10 most overhyped 2023 anime (& 10 that exceeded all expectations)

Some of the most controversial anime of 2023 (Image via Sportskeeda)
Some of the most controversial anime of 2023 (Image via Sportskeeda)

This year has proven to be an extraordinary one for anime enthusiasts. The 2023 anime lineup featured both highly popular series and hidden gems. The excitement was palpable with the conclusion of old fan favorites like Attack on Titan and the release of the second season of Jujutsu Kaisen.

On the other hand, newcomers like Oshi No Ko, The Apothecary Diaries, and Heavenly Delusion, have stirred a buzz and captured the attention of anime enthusiasts.

While some sequel series to beloved anime failed to meet expectations, there were also underappreciated treasures that pleasantly surprised audiences. This article highlights 10 of the most hyped series that turned out to be underwhelming and 10 underrated gems that exceeded all expectations.

Disclaimer: This article reflects the writer's opinion and is not ranked in any particular order.


My Hero Academia and 9 other most overhyped 2023 anime

1. My Hero Academia Season 6

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Even though My Hero Academia Season 6 began airing in fall 2022, the second cour extended into the first three months of 2023. This season covers an incredibly thrilling arc, showcasing some of the best showdowns and action sequences in the series.

The fandom's excitement and expectations were high, especially with manga readers aware of the intensity of the upcoming storyline. Anime-only viewers were equally eager after the concluding events in season 5 hinting at a major upcoming battle.

However, despite the high anticipation, the season didn't quite meet the pre-release hype. It's important to note that it wasn't bad. In fact, it was one of the best seasons so far. Nevertheless, season 6, while maintaining quality, didn't fully capture the intricacies of the source material as well as some fans had hoped, leading to criticism and dissatisfaction.


2. Spy x Family Season 2

Anya in Spy x Family season 2 (Image via Wit Studio, CloverWorks)
Anya in Spy x Family season 2 (Image via Wit Studio, CloverWorks)

Spy x Family quickly captured the hearts of anime enthusiasts with the cuteness and charm of little Anya Forger, along with the amusing narrative. The anticipation for the show's second season was high, but it shifted the narrative focus more toward Yor and her missions than on the family's bonding moments.

It isn't until episode 10 that fans finally get to see the family spend quality time together. While there was a fair share of action from Yor, it lacked enough action from Loid. The overall season also gave a sense of filler content.

That said, Spy x Family never fails to deliver a good laugh and lighten up the mood. Despite the second season being a bit underwhelming, this 2023 anime is certainly a delightful experience.


3. Ron Kamonohashi's Forbidden Deductions (Kamonohashi Ron no Kindan Suiri)

Totomaru approaching Ron for the first time (Image via Studio Diomede­a)
Totomaru approaching Ron for the first time (Image via Studio Diomede­a)

The debut of this 2023 anime generated immense hype. The story revolves around Totomaru Isshiki, a pure-hearted but dim detective, seeking assistance from elite ex-detective, Ron Kamonohashi, to solve mysteries. However, the ex-detective is forbidden from engaging in actual detective work. The mystery surrounding Kamonohashi and the overall story seemed intriguing based on trailers.

Adapted from the manga by Akira Amano, the character designer in Psycho Pass, this fall 2023 anime showcases a set of attractive and well-designed characters, adding to the narrative's initial charm. Unfortunately, following the release, the show struggled to maintain its initial allure due to a weak narrative and noticeable plotholes.


4. Tokyo Revengers Season 3

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Season 3 of Tokyo Revengers stood out as one of the most highly anticipated releases this year. The narrative delves into the Tenjiku Arc and features some intense battles and action sequences, with a particular focus on Mikey, aka Manjiro Sano, and Izana Kurokawa.

While the plot of the show holds its charm, the narrative remains somewhat overrated. The repetitive nature of constant gang wars and the time-traveling adventures of the main character, Takemichi Hanagaki, begin to feel monotonous and lose their appeal after some point.

