with the Spearhead squadron sent on a dangerous mission to fend them off-but due to some major production delays, the conclusion of the season is still a little ways off. The final two episodes were pushed back to March 12 and 19. -KC
Bubble (April 28)
One day bubbles rained down on Tokyo, breaking the laws of gravity, and created a sunken environment cut off from the rest of the world where bands of orphaned young people bounce around doing sick parkour moves in team battles. Wit Studio has pulled together an all-star team-directed by Tetsuo Araki (Attack on Titan), written by Gen Urobuchi (Puella Magi Madoka Magica), character designs by Takeshi Obata (Death Note), a score written by Hiroyuki Sawano (Promare)-for this gorgeous-looking Netflix spectacle. -Leanne Butkovic (Watch the trailer)
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War -Ultra Romantic- (April 2022)
War! What is it good for? In this case, romantic comedy. This battle of the sexes between star pupils Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya continues to escalate to absurd, hilarious levels with the show’s third season. But the series is capable of earnest romance too, landing on genuinely sweet moments between crushes. But in all respects, Love Is War is known for the animators’ continual overachieving, every sketch going the extra mile in its personalization of these characters-even going as far as adapting an entire chapter as a trailer for the upcoming season. -KC (Watch the trailer)
Komi Can’t Communicate, Part 2 (April 2022)
Despite her immense popularity, ‘refined beauty’ and stoic appearance, Shouko Komi suffers from extreme social anxiety and struggles to truly get along with her classmates. Hitohito Tadano, an ‘average’ boy by his own description, is the first to realize Komi’s difficulty with a communication disorder, and resolves to help her with her goal of making 100 friends. The first half of the coming-of-age romantic comedy series was released weekly on Netflix from October, with the second half on the way in April. -KC (Watch the announcement)
Spy X Family (April 2022)
Taking place in a faux-European nation in the midst of a cold war, a spy must build a make-believe family as cover in order to get closer to his target. But little does he know, his fake wife is an assassin who also needs the sham marriage as cover, and their adoptive daughter is a telepath who knows both of their secrets. A whole lot of delightful mayhem ensues. Tatsuya Endo’s hit Shonen Jump series is receiving an adaptation from Wit Studio and Cloverworks, directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi (Hunter X Hunter, Dororo). -KC (Watch the trailer)
Blue Lock (June 2022)
The “I’m going to become the best athlete in Japan” format of sports anime meets a sci-fi twist in this adaptation of the manga written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura. Set in 2018, the Japanese national soccer team misses their chance to qualify for the World Cup and sets a plan in motion to build the team to superstardom. They hire a mysterious coach who insists on a greuling training program called Blue Lock, utilizing AI competitors to find the best striker to lead the country to victory in the 2022 World Cup. –LB (Watch the trailer)
My Hero Academia, Season 6 (June 2022)
Born without any special abilities in a world where superpowers are commonplace, the young Izuku Midoriya dreams of becoming a superhero anyway. Eventually bestowed powers by his childhood hero All-Might, Midoriya enrols in the UA Academy to train as a superhero. With the balance of power having dramatically shifted in the show’s most recent season, the superhero society of My Hero Academia has become a powder keg, the stage set for all-out war between heroes and villains. -KC (Watch the trailer)
Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer (July 2022)
An anime of Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, a funny but surprisingly dark subversion of heroic prophecy, has been a long-time coming. Yuuhi Amamiya is an ordinary but misanthropic student before a talking lizard approaches him, and tells him that he’s actually a ‘Beast knight’ destined to rescue a princess, and prevent an evil mage from destroying the world with a giant mallet. But when Yuuhi meets the Princess Samidare Asahina, she tells him her intent to save the world so she can destroy the world herself and Yuuhi decides to help. The anime is set to be directed by Nobuaki Nakanishi (Sumomomo Momomo). -KC
Kakegurui Twin (August 2022)
Kakegurui, Netflix’s horniest anime that doesn’t actually feature any sex, seems to have been shelved after two seasons inside the high-stakes betting world of Hyakkaou Private Academy, a high school where the social hierarchy is dictated by gambling. However, MAPPA will adapt its spinoff manga Kakegurui Twin into a new Netflix series that puts supporting character Mary Saotome into the lead role, following her rise at the school one year before the utter freak Yumeko Jabami arrives at the start of Kakegurui. –LB
One Piece: Red (August 6)
The seafaring adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his band of Straw Hat Pirates are still going strong, with One Piece surpassing its 1,000th episode in late 2021. But their journey will take a little detour with One Piece: Red, directed by Gorō Taniguchi and series creator Eiichiro Oda heavily involved. It’s still unclear what exactly this upcoming film will be about, but going by the teaser, it seems like it will leap several beats into the past to follow Shanks, Luffy’s pirate mentor, and will allegedly introduce a new female lead. -LB (Watch the teaser)
