Off the back of 2023, which bore witness to an incredible year of anime including projects like "Suzume," "The Boy and the Heron," season 2 "Jujutsu Kaisen," and so much more, 2024 still proves to be just as (if not even more) inviting.
While this year isn’t exactly jam packed full of awesome movie titles, as all but a mere two seem that worthwhile ("Code Geas: Roze of the Recapture" and "Detective Conan"), there are a plethora of anime series to get excited for, several of which are returning titles.
Fans of "Bleach," "My Hero Academia," and "That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime" (to name only a few) are surely eating good this year, but most tantalizing for me is all of the brand-new, original anime content hitting streamers throughout 2024.
The year is stacked with interesting titles, bringing some of the most beloved manga to life in extraordinary ways. It’s the year of the dragon, after all, so you might expect 2024 to bring on the heat. And yet, these 9 options among the most exciting series this year may prove to invite a whole new level of warmth for anime heads and lovers of animation writ large.
Breakout hit “Solo Leveling,” which has aired 2 of its episodes thus far, already proves itself to be at the top of its class. The action fantasy story follows Sung Jinwoo after being gifted several powers from the System, an unidentified program that sees potential in the weak E-Rank hunter. His newfound abilities allow him to literally level up at an unending rate, taking over those he defeats and turning them into “shadows,” or minions.
Jinwoo’s quest sees him barreling through the world in an attempt to find the reason for his new abilities, all while keeping himself in the middle of an ongoing war between the Monarchs and Rulers. The series is already a smash hit, first airing on Crunchyroll this past January 6th with a spin-off called “Solo Leveling: Ragnarok” set to premier in 2024, as well.
First unveiled in 2019 and scheduled for debut in 2020, Adult Swim's highly anticipated adaptation of one of manga’s most terrifying stories may finally come to fruition this 2024. “Uzumaki,” which loosely translates to “spiral” or “whirlpool,” pits viewers into the Japanese town of Kurouzu-cho, wherein strange and supernatural evils are beginning to take shape — literally in the form of crude vortexes.
Based on Junji Ito’s seminal work of the same name, “Uzumaki” might be the terrifying answer to anime horror fans have longed for, as many claim not only is anime horror itself impossible to accurately portray but so too are Ito’s imaginations. After several years of delays, 2024 might finally be the year of the spiral after all and could spell a burgeoning new age of well-adapted psychological horror in anime.
What happens when a believer of aliens meets up with a believer in ghosts and their beliefs clash? Well, “Dandadan,” of course! This exciting Shonen, which was first published in 2021, takes viewers on an absurd quest with high school students Momo Ayase and Ken Takakura in the driver seats.
While Momo doesn’t believe in aliens but does believe in ghosts, and Ken the opposite, the pair devise a strategy to prove the other wrong in a twisted romantic comedy filled with supernatural delights and exciting twists that will keep viewers guessing to the very end. The anime is set to officially premiere this October and may well be 2024’s most anticipated entry yet.
"Delicious in Dungeon"
With most anime featuring wild adventures and incredible action sequences, "Delicious in Dungeon" is a world of difference. The anime adaptation of Ryoku Kui's manga takes well-drawn and tantalizing animated cooking as seen in Studio Ghibli movies to a whole new level. Even Polygon's Joshua Rivera agrees, citing Netflix's brand new anime as "Chef's Table meets Baldur's Gate."
The narrative of "Delicious in Dungeon" sees a group of adventurers led by the knight Laios on a quest to save his lost sister. Along the way, the group cherish the moments of feasting on delectable findings, proving that even in the darkest and most cursed lands there's always something tasty to brighten up the day. "Delicious in Dungeon" is the perfect anime for Baldur's Gate 3 fans who may just want a bit more to go with their Chultan Fireswill.
"Kaiju No. 8"
Flipping the mech genre on its head is "Kaiju No. 8," a wholly original sci-fi anime that takes similar ideas expressed in works like "Godzilla Minus One" and molds them into a fascinating new work of fiction. The plot revolves around childhood friends Kafka Hibino and Mina Ashiro, both of whom make a vow to join the world's Defense Force to fight against kaiju following the destruction of their home town.
Unfortunately, after ingesting a piece of a fallen kaiju, Hibino gains the ability to transform into one a la "Attack on Titan." Thus, Hibino must now circumnavigate the Defense Force with a secret that could upend everything he's worked for, all while keeping a childhood promise intact. "Kaiju No. 8" is set to premiere in April on Crunchyroll and is already gearing up to be one of 2024's anime smash hits.
Despite being known most primarily for the creation of “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball Z,” Akira Toriyama does have several other works that have garnered less outward fame, most notably in this case “Sand Land.” The adventure comedy was first published in 2000 and lasted all but a mere 1 volume — though that hasn’t stopped Bandai Namco from releasing not only an upcoming RPG but also an anime following the miscreants of a water-less world.
“Sand Land’s” story is led by a spikey pink-haired demon called Beezlebub, more commonly referred to as “Prince,” who has learned to live quaintly with humans in a world wrought by endless war and natural disasters. Beezlebub and his ragtag group of survivors take on a mission of a lifetime in an attempt to rid the king of his monopoly on water in this hilarious and heartfelt narrative “Dragon Ball” fans will adore.
For all the "Gundam" fans, "Metallic Rogue" is the perfect mecha action series to suit up with this 2024. The series is led by the android Rouge Redstar, who must kill all of the rebellious androids under the aptly-named Immortal Nine with the help of her trusty friend Naomi Orthmann. The series takes place on Mars, inspired by cyberpunk works like "Blade Runner" and "Ghost in the Shell."
The first episode already aired on January 11th on Fuji TV and sets a new bar for the mech genre pitting two female leads at the head of the action.
Although it's no "True Detective" season 4, Nujima's "Mysterious Disappearances" still proves to be an exciting new entry in anime. The story features a bookstore clerk, named Ogawa Sumireko, who falls into a world of mystery after accepting to aid co-worker Adashino Ren on an investigation into the strange occurrences happening throughout their city of residence.
The seinen is set to pack in a delightful mix of comedy, romance, and intrigue, as Ren's character definitely has a few secrets up his sleeve. The series is set for a debut in April 2024 and is being written and directed by Studio Ghibli cohort Tomomi Mochizuki.
"Jellyfish Can't Swim in the Night"
For the anime music lovers out there, "Jellyfish Can't Swim in the Night" is a perfect escape from the action adventure thrill rides and psychological mind-bends of 2024. The story focuses on an anonymous group of four girl artists, called "Jelee," in the throes of expert creation.
Each of the team members have their own disciplines, with Nanoka aiming to be the top singing talent, Nox the supposed best VTuber, Yoru an illustrator who can't find the will to draw, and Kimura-chan the composer. These characters offer an interesting look into the creative act and bring a new level of understanding to the fictions and art we experience on a daily basis. The Shonen is set for an April 2024 release and could prove to give "Oshi No Ko" a run for its money.
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Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom's Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he's consuming random anime from the 90's, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel.