Winter Anime 2022: Cute Enough to Warm the Heart

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve checked up on seasonal anime. Excluding returning shows I already had interest in, I haven’t watched all that many new shows. Let’s get back on that train, shall we?

There aren’t all that many new shows airing this season. Plenty of returning contenders! Attack on Titan’s final act is going to happen at last, Demon Slayer is back, Don’t Tease Me, Takagi-San is on its third season, Princess Connect! Re:Dive is back, on and on it goes.

Not to say that there aren’t some interesting new shows. Like these five!

My Dress-Up Darling (Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru)

They really went Plus Ultra on making Kitagawa amazing.

Wow. A week into 2022 and we’ve already got best girl. Like, it’s not even a contest, everyone else should just give up.

We’re only an episode in and I already love this show. And no, not just because I’ve fallen madly in love with Kitagawa.

Gojo as a protagonist is already super strong. He’s a wonderfully realistic take on an introvert. He isn’t outright hostile or shaking to return to his den. He’s just quiet, nervous, a bit depressed, and wants to be somewhere else, doing what he loves. Plus, I love the bit where he accidentally goes full Gordon Ramsay on Kitagawa.

Also, this show is gorgeous. Like, it is stupid pretty and the animation is buttery smooth. Just look at Kitagawa’s eyes in any given scene! Tell me you don’t want to stare in there forever! Out of everything this season, this is the show I most want to keep my eyes on!

The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest (Shikkakumon no Saikyou Kenja)

What is this? A fan-ta-sy? What is that? Is this supposed to be an isekai? I think this was supposed to be an isekai, but they forgot to put in the isekai.

This one isn’t especially unique or impressive. It may not be an isekai, but it is certainly a wish-fulfillment power fantasy. Still, it’s kinda cute. It should be a bit of mindless fun for the season.

Look, the number of bangers this season seems limited. I’m gonna take what I can get.

Love of Kill (Koroshi Ai)

My edge alarms are going off!

This whole thing seems like a B movie and I’m kinda into it. Is it gonna be high art that will change how we view anime forever? Fuck no. But it should be a bit of gritty, edgy fun for a while.

Maybe not for a whole season, but we’ll see how long we can go.

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform (Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku)

The artists went wild on this one.

Hold on. Cute anime girl who wants to make one hundred friends? Didn’t ‘Komi-san Can’t Communicate’ do that already last season?

Luckily, the premise is just about all these two have in common. This is a much more realistic take on a teenager entering a new phase of her life. It captures all of the excitement and anxiety of an event like getting into middle school and meeting new people. And all of the embarrassment that comes from a simple mistake. This show legitimately made me nostalgic for when I was a teenager.

I swiftly crushed those feelings because my teen years were not something I want to remember fondly. Or remember at all, for that matter.

Akebi’s gets off to a pretty slow and kinda boring start, but it’s more than made up for by great animation and music. Even if the wholesome cuteness starts to get old, at least it’ll look great throughout.

This is definitely another one to keep an eye on.

Police in a Pod (Hakozume: Kouban Joshi no Gyakushuu)

I was gonna make a racism joke, but considering how bad racism can be in Japan… I’m gonna not do that.

A buddy cop comedy? With cute anime girls? By Madhouse? You have my attention.

Adult comedies don’t happen a lot in anime, so this was a breath of fresh air. Seeing cute anime cops cursing stupid people out beneath their breath is something I never knew I needed until I got it. Plus, it knows when to take something seriously and when to make a joke of it.

Because make no mistake, this is an adult comedy. It tackles some adult stuff. A bit of it is pretty fucked up. It’s a strong blend of dark drama and comedy, which makes it a pretty balanced viewing experience.

Will it stay that strong throughout? Maybe. Maybe not. Only time will tell.


This isn’t a super heavily stacked season. But it does have plenty of note-worthy stuff. From the dumb and fun to the cute and gorgeous to the sequels. There’s not much, but everything here is of some substance.

Even if a good half of it is ironic fun. But hey! Fun is fun.


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