Autumn 2022 Overview – Returning Series

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Returning series – Bleach, Mob Psycho 100, My Hero Academia etc. – bear a great weight of responsibility. Not only do they have to keep viewers engaged, they also have to live up to the high expectations of their viewers who have long memories and will soon spot a drop-off in quality or deviation from the original premise. Returning series can’t rely on the new and shiny aura that they once had when they aired their first episodes to keep their audiences returning for more. On the other hand, they have a cast of characters that resonate with their viewers and an established world where these people we’ve come to know and love (or hate) interact. Which series have kept us engaged this autumn? Which titles have lost their glamour and left us feeling a little let-down?


Spy x Family has made a successful return to our screens this season as Anya’s antics, now complete with canine companion Bond, successfully captured the hearts of viewers far and wide. While the first four episodes of this cour focused on Anya and Bond’s storyline, as the season went on, it changed focus to Anya’s mission to get close to Damian, something she’s still struggling with as they become rivals more than friends. Then Twilight took centre stage for an arc that saw him and coworker Fiona participate in an underground tennis tournament, something I enjoyed but famously didn’t go down well with readers of the manga who grew bored of it quickly.

The nice thing about this half of Season 1 is that every character gets a chance to shine in the spotlight and we get to understand their lives away from the fake family unit, as well as what being a part of this family means to them individually, whereas before it was simply Twilight’s mission and Anya’s ticket out of the orphanage. Now it’s clear that Twilight wants to do right by Anya and Yor, while Anya loves her adopted father/mother and Yor loves being a mother and wants to be a good wife. They have a good support network in terms of friends, too, which was important for the series to establish.

If you are a fan of the series then the good news is at the end of its run a Season 2 was announced, as well as an original film so we’ll soon see Anya’s antics hit the big screen.

Another returning champion for me this season was To Your Eternity, which came back for Season 2. I will admit I’ve not always been a huge fan of this series, but this time around we get to meet Bonchien Nicoli la Tasty Peace Uralis (otherwise known as Bon), the Prince of Uralis Kingdom. Bon happens to be my favourite character in the series and I’ve loved watching him come to life in the anime, helped by voice actor Takehito Koyasu (Zeke in Attack on Titan, Roswaal in Re:Zero) who plays the role exactly as I hoped he would be portrayed.

At this point in the story, Fushi is sick of watching his loved ones pass away and he’s been relentlessly chased by the Nokkers who are happy to attack anyone who happens to be in Fushi’s surroundings. After centuries of living on a deserted island, Fushi finally returns to society in a bid to stop the Nokkers for good and that’s when he meets Bon who is hoping to prove himself worthy of becoming king. Bon is loved by all but is also known for his eccentric behaviour, which is why the current King has chosen Bon’s younger brother to be his successor, but Bon is still hoping to overturn that decision. Perhaps working with Fushi to combat the Nokkers is exactly what the young prince needs…

Bon has spent his life being shunned due to a particular ability he has (which I won’t spoil for viewers eager to find out for themselves), so it’s easy for him to relate to Fushi who is likewise shunned for his ability to create items from nothing and for being attractive to the Nokkers. Of all the characters we’ve met so far over the course of the series, Bon is also in the best position to support Fushi, which leads our protagonist to have quite a lot to contemplate about his future and how best to protect his loved ones and do right by those who have already passed.

The series is also continuing into the Winter season so we’ll see plenty more of Fushi yet!

Spy x Family and To Your Eternity are both available on Crunchyroll. 


Much as I love Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun (NHK) there’s no getting away from the fact that this third season has been spinning its Harvest Festival contest plot out – and this is evidently going to continue all the way into the Winter 2023 Season and maybe beyond. By splitting up the Misfits Class into two-demon teams to compete against each other (and, of course, the other students as well) the writers have the ideal opportunity to spend one or two episodes with each team but not advancing the main plot very much at all. So, while it’s been amusing to see what Clara can do to distract Iruma for a whole episode or to see Asmodeus and Sabnock facing off against an annoying and aggressive pair of brothers who are labouring under a major misapprehension, it’s begun to drag. Although the episode in which the awesome power of shojo manga proves to be an unexpected bonus for Iruma when he’s in a fix is well worth your time. Also, please can NHK ditch the horribly annoying ED before the next episodes? Pleeeease! (I suspect we’re stuck with it until Season 4, assuming there’ll be a Season 4 because the manga’s very much ongoing.)

