[Multimedia] Upcoming animes in 2022



Attack On Titan’s protagonist, Eren Jaeger, in an “Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2” key visual. Photo courtesy of MAPPA Studios.

Ashley LoFurno and Julianne LoFurno

Fruits Basket: Prelude

Anime fans across the globe are ecstatic with the announcement of “Fruits Basket: Prelude,” a prequel movie to the slice-of-life romance series “Fruits Basket,” written by Natsuki Takaya. As the anime wrapped up its third season in 2021, the remaining chapters from the manga that were not included in the series will be covered in the upcoming movie.

The main storyline of the anime follows the recently orphaned Tohru Honda as she is welcomed into the home of Shigure Sohma, along with her classmates Yuki Sohma and Kyo Sohma, after living in a tent. Shortly after settling into her new home, Tohru learns that the family she is staying with has a big secret: they transform into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac when embraced by the opposite sex.

Throughout the course of the anime, Tohru helps the Zodiac members of the Sohma Clan bury the mental scars left behind from the Sohma Clan curse and her recently deceased mother, Kyouko. Despite her struggles, Tohru remains optimistic and inspires her new friends to do the same, a trait she learned from her mother.

While the show focuses more on the drama of the Sohma family, the movie also travels back in time and concentrates on the relationship of Tohru’s parents, Kyouko and Natsuya. Those who have seen “Fruits Basket” know of Kyouko’s past as a delinquent, but the movie will reveal how she turned her life around and became Tohru’s biggest inspiration.

The movie trailer reveals that the couple derived from a teacher-student relationship, and the large age gap between the two individuals, may answer speculations of the lack of inclusion Tohru’s parents received in the anime. The reasoning behind Takaya’s choice for including a controversial relationship could be due to a difference in societal standards when the manga was written in 1998.

Nonetheless, fans of the anime will receive a clearer picture of Tohru’s parents and their relationship through the prequel, which is set to be released in Japan on Feb. 18. Although there have been no official announcements for the movie’s arrival in the states, American viewers can expect showings to begin in the first half of this year. This movie is a must-watch for veteran anime viewers, and those interested in the anime can catch up before the movie’s premiere through multiple streaming platforms, including Hulu, Funimation and Crunchyroll.

Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part Two

Around the world, anime fanatics are excited to watch the highly-anticipated release of “Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part Two.” This will contain the final installment of episodes in the action anime series “Attack on Titan,” written by Hajime Isayama.

The plot of the anime follows Eren Jaeger and his two childhood friends who live in a town surrounded by large walls due to the looming threat of huge, man-eating monsters called titans. After the titans break into their hometown, the three join the military and begin working toward becoming titan-slaying soldiers and discovering the truth of their world.

In the four existing seasons, viewers are introduced to captivating characters and storylines, unpredictable plot-twists and action-packed scenes that keep them engaged. It is a fan-favorite anime not only for its outstanding story-telling, but its brilliant foreshadowing throughout the plot.

More episodes to the fourth season elicits anticipation from anime watchers globally, as this installment of the series is said to feature the biggest plotline of the story yet. Fans are expecting the intensity and insanity of the upcoming season to be done justice by Studio MAPPA, the studio that animates the anime, and the talented cast of voice actors.

On Sunday, Jan. 9, the first episode of “Attack on Titan: Final Season Part 2” aired, starting where the first part of season four left off. The excitement for the new episode was felt all over social media, as the title of the series and names of characters began trending on popular social media platforms, such as Twitter.

In the aftermath of the first episode, popular conversation topics among fans featured a collective statement of awe towards the series’ new opening and closing theme. The opening theme features a song that sets the intense tone of the fourth season, paired perfectly with powerful visuals to pull it all together.

The closing theme of the first episode contains breathtaking imagery with a gorgeous color palette, completed with a gentle song that contrasts the opening’s theme. Fans discussed the deeper meaning behind the song and the symbolism in certain sequences, impressed with the studio’s execution of the anime’s opening and closing.

It’s clear that “Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part Two” is not just one of the most anticipated animes of the winter season, but of 2022 overall, especially as fans await the conclusion of the series. With only 12 episodes expected, a new episode with subtitles is released every Sunday at 3:45 p.m. EST and can be watched on the streaming sites Funimation, Crunchyroll and Hulu. This anime has proven itself time and time again with its outstanding plot, amazing action scenes and detailed animation, making it a must-watch for the 2022 anime season.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Movie

About one year after the first season of “Jujutsu Kaisen” aired, Gege Akutami released “Jujutsu Kaisen 0,” a prequel to the series in the form of a movie.

The story follows teenage protagonist Yuji Itadori who accidentally becomes the vessel of an extremely dangerous cursed spirit, Sukuna, when he accidentally eats his severed finger. After discovering the boy has a tolerance to the spirit’s power, a plan is made to have Itadori eat as many of Sukuna’s fingers as possible to kill him, ultimately defeating Sukuna once and for all. In the meantime, he is taken in by his mentor Gojo Satoru and brought to Tokyo Jujutsu High to become a jujutsu sorcerer.