The same is true for the 2023 anime installment, explaining why it is included among the overhyped anime releases this year.


5. Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

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This freshly debuted seinen series of 2023 garnered immense popularity due to its captivating storyline, providing a unique take on the post-apocalyptic zombie survival narrative. Nevertheless, beyond the distinct plot, quality art, and humorous elements, this 2023 anime feels somewhat off.

The protagonist, Akira Tendou, finds pleasure in a zombie apocalypse for a seemingly trivial reason – the relief of not having to endure his exploitative job. Rather than seeking alternative employment or resigning, his extreme joy amid the world's crisis and misery appears disproportionate.

These issues contribute to Zom 100 being one of the overhyped 2023 anime.


6. Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Season 2

Rudeus and Sylphie in Mushoku Tensei season 2 (Image via Studio Bind)
Rudeus and Sylphie in Mushoku Tensei season 2 (Image via Studio Bind)

Mushoku Tensei is currently considered one of the most anticipated isekai anime. The series gained widespread recognition shortly after its debut, creating substantial excitement among fans for its second season. However, the storyline of this 2023 anime installment fell short of fan expectations.

The narrative heavily focuses on Rudeus' personal issues and his efforts to overcome the sudden abandonment by Eris, delving into his struggles with emotional distress.

The show retains its unique charm and features heartwarming moments between Rudy and Sylphiette. Yet, the thrill of his adventurous journey seemed to be lacking in this 2023 anime as he settles at the Ranoa University of Magic for the time being.


7. The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You Kimi no Koto ga Daidaidaidaidaisuki na 100-nin no Kanojo)

The protagonist Rentarou Aijou with his admirers (Image via Bibury Animation Studios)
The protagonist Rentarou Aijou with his admirers (Image via Bibury Animation Studios)

The harem genre reaches new extremes in this debut 2023 anime as the protagonist, Rentarou Aijou, finds himself amid an exaggerated number of admirers, forming an extensive harem.

The story unfolds with Rentarou, blessed by the god of matchmaking, encountering a total of 100 soulmates, matching the number of rejections he previously faced.

The show not only features an absurd number of harem girls but also goes overboard in s*xualizing characters. In summary, this 2023 anime indulges excessively in harem tropes, receiving more attention than it perhaps deserves.


8. Rent a Girlfriend Season 3 (Kanojo, Okarishimasu season 3)

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Premiering in 2020, this storyline presented a fresh perspective on the romcom genre, following the unconventional relationship between a brokenhearted protagonist, Kazuya Kinoshita, and his rental girlfriend, Chizuru Mizuhara.

While the plot possesses a blend of intriguing, comical, and emotional elements, it also exhibits some fundamental plot holes, which persist into season 3, released this year, which focuses on Chizuru’s amateur film and its production. Despite the hype, the 2023 anime season falls short of expectations, as the lackluster narrative fails to capture the same allure as the debut season.


9. Undead Unluck

Fuuko and Andy in Undead Unluck (Image via David Production)
Fuuko and Andy in Undead Unluck (Image via David Production)

Adapted from Yoshifumi Tozuka’s original manga, Undead Unluck is a debut 2023 anime that presents an intriguing storyline. Fuuko Izumo, the protagonist, suffers from a strange condition where anyone she touches dies, causing the untimely deaths of many, including her parents. Overwhelmed by the misfortune she brings, Fuuko attempts to end her life.

Accidentally touching a stranger during her attempt, Fuuko discovers the man, Andy, is immortal, and also seeking death. This marks the beginning of their peculiar adventures to find a fitting end for him. Despite its distinctive plot and adaption from a fairly popular manga, the anime struggled to garner widespread attention upon its debut.


10. Hell's Paradise (Jigokuraku)

This freshly debuted 2023 anime gained immense popularity among anime enthusiasts due to its intriguing storyline. Set in ancient historical Japan, the narrative follows the unique adventures of ninja Gabimaru the Hollow.

