Otaku USA Magazine
We’re Bringing This 2023 Anime Energy into the New Year

This new year, be like Frieren and check that treasure chest. Wait...

2023 is coming to an end this weekend. Ahead lies 2024: a new year full with (we hope!) new opportunities and new goals. Whether you’re writing resolutions, setting goals, or just letting the year happen as it happens, we hope it starts strong. For our part, we’re looking to some of our favorite anime characters from this year to inspire us going forward.

Whether it’s appreciating what we’ve got or looking for more, we’re bringing this energy into 2024. What about you?


Embrace Your Strengths Like Mash Burnedead

Mashle: Magic & Muscles

The super-yoked star of MASHLE: MAGIC & MUSCLES is absolutely one of our inspo characters in the new year — but not because of his sick gains. (Don’t get us wrong, those muscles are impressive.) Ironically, Mash is considered to be at a disadvantage in his magic-fueled world, lacking the ability to sling spells. This makes him effectively subhuman, which he’s made up for by working out to the max. Forget leg day… he never skips any day.

Rather than giving up because he lacks magic, Mash embraces his (literal) strengths and finds new ways to solve problems. New, over-the-top ways. While we won’t be punching through walls anytime soon, we’re taking one major lesson away from this series: even if the rest of the world doesn’t acknowledge our unique strengths, they’re still ours.


Find Joy Like the Cast of Zom 100

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

We’ve all been through it these last few years, to the point that a new year brings both hope and trepidation. And honestly, if Akira and the gang can keep their hopes up amidst a literal zombie apocalypse, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us. That’s the whole point of Zom 100, after all: reevaluating what’s “important” and finding our joy, even if it seems frivolous.

Throughout the series, our stars keep a bucket list of things they want to do before becoming zombies. From surfboard yoga to holy pilgrimages to road tripping, it’s a pretty eclectic list. But as the world crashes and burns around them, they embrace the excitement of building treehouses and enjoying sushi. No matter what 2024 brings, we’re going to try to find those joyful moments wherever possible.


(Try to) Make Connections Like Frieren

Frieren: Beyond Journey's End

The long-lived title character of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End likely approaches each new year with all the enthusiasm one would grant a typical Thursday. But as this slow-burn fantasy rolls on, she’s starting to learn the value of taking things at a somewhat more human pace. And with that more human pace comes more human connections: learning that, even if life isn’t short for her, it’s short for just about everyone around her. And while a decade of odd jobs or adventuring might feel like nothing, that’s enough time for people to get as close as family.

Even though we’re not millennia old, we can sometimes get like Frieren: missing the value of a day, an hour, or even a minute. If an ancient elf can learn the value of an afternoon with friends, maybe we can, too.

Prepare for a new year of anime by catching up to these returning titles!

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.