By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer

It is no secret that anime has taken social media by storm. From TikTok audios to Instagram fanpages, popularity has skyrocketed and many people are eager to see what’s new. It is typical for most shows begin with a manga serialization, though only the successful series are given an adaptation. As anime becomes more mainstream, here are some upcoming releases to look out for.

“Komi Can’t Communicate:” What began as a manga series in May 2016 has since been serialized in Shogakukan’s Shōnen Sunday, a weekly Japanese magazine, and produced into 21 volumes. An anime adaptation has been long-awaited, and dedicated fans will finally be able to stream the show on Crunchyroll in October.

The main character, Shouko Komi, suffers from extreme social anxiety and a communication disorder, which makes it difficult for her to talk to others. Many of her classmates believe she is cold and distant due to her unapproachable demeanor. However, it’s quite the opposite. When one of the boys in her class realizes that she is not what everyone makes her out to be, he decides to help her overcome these obstacles and make 100 friends. As far as the plot goes, this is a wholesome story with a unique spin that puts it on a different level than other slice-of-life and romantic comedies. The trailer can be viewed here.

“Platinum End:” Scheduled to be released in October, the story follows Mirai Kakehashi, who suffers abuse from his extended relatives after losing his family at a young age. He attempts to take his life to escape from everything when he is saved by a guardian angel, Nasse. Nasse explains that Mirai has been selected as one of 13 other contestants to replace God, who plans to retire in 999 days. 

This anime will be particularly interesting, as the original manga was written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. These two men are well known for their more popular series, Death Note and Bakuman. With such an enormous fanbase, it is likely that Platinum End will gain an even more outstanding reputation once it is animated. The show will premiere first in Japan and international viewers will be able to watch all 24 episodes on Crunchyroll later this year. The trailer can be viewed here.

“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” was a record-breaking film that has renewed its season season, though no specific launch date has been announced. (Screenshot from the official “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” trailer)

“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” Season 2: After a successful first season and a record-breaking film premiere, “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” has been renewed for a second season. In February, Ufotable, a Japanese animation studio, confirmed that the series would be released sometime this year, though there was not a specified date for the launch. 

The upcoming season will feature Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke as they accompany the sound hashira, Tengen, on a mission to Yoshiwara. His wives had been investigating rumors of demons within the entertainment district, and their sudden disappearance only raised suspicions. This is a much-anticipated arc, as the film left many fans heartbroken at the loss of a well-liked character. The show will be available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll following the release in Japan. The trailer can be viewed here.

“Chainsaw Man:” This is yet another well-known series among manga readers. Many fans praise it for having a unique art style and a plot that refrains from stumbling into overused tropes and cliches. The main character, Denji, has a huge debt thrust on him after his father’s passing and is struggling to pay it off when he saves a devil dog named Pochita. Pochita’s chainsaw powers prove to be extremely effective in slaughtering powerful demons, and Denji eventually finds himself working for the Yakuza, though his success is short-lived when they betray him and he is killed by the zombie devil. In order to save him, Pochita sacrifices himself and Denji is reborn as a devil-human hybrid, a chainsaw man. 

MAPPA Studios will be overseeing this project, and fans anticipate the release to be later in the year following the trailer release on June 27. MAPPA Studios is well known for animating other popular series, such as Jujutsu Kaisen and Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1, leaving many hopeful that Chainsaw Man will have animation of similar quality. Recent rumors have suggested that Netflix could be responsible for streaming the show, though this is something that will likely be kept under wraps until it is closer to the release date.

In a prison-like facility, 300 soccer strikers will compete against each other in the upcoing season of “Blue Lock.” (Screenshot from the official “Blue Lock” trailer)

“Blue Lock:” Soccer is a sport that everyone knows, but even those who are familiar with the game may be taken aback by its intensity in this new series. Since its release in August 2018, “Blue Lock” has sold over 5 million copies and fans across the world acknowledged its shocking, yet ambitious approach to action and character development. The English Twitter account for “Blue Lock” scheduled the release for sometime in 2022, and the production will be handled by the 8bit animation studio.

Upon reflection on the current state of Japanese soccer, the association in charge makes the decision to hire Jinpachi Ego, an eccentric and enigmatic coach, in hopes of winning the World Cup. Determined to find a talented striker, Jinpachi initiates the Blue Lock, a prison-like facility where 300 strikers will compete against each other to win the privilege of being on the national team. At first glance, this seems like a typical tryout, but there is a catch. Only one spot is available and the rest who are defeated will be banned from joining the team forever. The trailer can be viewed here.