Urged by his executioner, Sagiri Yamada Asaemon, Gabimaru journeys to the island of Shinsekyo for the elixir of immortality, seeking pardon for his crimes and hoping to escape his blood-soaked past for a peaceful life with his wife.

Despite the hype, this shonen series faced substantial criticism. Some fans have voiced discontent for a perceived decline in animation quality. Negative feedback about the adaptation has also emerged, claiming that the anime falls short of the excellence found in Mangaka Yūji Kaku’s original creation.


Oshi No Ko and 9 other 2023 anime that exceeded all expectations

1. The Apothecary Diaries (Kusuriya no Hitorigoto)

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Debuting this year, The Apothecary Diaries stands out from typical action and adventure series with its unique storyline. Adapted from the Japanese light novel of the same name, penned by Natsu Hyūga and illustrated by Touko Shino, the anime unfolds in a fictional ancient China.

The story revolves around the protagonist, Maomao, whose extensive medicinal knowledge and keen interest in poisons become central to the plot. The narrative follows her life, which takes an unconventional turn after being kidnapped and sold into slavery.

Despite the anime’s distinctive plot, intriguing characters, and stunning art that serves as a visual delight, this anime has yet to gain the widespread recognition it deserves. Hence, The Apothecary Diaries remains one of the underrated gems among 2023 anime.


2. The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 3)

The disappointment of The Rising of the Shield Hero's second season has overshadowed its season 3. Season 1 (2019) garnered massive popularity, becoming one of the most hyped isekai anime in the community.

However, season 2 fell short of expectations, largely criticized for its filler-like narrative, animation quality, and CGI use for the tortoise, prompting some fans to drop the show. This negatively affected the third season released this year, resulting in a lack of excitement among viewers.

Despite the underwhelming reception, Season 3 has exceeded expectations. The 2023 anime installment features an engaging storyline, improved production quality, and character development for side characters like the Spear Hero and Bow Hero. Yet, it struggles to regain its former glory due to lost hype, placing it amid the underrated 2023 anime.


3. The Dangers in My Heart (Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu)

Ichikawa and Yamada in The Dangers in My Heart (Image via Shin-Ei Animation)
Ichikawa and Yamada in The Dangers in My Heart (Image via Shin-Ei Animation)

Making its debut this year, The Dangers in My Heart offers a unique approach to the romance genre. The romcom anime centers around Kyoutarou Ichikawa, a middle school student and a loner. However, Ichikawa secretly fantasizes about killing the most popular girl in his class, Anna Yamada.

The story takes an unexpected turn as Ichikawa's feelings evolve as he gets to know her better. As the narrative unfolds, audiences witness the multi-faceted nature of both Ichikawa and Yamada, revealing dimensions beyond their initial impressions.

This spring 2023 anime presents a plot with intriguing characters, delving into intricate emotions that are skillfully portrayed in the narrative. It provides an enjoyable and engaging viewer experience, but the show remains underrated among the 2023 anime lineup.


4. My Happy Marriage (Watashi no Shiawase na Kekkon)

Miyo and Kiyoka from My Happy Marriage anime (Image via Kinema Citrus)
Miyo and Kiyoka from My Happy Marriage anime (Image via Kinema Citrus)

Among the underrated 2023 anime is another debut romance series, due to its unique plot. Set in a fantasy historical world, this shojo adaptation from a light novel by Akumi Agitogi, with Tsukiho Tsukioka’s illustrations, draws parallels to the Cinderella story.

The narrative follows Saimori Miyo’s journey—from a mistreated young girl in her own family to someone in an unwilling marriage with the seemingly ruthless commander, Kudou Kiyoka. A glimmer of hope emerges as her distressful life appears to take a turn for the better following her marriage.

Despite its stunning visuals, intriguing plot, and emotional elements, this summer 2023 anime continues to be an underappreciated treasure that graced the screens this year.


