As I’m writing this, I’m just under three hours away from the new year of 2023. The last few years have felt surprisingly long… probably for reasons we can all relate to. For many of us, this year marked the first time we got to travel, visit friends, or just live anything approaching a normal life. But everything still feels a bit out of whack.
Every other day or so, I show up on here to write about something generally anime-related. Maybe it’s new series coming out. Or maybe it’s older series that are getting fresh attention thanks to a Blu-ray release. Maybe I’m just throwing out recommendations based on what people are enjoying. But honestly, it’s helpful to me, too.
I got into anime full-force back in college… which, as of this new year, will have been 24 years ago. I’ve talked before about how the fandom landscape was different back then. Streaming services weren’t going to be a thing for a while. We would share RealMedia files of Neighborhood Story and Revolutionary Girl Utena on our college’s intranet. Fansubs got around via brightly-colored VHS tapes, and then file-sharing services like Limewire.
Seeing the anime landscape evolve has been gratifying. And every year, it changes a little more. 2022 brought even more streaming titles, more translated manga and light novels, and overall greater accessibility. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is the sort of thing we only ever dreamed of back in the day.
Following us into the new year will be a few of my other favorite things about 2022: returning series. With the salvaging of licenses and classic titles on Blu-ray comes renewed interest in the shows I cut my teeth on. The 50th anniversary of Mazinger Z meant I got to talk about one of my absolute favorite shows. The return of Urusei Yatsura and a Lupin the Third prequel made it easier than ever to get new fans interested in classics I love.
Along the same lines, dubs are becoming more accessible. I still can’t believe I’ll get to show Aim for the Top! Gunbuster to a friend in her preferred format. 2022 is the year I got to hear someone I once worked with voicing one of my favorite anime characters, and now I get to share that with my best friend.
Growth and change bring rough patches, and I’m sure the new year will have its share of pitfalls. But it’ll also have tons of great shows to share. And tons of great new creators, many of them inspired by the things I started out watching, making their own art. I can’t wait to see what 2023 will bring in anime, and I can’t wait to keep telling you about it.
I hope the end of 2022 is safe and happy for you.