IDOLiSH7 Third Beat! has kept the energy high as the i7 boys get together with Re:vale to try to restore the fortunes of (unfairly) disgraced group TRIGGER. The scheming Tsukumo continues to do his best to drag TRIGGER’s reputation through the mud, getting the group banned from appearing on television and hiring concert venues, show runners not even allowing their name to be spoken on TV for fear of repercussions ‘from the higher-ups’. And meanwhile Tsukumo’s new group ŹOOĻ seem to be marking time (and bickering) as a big charity event looms in which i7 and Re:vale are playing a major role. What could possibly go wrong? This has been a genuinely entertaining third series – and it’s far from over yet with more to come as the charity event gets underway. Expect more wonderfully OTT villainous outbursts from Tsukumo in 2023, more mutual bonding between the groups and more new songs! (Although I’d like to see more of Ms Manager (Tsumugi Takanashi) who’s been a little sidelined in all the scheming so I hope she’ll be back supporting ‘her’ IDOLiSH7 boys to the max!) Colourful and well-acted (the singing’s not too shabby either) this is still a good watch for those who like their idol stories packed to the brim with drama, heart, and a sprinkling of humour as well.

I’m so glad Cold Cobra is writing about the conclusion of Mob Psycho 100 III because this was, indeed, the final series and it’s hard to say farewell to a shonen anime that’s been as consistently gripping and heartfelt as this one. The final episode was genuinely moving – and suffused with a satisfying sense of resolution (and how often can one say that about any anime series?)

Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun and IDOLiSH7 Third Beat! are streaming on Crunchyroll 

Cold Cobra

The adaptation of Bleach’s final manga arc finished its first chunk of episodes and it’s safe to say it made quite the statement for itself. By sticking close to the very fight-heavy story arc, adding lots of visual cues from the manga’s pages and giving it lavish animation with a really unique flair while keeping the top-class voice cast and musical score by Shiro Sagisu, they ended up with an extremely well-polished final product, one I dare say the story doesn’t really deserve but I’m glad it got it anyway!

This part of the story is very much the classic “beat our heroes down and down all the way to the bottom so they can rise up again in flashy fashion”, just without the actual flashy return, that’s not until the next time! That being said, classic insane fight-loving Captain Kenpachi gets some character development at long last by fighting the first Kenpachi, allowing us the viewers to find out just how strong he really is, plus a good tease about him finally hearing the voice of his Zanpakuto, something that was teased at the end of the story’s second arc. I won’t spoil who the first Kenpachi is for those not aware and who have yet to watch/read the story, but it’s safe to say it’s great fun and their battle is a quite the violent show, right down to Kenpachi being stripped to his very bones while still fighting (only to be healed immediately, the first Kenpachi’s Bankai allows them and their opponent to heal continuously so the fight can go on for longer, you see!)

Speaking of the first Kenpachi, along with the Head Captain Yamamoto, manga author Tite Kubo designed the other eleven original members of the Gotei 13 that were originally just in shadow solely for a relatively brief flashback scene in this show. They have since appeared in official artwork, so it was fun to see some evidence of Kubo’s declaration that he’d be adding more story to the, um, story, even if it was just new character designs that more likely than not we’ll probably not see again (well, unless he really does go crazy with the often-rumoured new manga arc teased a while back)

The other major up-swing is with our protagonist Ichigo, who once again finds himself despairing about being powerless, leading to us getting the second long-teased revelation: the backstory of his father Isshin, how he left the Soul Society and the truth about Ichigo’s mother. It was fun to read and due to this show’s insane budget, was great to see as well. The final shot is of Ichigo with his hope and power restored, so this “cour” still ticks the box for the standard hero’s journey, even if the Soul Society itself is still reeling from the attack of Yhwach (which I finally know how to pronounce! “Yuu ha ba ha”, which is funny because that’s the Japanese pronunciation of his original fan-translated name of “Juha Bach”, back before his official romanisation confused the hell out of everyone…) and his Quincy army. The next batch of episodes will begin airing in July, which given the high quality on offer I’m not surprised it needs a few months break, this show was the definition of unexpected treat and long may it continue!

The other show I talked in the preview was Mob Psycho 100 III, which unlike Bleach already had a strong reputation both for adaptation and, more importantly, visual flair and animation quality, and I’m happy to say the series went out on the extremely satisfying and visually appealing note that it deserved, frankly making all three seasons something of an oddity in that it had no real weak season to speak of.

I spoke last time about how it started off entirely focused on humour and slice-of-life and that it was probably setting up something more dramatic for later and it turns out I was right but I didn’t expect said final flashy showdown to last for pretty much the whole of the final FOUR episodes, nor who was essentially the “antagonist destroying the city” either, but I’ll let you discover that. During those four episodes though we get a good long look at the extended cast, what they’ve meant to our lead character and a frankly brilliant scene where Mob’s boss Reigen finally admits his big secret to his “protégé” in a heart-warming yet intricately animated sequence that really sums up the entire show: flashy animation but never forgetting to tell a good story about a character who against all odds is just a really nice, naïve boy. Mob makes its three for three and ends with no real down point, so few shows can say that!

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is currently airing on Disney+; Mob Psycho 100 III is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.



Sarah's been writing about her love of manga and anime since Whenever - and first started watching via Le Club Dorothée in France...

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When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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Cold Cobra

Having watched anime since it was airing late night on the Sci-Fi channel in the late 90s, I consider myself... someone who's watched a lot of anime, and then got hired to write reviews about them. Hooray!

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