5. Insomniacs after School (Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia)

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This is yet another romance anime that persists as an overlooked gem within the array of 2023 anime releases. Based on the seinen manga of the same name by Mangaka Makoto Ojiro, the story revolves around two sleepless high schoolers, Ganta Nakami, and Isaki Magari.

As these two insomniacs form a connection through their shared struggle, the narrative unfolds around their efforts to navigate life's challenges. The beautifully woven story delves into the characters' struggles. It skillfully captures the development of their newfound friendship, all while shedding light on the difficulties faced by individuals dealing with sleep disorders.


6. Blue Lock

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This sports genre series took the anime world by storm following its debut this year. However, this 2023 anime didn't generate much hype before its release. Only the manga readers knew of its intense storyline. As the anime aired, a broader audience got a taste of the excitement, garnering the attention it deserved.

The story follows the thrilling journey of aspiring striker Yoichi Isagi and the others navigating challenges at Blue Lock, a training facility aiming to create the world's best striker and elevate Japanese football.

Despite gaining popularity after season 1, it has yet to reach the levels achieved by genre classics like Haikyuu, Kuroko no Basket, Yuri!!! on Ice, Free!, and so on.


7. Oshi no Ko

Ai Hoshino in the Oshi no Ko (Image via Doga Kobo)
Ai Hoshino in the Oshi no Ko (Image via Doga Kobo)

This is another debut 2023 anime that exceeded all expectations after its release.

While the anime’s plot remains somewhat controversial due to its incorporation of sensitive topics and triggering elements, as well as the portrayal of real real-world issues, it is undeniable that Oshi no Ko boasts one of the most intriguing and unique plots, exploring idol culture, the entertainment industry, and the lives of entertainers.

Adapted from Aka Akasaka’s manga with illustrations by Mengo Yokoyari, this seinen show stands out for its remarkable storytelling, complemented by visually pleasing art and animation. It has become a gem of a series, offering a truly unique viewing experience. However, it did not manage to garner the traction that one might have expected.


8. Buddy Daddies

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Due to its plot bearing a striking resemblance to the recent hit series, Spy x Family, this original 2023 anime may have been overlooked. However, this debut series stands out and has plenty of distinct features.

Buddy Daddies is the story of an energetic four-year-old, Miri Unasaka, who finds herself being raised by the professional assassin duo, Kazuki Kurusu and Rei Suwa, under peculiar circumstances. The entertaining narrative of the show strikes a perfect balance between action and comedy.

Despite concluding with a single season and delivering a satisfying ending without cliffhangers, this winter 2023 anime is certainly a fun watch and deserves more credit than it receives.


9. Skip and Loafer

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This spring 2023 anime is an instant mood booster with its fun narrative that centers around Mitsumi Iwakura, a high school girl with big dreams, who relocates from the countryside to Tokyo for better education.

Despite her optimism, Mitsumi faces challenges adapting to city life, from getting lost in the hustle and bustle to dealing with anthropophobia. Things change when she encounters and befriends Sousuke Shima, a fellow classmate who offers to help.

The narrative explores the day-to-day lives of this pair and their classmates, offering a blend of amusing and heartwarming moments. Nevertheless, despite its delightful plot, this debut anime remains underappreciated thus far.


10. Heavenly Delusion (Tengoku Daimakyou)

Taking place in a dystopian world, this 2023 anime offers a unique experience with its captivating plot. While sharing similarities with shows like The Promised Neverland and Darling in the Franxx, this series explores more explicit and disturbing aspects, addressing themes of human experimentation, captivated children, assault, and suicide.

This seinen show's narrative is veiled in mystery and tracks the adventurous journey of the protagonist duo, Kiruko, and Maru, in a world filled with man-eating monsters. The intriguing elements of this debut series undoubtedly make it deserving of much more hype than it is currently receiving.


The 2023 anime roaster includes other all-time favorites like One Piece, Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen, and more. Interestingly, these big titles did not make it to the list of either overhyped or understated gems of 2023. This is due to the fact that, despite the immense hype surrounding their release, these shows successfully met or even surpassed expectations.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal
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