Chainsaw Man (Summer 2022)
The violent and darkly comic hit 2018 manga Chainsaw Man, written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto, is finally set for a highly anticipated adaptation by animation studio MAPPA. In a world where Devils, born from human fears, regularly terrorize the population, a young depressed man named Denji attempts to pay back his deceased father’s debt to the yakuza by working as a devil hunter. When he fuses with the benevolent chainsaw devil named Pochita, Denji becomes a human-devil hybrid named Chainsaw Man, working for the government to kill devils in order to keep himself from being hunted, and impress his crush. The first look at the series gives us a good feeling that this adaptation will be absolutely inspired. -KC (Watch the trailer)
Inu-Oh (Summer 2022)
His final film with Science SARU, the animation studio he co-founded, director Masaaki Yuasa’s Inu-Oh is looking to be one of the director’s biggest and boldest yet. A self-described “rock opera” set in 14th century Japan, this fictionalized history centers on the friendship between the biwa player Tomona and the eponymous dancer Inu-Oh. Its wild, anachronistic music and Yuasa’s freeform animation imagine what it might be like if pop stars existed in the time of Noh theatre. -KC (Watch the trailer)
Golden Kamuy, Season 4 (October 2022)
Everyone’s favurite treasure hunt and historical cooking show Golden Kamuy is set to return for its fourth season this year. Following the quest of Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto and his partner Asirpa, an Ainu huntress, the show combines frequently brutal action with surprising absurdist comedy, and a wealth of detailed knowledge about Hokkaido (especially when it comes to food) during a time of great change-one that brought about the decimation of Japan’s indigenous Ainu population. -KC
To Your Eternity, Season 2 (October 2022)
To Your Eternity continues its saga of Fushi, a being with the strange power to replicate the appearance and skills of those around them. As he journeys across the planet in search of purpose, he comes into contact with the ‘Nokkers,’ plant-like creatures that can steal Fushi’s different forms and his memories of the people who inspired them. Following up the persistent tragedies of the show’s first season, the second season of To Your Eternity sees Fushi continue his search for a form that will help him defeat the Nokkers. -KC
Uzumaki (October 2022)
Horror writer/illustrator/cat lover Junji Ito’s late ’90s manga series Uzumaki has been adapted into various video games, a live-action film, and now a four-episode anime series directed by Hiroshi Nagahama (Mushi-shi) for Toonami and Adult Swim, pushed back from last year. The story follows a group of teens living in a town beset by dark spirits, causing the inhabitants to obsess over spirals in increasingly gruesome and deadly ways. -LB (Watch the teaser)
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (TBA 2022)
Netflix picked up this anime spinoff of the popular but messy 2020 video game Cyberpunk 2077, wherein one can play as Keanu Reeves’ war vet-turned-post-apocalyptic rock star Johnny Silverhand. Produced by Studio Trigger (Promare, Kill la Kill), the anime will not, unfortunately, bring Reeves back, but will instead feature a whole new cast and story set inside the same world of Night City. –LB (Watch the announcement)
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (TBA 2022)
The next Dragon Ball theatrical feature after the white-knuckle two hours of the awesome Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero seems to be moving away from the interplanetary Saiyan drama of the previous film and back toward (slightly) more Earth-bound thrills. It sees the return of the Red Ribbon Army, an evil organization that Goku defeated in the past, now reformed and seeking vengeance. Notably, Super Hero will be the first Dragon Ball feature to be mostly computer-animated. -KC (Watch the trailer)
Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun (TBA 2022)
Made in Abyss, the deceptively horrific anime lurking under a cute exterior, is returning for a second season five years after its first batch of 13 episodes and three films traumatized viewers. Officially subtitled The Golden City of the Scorching Sun, the series will pick up with Riko’s perilous journey into the Sixth Layer of the unmapped pit/cave network the Abyss to find her mother, who’s been presumed dead. -LB (Watch the trailer)
Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.
What is special about the year of the Rabbit?
As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.
What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?
There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.
New South Wales
Darling Harbour Fireworks When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.
Dragon Boat Races When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.
Lion Dances When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.
Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.
Auntie Philter When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.
Lunar New Year Festival When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.
BriAsia Festival When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.
Chinatown Adelaide Street Party When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
Crown Perth When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.