Fall 2023

It’s a great season as it looks on paper. That said, I’m busy: there are many programs that practically had a guaranteed reach. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the season itself is great. I prefer quality over quantity every day of the week (although it hasn’t made my life as a blogger that much easier, although it does), although of course the best seasons have both. And what about autumn 2023?

Well, it’s good. These “best” examples, like Spring 2007 and Spring 2012, are definitely on a different level. But especially in the context of the anime trend of the past few years, it’s well above average. I have my personal stashes at the top and the calendar is packed with big name sequels, including some I really like. Overall, I don’t think the season ranks as highly in terms of artistic merit as the
‘s hype and commercial firepower, but of course that’s down to personal taste.

One thing that strikes me is the festival or famine nature of the calendar. Usually at this point in a season I have a definite bubble of between three and five series (and sometimes even more). In fact, with that in mind, I decided to start a “Pattern Choice” slot on the show, where LiA subscribers would vote on and pick from these bubble series. But you wouldn’t know that there’s almost no bubble this season — pretty much every
show is a straight yes or no to coverage. As such, you may have to open it up for anything you don’t cover (although this path is fraught with danger).

We’ll see how it all plays out, but fall will no doubt provide at least a few contenders for the year-end top 10 and the top echelons of it. And likely the 2023 roster too, based on the multi-course series that premiered this month. That alone would make it a pretty strong season.

In short, I think the first four episodes of the season have showcased Spy x Family’s weaknesses more than its strengths. If you lean too much on the
Anya Moe, you’re really in trouble.

And the school perspective, which offers strong supporting characters and presents Anya in a better light, has been largely missing so far. I don’t really think S x F but it can be a lot better than it was before. Not that it matters to the show’s tremendous commercial success, which can be attributed to its virtually unmatched demographic appeal.

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