The success of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train in 2020 and Jujutsu Kaisen 0 in 2021 has led to wider releases of anime movies in the West. The new year in 2023 is slated to have many great anime film releases to get excited about. From Hayao Miyazaki’s return with How Do You Live? to the newest anime franchise film Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King, here is a list of the eight most anticipated anime movies releasing this year.
8/8 Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom
For years now, the Gold and Water kingdoms have failed to see eye to eye. Sara (Minami Hamabe), a princess, and Narabayar (Kento Kaku), a young man from the opposing kingdom, happen to meet. As circumstances change, they must act as a couple to protect the realm. Will they be able to keep their kingdoms out of harm’s way and maybe in the process fall in love? Set to release January 27, Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom has the makings to turn into a classic fantasy romance.
7/8 Blue Giant
High schooler Dai Miyamoto (Yûki Yamada) is lost in life. He doesn’t know what he wants to do after he finishes school and is feeling the pressure of being a graduate. Walking down the street one day, he checks out a jazz performance. Captivated by the artistry of the saxophone player, he wishes he could get his own and learn how to play for himself. Blue Giant is a music-inspired movie that focuses on the craft and difficulty of learning to play in a jazz group with a coming-of-age story built in. Make sure to catch Blue Giant in theaters February 17.
6/8 Kaguya-Sama: Love is War — The First Kiss That Never Ends
Taking place directly after the third season of the show with the same name, Kaguya-Sama: Love is War – The First Kiss That Nevers Ends will be the conclusion to this epic romance. Student body president Miyuki Shirogane (Aaron Dismuke) and vice president Kaguya Shinomiya (Alexis Tipton) are in love with each other, but to protect their pride they both refuse to confess their feelings. The story is a series of “battles” where each tries to maneuver situations to force the other to confess their romantic feelings. Now that their time in high school is coming to a close, the pressure to get the other to confess grows even more important. Finally, Western audiences will be able to see the film this February.
5/8 How Do You Live?
Probably the most anticipated anime film of the year is How Do You Live?, which marks Hayao Miyazaki’s return to the director’s chair. After his 13-year hiatus, How Do You Live? will tell the story of the relationship between a 15-year-old boy and his uncle as they move into a new neighborhood where and learn to live in their new circumstances. For a long time it seemed as if the legendary director Miyazaki would never make another feature film. How Do You Live? will likely be the final movie he directs and is a must-see in theaters on July 14.
4/8 Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King
The world of Black Clover is dominated by wizards and the protector of the kingdom is the Wizard King. Magic-less orphan Asta has always dreamed of being Wizard King, and after he gets access to a special sword, he joins a group of magical outcasts called The Black Bulls to try to work his way up the rankings. Black Clover is a currently long-running anime but even if you aren’t caught up with the show, Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King may be a good opportunity to see what the series is all about. Franchise films like this one are a good way to get a glimpse at what the series might offer in a fun, two-hour action-packed ride. The release date is set for March 31.
3/8 The Feast of Amrita
A young girl is plagued by hallucinations and a ringing sound in her ear. One day, she and her friends witness a man jump from a skyscraper but when they go to investigate, they can’t find the body. Soon the hallucinations spread to all of her friends, and they are trapped in a reality they don’t know anything about with no idea how to escape. The Feast of Amrita is directed by Saku Sakamoto, who will be looking to expand upon the success of his first feature film Aragne: Sign of Vermillion with this film. The release date is set for May 26.
2/8 Doraemon: Nobita’s Sky Utopia
The only kids movie on this list, Doraemon: Nobita’s Sky Utopia is based on one of the longest serialized anime of all time. This legendary kids show follows 10-year-old boy Nobita Nobi (Megumi Ohara) and a robot cat sent from the future named Doraemon (Wasabi Mizuta). Doraemon’s purpose is to keep Nobita out of trouble and in doing so they get wrapped up in various adventures. This particular movie will focus on Nobita and Doraemon’s journey to find the perfect world that lies in the sky. If you have been searching for some non-Disney family friendly movies, Doraemon: Nobita’s Sky Utopia could be exactly what you are looking for. The release date is set for March 3.
1/8 SSSS. Gridman
In companionship with the anime of the same name, SSSS. Gridman is a kaiju versus mecha story. Mecha is an essential anime genre; giant creatures facing off against humanoid robots the size of skyscrapers, all coming to life gloriously on the big screen. Who wouldn’t be excited about that? If you don’t have a lot of experience with the mecha genre in anime, this may be a good place for you to start. Even if you haven’t seen the anime, just like with Black Clover, you should have no issues jumping right into SSSS. Gridman. If action movies are your style then this will be right up you alley. The release date is set for January 20.