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Hey Coogs! With the pandemic still barrelling on in its 8th month (ugh … try not to think about that …) you’ve probably gone through most of your watchlists and backlogs of TV shows and movies by now. Thankfully, the new fall anime season is upon us, and with more than 40+ new shows hitting the market, I’m here to point out a few of the standout series that deserve your attention. Including a couple of new shows, a few returning favorites, and sadly a global phenomenon entering its final season.

So, here are five anime shows I can’t recommend enough, let’s go!

New Shows

Jujutsu Kaisen (First Season)

Let’s start off with the biggest newcomer on the block, “Jujutsu Kaisen”. If you were ever looking to get in on the ground floor of a blockbuster anime phenomenon, this is it!

The story centers around a high school student named he Itadori Yuji, who turns out to be extremely athletic and great at sports. However, Yuji doesn’t like playing sports, what he really loves is the world of the occult. One day while saving his friends from a Curse (demon), Yuji ends up swallowing a finger from a 4-armed demon. This allows the Curse named Ryoumen Sukana to take over Yuji’s body and then calamity ensues. Combining the supernatural along with fast-paced action, “Jujutsu Kaisen” is a shotgun blast of horror and adrenaline that is sure to make it a hit.

Quick Show Plot: Think “Harry Potter” meets “Supernatural”

When to Watch: Streaming now on Fridays @ 12:45 p.m.

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Akudama Drive (First Season)

The latest entry from Studio Pierrot is absolutely stunning to watch. Set in a futuristic Osaka, the world of “Akudama Drive” is a cyberpunk dreamscape filled with crime and every vice imaginable. Long ago a brutal war between two regions in Japan, Kansai and Kantou, resulted in the world splitting apart and a new policed state grew from the ashes. While trying to maintain order after the war, over-policing and a weakening political structure led to the rise of criminals. Criminals dubbed “Akudama” which now infest the city and fight to live their lives, their way.

The story centers around a young girl who happens to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time. She ends up surrounded by Akudama and pretends to be one of them to survive. The hyper-stylized animation and nonstop action make for an incredibly great watch.

Quick Show Plot: Think “Suicide Squad” meets “Blade Runner”, set in a cyberpunk Japan

When to Watch: Streaming now on Thursdays

Where to Watch: Hulu, Funimation

Returning Favorites

Golden Kamuy (Season 3)

Ever wonder what a post-war anime would be like if it was created by the Cohen Brothers? Then “Golden Kamuy” is the show for you! The intensity of this gut-wrenching drama is brilliantly laced with moments of levity. The story focuses on ex-soldier Saichi Sugimoto, now turned miner hopes to strike it rich to help the widow of a comrade lost during the Russo-Japanese War.

Through his journey, Sugimoto, or the “Immortal Sugimoto” as he was known during the war, befriends a young Ainu (the indigenous people of Japan) girl named Asirpa. The pair soon begin searching for a treasure trove of hidden gold stolen by a theft who killed Asirpa’s father during the process. To hunt down the gold they must find pieces of a treasure map tattooed on 24 different escaped prisoners by the theft that stole the gold in the first place. I know the plot is crazy, and it only gets better from there!

Quick Show Plot: Think “National Treasure” set in Japan and directed by the Cohen Brothers

When to Watch: Streaming now on Mondays @ 10 a.m. CDT

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Funimation

Haikyu!! (Fourth Season)

One of the most beloved anime series is back for its newest season, “Haikyu!!” returns for its fourth season continuing its To the Top arc. Shoyo Hinata, Kageyama and the rest of the Karasuno High School boys’ volleyball team are facing their toughest opponents yet in the National tournament.

If you’re unfamiliar with “Haikyu!!”, this is not your average sports anime, the series focuses on the team members and their interactions on and off the court. Every missed point, every win, every loss, is beautifully animated and portrayed in powerful emotionally charged scenes. Watching Hinata the main character’s unbreakable spirit as he tries to become a “Little Giant” in a sport full of giants is simply inspiring. Be fair warned if you start this series you will need a box of tissues to make it through each season as you will find yourself emotionally invested in this amazing story of unyielding hope.

Quick Show Plot: Think the movie “Rudy” if he played on a volleyball team

When to Watch: Streaming on Fridays @ 1:45 p.m. CDT

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Attack on Titan: The Final Season

My last recommendation is incredibly bittersweet, Studio Mappa’s “Attack on Titan: The Final Season”. That’s right, the international smash hit that quickly gained notoriety for its vicious gore-filled fight scenes and the jaw-dropping plot twist is sadly coming to an end.

In a world where giant humanoid creatures roam the earth, humanity was forced to build vast gated city-states to protect themselves from the onslaught of the terrifying man-eating giants aptly named Titans. The forces of humanity then created specialized units meant to track and kill the Titans. And after, witnessing the horrific death of his mother at the hands of a Titan, Eren Yeager then joined the Survey Corp in hopes of aid humanity in its fight for survival. The epic tale of Eren and the rest of the Survey Corps’ war against the Titans comes to a spectacular finish.

Quick Show Plot: Think “Honey I Blew Up the Kid”, except the kid wants to murder and eat everyone!!

When to Watch: Premieres December 7th

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Funimation

Photo: Attack on Titan promotional art

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