Winter Season Anime 2023: What was Solid and What Was on Thin Ice?

Though the Winter chill is still lingering in the air and the Spring blooms have yet to even begin to peek out from their long seasonal nap, the Winter season of anime is already starting to wind down. In many anime series we are just one or two episodes away from the finale of the season. And in some, the villain has already been dispatched! In my opinion, last Fall’s seasonal anime was a bit better than this Winter’s anime has been, yet there were certainly quite a few surprisingly good anime this season. I think that was kind of the theme for the anime this Winter. I was surprised by how many of the anime series that I had assumed wouldn’t be that good, but turned out to be pretty great. And how many anime I thought would be awesome, but the anime ended up falling kind of flat. From beautiful fairies with some serious sweet tooths, to best friend assassins with adorable tots in tow, this season was filled with the unexpected!

Sugar Apple Fairy Tale

If you missed this one, this is a fantasy anime about the daughter of a famous candy maker that wants to follow in her late mother’s footsteps by winning a candy making competition in the capital. But to get to the competition she needs to travel across the continent along a very dangerous highway. To protect her along the trip, she buys a warrior fairy. Humans and fairies don’t exactly have a friendly relationship in this world, due to the humans enslaving the fairies. So needless to say the “guard” she found isn’t really thrilled to be tagging along for the ride.

From the promotional images, to the trailers, to the character designs, Sugar Apple Fairy Tale was a feast for the eyes! Filled to the brim with pastel colors and very pretty characters, it really was a visually appealing anime. This was the number one anime I couldn’t wait to see this season. It was a fairy tale with candy artists, and fairies, and magic. It was perfect, how could I ask for more? And the first episode wasn’t too bad. There were a few hiccups, but other than that, the story started out pretty good. Unfortunately, as the episodes plodded along, the story become more and more cliche and the characters didn’t seem fully developed. I only made it to episode six before I decided to drop it.

Buddy Daddies

In case you skipped this one, this anime is about two assassin roommates that happen to find a little girl while they were on a job. After their mission is complete, they quickly learn that returning this little girl to her parents is a lot more complicated than they had expected. Though these two hit men were certainly reluctant to keep Miri around, she might be the exact person they needed in there lives!

I did not have high expectations for this series. Two assassins that somehow end up with a adorable preschooler, and go on wacky adventures to complete their missions while trying to wrangle an unknowing and precocious little kid. It sounds a bit like SpyXFamily doesn’t it? I’m not even sure why, but I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and at least try one episode. And I’m so glad I did! This was my favorite series this season. It was light hearted, very funny, and completely not like SpyXFamily. I started watching the first episode fully expecting that I would be comparing SpyXFamily to Buddy Daddies and of course SpyXFamily would come out on top. Yet, as I watched more and more, I found that there really wasn’t anything to compare to, the two series are that different.

Technoroid Over Mind

Not even sure what this one was about? Technoroid Over Mind is an anime set in the near-ish future and is about a group of androids that share a house together. Unfortunately, these robots haven’t been paying their bills at all and just kind of mooching off of societal neglect. Well, after a whole year of enjoying free electricity, the time has finally come for them to pay up! But they don’t have any money and don’t have anyway to make money. And if they lose a way to recharge their batteries they will have to shut down. So they get this idea to become an idol group and compete in a singing competition for money.

I wasn’t really sure if I would like this one, but I was pleasantly surprised. Though the story did start out a little dull and predictable, it continued to develop into a pretty interesting anime series. There’s just one little thing that I’m still kind of confused about. Why are they idols? Why is the idol story line in this anime? The majority of the anime is an interesting mystery about this group of androids that no one know where the came from or why they are so different from all the other robots. There’s a police investigative robot that’s suspicious of them and secretly spies on them. There’s a white haired guy that always seems to pop up whenever they need help. And a little boy that has a locked message and a odd connection to the androids. This is more than enough of a story for the whole anime, so what’s the point of the idol story line? I mean, I like the songs, I just don’t understand why it was added in.

Tomo Chan is a Girl

Though I don’t think anyone missed this anime, if you happened to need a reminder, Tomo Chan is a Girl is about a very strong, energetic, and athletic girl named Tomo. She has a huge crush on her childhood friend, but he totally doesn’t see her as a girl at all. Poor Tomo even tries to confess her feelings to him, but he totally thinks she’s just talking about how they are “Bro’s”. The guy she has a crush on is so hilariously oblivious to her advances!

This was no surprise at all. The first episode started out strong, and I have completely enjoyed every single episode since then. It is definitely the funniest anime of the season, and the characters are all so likable. Not only have I had so much fun watching this anime, but it also has one of the cutest closing songs. This might be the best song of the season!

Magical Revolution

In case you haven’t picked up this gem yet, the anime Magic Revolution (it actually has a much longer name that I didn’t want to type out) is about a princess (Princess Anisphia) who can’t use magic in a magic using world. To get around her little problem and to peruse her dream of flying, Anisphia develops magical items for her to use. As a child Anisphia happen to see a magical genius (Euphyllia) practicing her skills in a secluded garden and the princess immediately became a huge fan of Euphyllia.

I had so many expectations for this anime, and as I watched episode after episode, I kept developing different plot lines I thought the anime would follow. And one expectation after another this anime always seem to go in a different direction and do the unexpected. Characters that I thought were going to be the villain, ended up being victims themselves. The reactions and weight of everything that happens in the story were so much deeper than I had anticipated. And indomitable heroes, where visibly not okay. This anime was so much more intense than I thought it would be, and I loved every bit of it!

Ice Guy and his Cool Female Colleague

This anime is about the son of a Yuki Onna (snow woman) that is quite nervous about his new job and gets stuck in a block of his own ice! Thankfully, a very nice lady stops by and offers him some of her tea and a little snack, and he relaxes enough for his ice to crack and free himself. Later that day he finds that the nice lady is actually his new coworker. She’s a cool, logical, stoic type of lady and he is quite smitten with her.

This anime was sweet at first, but quickly became kind of dull. I only watched four episodes. There was just too much great anime to compete with and this one didn’t really have a chance. I might pick it up again later.