It’s that magic time of the year when the colors of the leaves are changing and sweater weather is settling in. Yes, fall is well underway and what better way to get cozy at home than to watch some new anime. Out of the loop and wondering which shows to pick up? Not to worry, because we here at ComicsVerse have done the heavy lifting for you! Season premieres are largely behind us and the classic three-episode test is viable to gauge what’s worth our time. So, we went ahead and curated a diverse set of fall anime titles we’ve found compelling thus far.

Please note that what follows are simply initial impressions, not intending to be blanket judgments of these series as a whole. Furthermore, we will not be highlighting sequels. Now, let’s run down the five fall anime you should absolutely check out!

RUN WITH THE WIND

RUN WITH THE WIND cover image featuring much of the cast
Will this cast of misfits be able to compete in one of Japan’s biggest relays? | Image: Crunchyroll

RUN WITH THE WIND is a sports anime based on an award-winning novel of the same title. Haiji Kiyose, a fourth-year at Kansei University, is determined to find a tenth tenant for Chikusei-so dormitory. One evening, he catches a first-year, Kakeru Kurahara, shoplifting and pushes him to join their dorm. Fast forward to Kakeru’s welcome party where Haiji springs the true purpose for bringing the eclectic bunch together under one roof: competing in the Hakone Ekiden, one of the most high-profile marathons at the collegiate level. He also reveals that by agreeing to stay at Chikusei-so, everyone automatically enlisted themselves in the university’s track and field team.

The key charm of this fall anime is its motley crew of college students. A story about adults is a breath of fresh air in of itself, but the characters generally share excellent chemistry with each other. The atmosphere of Chikusei-so effortlessly captures the rowdy experience of a bunch of grown men trying to live together in a cramped apartment. Witnessing their warm camaraderie develop further is sure to be an enjoyable ride.

It is said that good form and mechanics are vital to a successful runner. Fortunately RUN WITH THE WIND has the animation chops to back that up. Production I.G’s strongest TV unit is handling this fall anime, the same unit responsible for HAIKYUU!! and WELCOME TO THE BALLROOM. Their craft shines when illustrating postures and movements of athletes’ bodies down to the last detail. With a groovy Yuki Hayashi (MY HERO ACADEMIA, HAIKYUU!!) soundtrack to boot, RUN WITH THE WIND is looking to be the complete package this season. You can catch the series on Crunchyroll every Tuesday.

THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME

Rimuru embodying a slime exclamation mark
Rimuru’s expressive slime animation | Image: Crunchyroll

This absurd fantasy series is exactly what it says on the tin. After his death, ordinary salaryman Satoru Mikami is reborn as a slime monster in a fantasy world. But he’s not just any lowly dungeon creature. He can not only consume just about anything he comes across in his gooey path but also analyze and replicate their abilities. After encountering and befriending a dragon imprisoned in the cave he spawns in, he’s given a new name, Rimuru. So begins his journey to learn the ways of the land and meet the creatures he’s only dreamed of meeting in video games.

We’ve seen the isekai genre (series with protagonists transported to other worlds) countless times. However, THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME introduces a playful twist in which the main protagonist is a literal blob. And as its title suggests, it embraces this silly premise fully. There’s a genuine sense of fun as this super powerful slime prevails against whatever bully of a fantastical beast comes its way. And more importantly, our hero is actually likable, encouraging peace and understanding between enemies.

This fall anime is replete with charming visual tricks to further distinguish it from other isekai stories in the medium. For instance, the stylized graphics that pop up whenever Rimuru analyzes whatever he ate are mesmerizing. Rimuru himself is a visual delight, blessed with lots of bouncy animation. Watching him scuttle around absorbing things is a treat in of itself.  You can watch this moe slime conquer the fantasy world on Crunchyroll every Monday.

IRODUKU: THE WORLD IN COLORS

Iroduku's main character eating pocky
A quiet exploration of Hitomi’s depression | Image: Amazon Prime

IRODUKU: THE WORLD IN COLORS is a wholly original TV production about a world in which magic is present only in faint amounts. In the year 2078, Hitomi Tsukishiro is a teenager from a witch family who grew up emotionally stunted after losing her sense of color early on. During an evening of vibrant fireworks, a festivity Hitomi cannot appreciate, her grandmother uses time magic to throw her to the year 2018 without warning. There, Hitomi runs into her 17-year-old grandmother and a boy whose drawings explode with the color she hasn’t been able to perceive before.