In the first season, viewers watched Itadori become a jujutsu sorcerer alongside other students, like Nobara Kugisaki and Megumi Fushiguro, and saw how the classmates defeated evil spirits using their cursed techniques–jujutsu sorcerer fighting styles. Throughout the season, the three work towards climbing the ranks in the jujutsu sorcery world.

While the anime focuses on the story of Itadori, the movie will be set one year before season one and will cover the story of Yuuta Okkotsu, the haunted boy. After his childhood friend Rika died in a car accident, she has stuck to his side as a monstrous ghost who violently protects him.

Unable to control the behavior of Rika, Yuuta grows apprehensive of jujutsu sorcerers and is told by Gojo to join Jujutsu High School so he can learn how to control Rika and use her to help others. Alongside his new peers, Maki Zenin, Toge Inumaki and Panda, Yuuta begins to grow comfortable with his powers and learns about the dark dangers that lurk in the jujutsu world.

The movie was released on Dec. 24, 2021, in Japan. It is confirmed to release in February 2022 in North America. The official release date has yet to be announced, but many fans are still ecstatic to see this film come to theaters near them after seeing how well the “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” movie did in the Japanese box office. With all that being said, now is the perfect time to watch the 24-episode first season before the movie premieres overseas.

My Hero Academia Season 6

“My Hero Academia” is a popular action anime that follows the main protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, who dreams of becoming the world’s top superhero. The story takes place in a universe where the majority of humans have developed unique quirks, or super powers. Despite not being gifted with a quirk initially, Midoriya is determined to become a superhero.

Midoriya is then blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime; he is offered to be mentored by the top hero in the world, All-Might, who helps him get into a high-ranking hero school. Amidst the action from a multitude of fight scenes, fans watch as Midoriya grows as a hero while making new friends along the way.

So far, “My Hero Academia” has released five seasons. The fifth season had a recent airing, releasing new episodes every week with the first premeiring on Thursday, Mar. 27, 2021 through Saturday, Sep. 25, 2021. The season’s end left the stage open for a sixth season, which was announced by the anime’s producer, Bones Animation Studio, shortly after its release.

Although there is currently no official release date for the sixth season in 2022, it is slated to arrive sometime during the fall. The season will continue to revolve around Midoriya, who has grown into a well-trained hero with a blossoming quirk. Other main characters, like Midoriya’s classmate Katsuki Bakugou, who can create explosions through the palms of his hands, and Ochako Uraraka, who can release gravity from any object, will also remain in the anime’s storyline.

The main focus of the season will be a continuation of the fight between the heroes and the “League of Villains,” a group of villainous superhumans led by Tomura Shigaraki. The sixth season is expected to include a major fight between the two groups, causing major devastation for both sides. Fans keeping up with the manga, written by Kohei Hirkoshi, highly anticipate the coming season to include adaptations of the manga that shift from the show’s high-spirited attitude to a more serious tone.

Currently, there are 113 episodes included in the first five seasons. There is not a confirmed episode count, but the sixth season will include chapter 253 to chapter 306 from the manga, covering the entirety of the “Paranormal Liberation War” arc. The previous seasons can be viewed on Funimation and Hulu in both English and Japanese.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 3

The hilarious romantic-comedy “Kaguya-sama: Love is War,” written by Aka Akasaka, has officially announced its third season, about one year after the second season’s release, and fans could not be happier. With the new season officially being titled “Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic-,” viewers are expecting more romantic feelings to develop between the two main characters as the name suggests.

The plot follows Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, the student council president and vice president at their prestigious high school Suchiin Academy. The pair are the two smartest people in the school, so when they discover that they have feelings for one another, they see it as a mental competition to get the other person to confess first. But getting the other to confess is not as simple as it seems, as their world is filled with many obstacles, like the other council members, Chika Fujiwara and Yu Ishigami, who are always causing trouble for the duo’s confession competition whether they’re aware of it or not.

The anime also features a narrator that adds humorous commentary to the ridiculous situations that ensue in the student council room. The narrator even announces the winner of the day’s events or mental brawl. The characters add to the story’s comedy as well due to their varying personalities and upbringings, allowing funny situations to ensue.

So far, there are 24 episodes in the first two seasons with each episode being divided in three or four different segments. The episode count for season three is not yet confirmed, but the approximate release date is set for this April, making fans excited worldwide. When it was announced that the series was continuing, a nine-minute long preview was released too, featuring a whole entire episode segment. “Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic-” and the previous seasons of the show can be watched on Crunchyroll or Funimation, so now is a perfect opportunity to catch up and watch the series before the next installment of the anime is released.