This melancholic character drama by studio P.A. Works makes its mark as one of the most visually arresting shows of the season. It’s awash in beautiful backgrounds to give prominence to the colorful world that Hitomi struggles to see. This comes as no surprise, considering it’s by the same creative team behind the enchanting A LULL IN THE SEA. The architecture and visual aesthetic of the 2078 setting are also compelling, especially in its synthesis of magic with technology. The original character designs were done by Fly, whose distinct, gorgeous artwork can be found here.

Hitomi’s introverted character is reflective of this fall anime’s slow and thoughtful vibes. Her color blindness can even be interpreted as a metaphor for depression or alienation. The narrative focuses around Hitomi’s growth as a person as she experiences things that breathe color into her life. Definitely check out IRODUKU: THE WORLD IN COLORS if a blend of fantastical worldbuilding and everyday teen drama sounds appealing to you. You can find P.A. Works’ latest on Amazon Prime every Friday.

RELEASE THE SPYCE

The spies of RELEASE THE SPYCE ready for a fight
The spices are taking effect and now the spies are ready to roll | Image: HIDIVE

Sugar, spyce, and everything nice. The premise of RELEASE THE SPYCE is essentially “what if TOTALLY SPIES! had cute anime girls.” This fall anime follows the Tsukikage, a group of female high school spies who fight against various crime syndicates in the city of Sorasaki. These girls gain power by consuming actual spices before battle. This changes their physical qualities as well as enhances their senses. They later recruit an unlikely candidate in Momo, a daughter of a policewoman with a heightened sense of smell. She also happens to attend the same high school as them and quickly grows familiar with the Tsukikage way of protecting the peace at night.

RELEASE THE SPYCE is an all-around solid spy vehicle written by Takahiro, the creator of AKAME GA KILL! While that suggests there may be a few unnecessarily grim twists down the line, for now, it’s an entertaining character-focused thriller that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Watching these ninja girls bond over some curry after kicking villain butt doesn’t get old. It’s a sincere blend of self-serious spy drama with lighthearted comedy.

RELEASE THE SPYCE also features some adorable character designs. Namori, the creator and illustrator of YURUYURI, incorporates her trademark, round design philosophy. There is a wealth of smeary and bouncy animation highlights that support these round designs. And as if the show didn’t ooze enough style, a snazzy soundtrack amps up the show’s fluid action scenes. This campy spy series streams on HIDIVE every Saturday.

SSSS. GRIDMAN

SSSS GRIDMAN, a fall anime, key visual featuring the main cast
The SSSS. GRIDMAN crew are ready | Image: Crunchyroll

SSSS. GRIDMAN is studio Trigger’s modern interpretation of the tokusatsu, or live-action, series GRIDMAN THE HYPER AGENT. It follows a high school boy named Yuta Hibiki who lives in the city of Tsutsujidai. One day he wakes up with amnesia in the family shop of Rikka Takarada, an acquaintance from school. He experiences visions of a robot called Gridman telling him to fulfill his “purpose” from Rikka’s old junk computer. Of course, both Rikka and their friend, Utsumi, think Yuta is losing his mind. That is, until a giant monster attacks the city, turning their world upside down. Yuta is then sucked into the old computer and fuses with Gridman. Duty calls and Yuta, with the help of his friends, must defend Tsutsujidai from these mysterious intruders.

Director Akira Ameniya creates a fascinating balance between quiet, introspective moments and blood-pumping robot action in this fall anime. It’s reminiscent of classic studio Gainax series, such as FLCL and NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, which makes sense considering Ameniya originally hails from the studio. But his influences don’t end there. SSSS. GRIDMAN was a chance for Ameniya to relive childhood memories of the original series. It’s a passion project through and through.

SSSS. GRIDMAN is one of the most visually diverse shows this season. It’s full of inspired, beautiful layouts. It has stretchy, smeary character animation juxtaposed with dynamic mecha highlights. This fall anime can be colorful and whimsical, but also contemplative and riveting, demonstrating a nice blend of small character stories and grand fantasy spectacle. You can find SSSS. GRIDMAN on Crunchyroll and Funimation, every Saturday.

Wind Down with Fall Anime!

As we approach November and the school and work days get longer, the need to de-stress rises. Thankfully, this season is looking good for anime fans. We didn’t even mention all the much-hyped sequels from this season. No matter what genre you’re looking for, there are just so many strong options to choose from in the current line up. Drama, action or comedy, the fall anime this season has something for you.

Any fall series that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured image from Funimation

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