The Best Seinen Anime to Watch in 2022

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The Best Seinen Anime

Seinen anime is an often-overlooked category that gets overshadowed by the widely popular shonen anime. But while marketed mostly towards adult men, seinen works are ideal for adult audiences of both genders who enjoy shorter and more mature works that cover a variety of topics. In no particular order, here's a list of the best seinen anime that are still worth watching in 2022:

  1. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War

    We begin the list with a rather unconventional one that most people don’t consider to belong in the demographic we’re discussing here. Surprisingly, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is seinen, proving that not all seinen works need to be gloomy or have older male protagonists.

    The classroom antiques of Kaguya-sama are light-hearted and fun for the most part, but the many intertextual references and complex mind games – not to mention the dark elements introduced later on – make the show ideal for anyone who wants something a bit deeper, but still entertaining and occasionally silly.

  2. My Dress-Up Darling

    Like Kaguya-sama, My Dress-Up Darling is a high school anime, so it’s not one you’d normally consider as seinen; but there’s always a nostalgic quality about school anime, given that school is regarded in Japan as a carefree, fun chapter of life.

    Fans have fallen in love with Wakana Gojo, a doll craftsman, and Marin, an aspiring cosplayer, who end up collaborating with heart-warming effects!

  3. Tokyo Ghoul

    Tokyo Ghoul has some shonen elements, being about a formerly ordinary boy who receives strange power; but, in many ways, it’s a tragic deconstruction of this trope.

    The circumstances around Kaneki’s transformations are very dark and cause him to struggle, while the show, in general, follows a loveable but more mature cast of characters that are still enduring several years after the show’s original run.

  4. Monster

    Monster is one of the most iconic anime out there. With a realistic, slightly gritty tone, it’s a marked difference from the over-the-top elements that give many other anime their key style. Instead, Monster is all about mystery, suspense, and the complex ethical dilemmas faced by a man who thought he was doing the right thing.

    Dr. Tenma is an intriguing character, whose choice to perform life-saving surgery on a young boy instead of the town mayor comes back to haunt him when the boy grows to be a serial killer. Tenma’s journey to make amends is complicated and filled with both heart-warming moments and drama.

  5. Mononoke

    Seinen anime are often gritty compared to ones aimed at younger audiences but this doesn’t mean they can’t be artistic. Mononoke offers a truly beautiful array of colors, following an arthouse style that you expect to see in experimental films rather than in anime.

    The anime follows the Medicine Seller, a mysterious man who roams Japan in pursuit of Mononoke; a malicious spirit that can assume many forms and can only be exorcized once the Medicine Seller has discovered their Form, their Truth, and their Regret. Once you get used to the style, the complex interviews and subsequent exorcism of Mononoke sufferers are a joy to watch!

  6. Berserk

    Berserk hardly needs an introduction. In fact, it’s one of the first fantasy anime that comes to mind for many fans when they try to think of a mature, medievalist work, not unlike an anime version of Game of Thrones.

    The violent story of Guts, a young travelling mercenary, his infamous rivalry with his former ally Griffith and his gruesome journey of bloodshed and revenge are not for everyone. But if you don’t mind the show’s graphic nature, it’s a legendary moment in anime history.

  7. March Comes in Like a Lion

    March Comes in Like a Lion is a go-to when it comes to slice-of-life vibes.

    Rei, the main character, is a teenager who has triumphed as a shogi player but doesn’t do equally well in real life. His encounter with the Kawamoto sisters and their tragic backstories is an intriguing one that deserves your attention, especially if you’re looking for anime like Fruits Basket.

  8. Gangsta

    Gangsta is an unfortunately incomplete but still thrilling anime about a deaf gangster who communicates through sign language, and his happy-go-lucky partner, who form an iconic duo known as the “Handymen.”

    The show does have its share of comedic elements but its overall mature feeling makes it an excellent seinen work, and, if you want more, there’s always the manga!

  9. Rainbow

    Rainbow is an iconic, suspenseful drama that you are going to love if the theme of found family appeals to you!

    While the protagonists are young, they go through shocking hardship as inmates in Reform School in 1955 Japan. The historical elements make for a grounded, gritty work, and the main characters’ struggle for survival is intriguing to watch!

  10. Hellsing Ultimate

    In the past decade, many vampire shows have been aimed toward a teenage demographic, following the success of works such as Twilight on the bookish side and Vampire Knight on the anime side. This is not to say that there are no dark, gory vampire anime shows!

    Hellsing Ultimate is a thrilling supernatural work following Integra Hellsing, her vampire assistant, Alucard, and the rest of the Hellsing organization as they fight against vampires that threaten humanity.

  11. ERASED

    Going back to a more subdued and less violent tone, Erased is a great, mysterious story about a young manga artist with the power to send himself back in time and prevent tragedy.

    But what will he do when he is accused of murder himself, and goes back in time once more, becoming implicated in a tragedy that affected close to him?

  12. Ghost in the Shell

    Ghost in the Shell is an iconic 1995 movie about a futuristic Niihama city, where robotic prosthetics have become a common occurrence and corruption and terrorism are tackled through a highly advanced public security system.

    The initial film follows Motoko Kusanagi and her subordinates as they pursue an enigmatic hacker, but there are a lot of sequels and prequels for those interested.

    Not only is Ghost in the Shell intriguing in terms of action, but it also explores philosophical questions, making for a mature watch that will keep you interested throughout.

  13. Parasyte: the Maxim

    Parasyte: the Maxim, is a gory psychological seinen anime whereby alien parasites infiltrate human brains, controlling them and forcing them to perform violent acts. But what happens when a parasite infiltrates a victim’s hand instead?

    When high-schooler Shinichi Izumi is attacked by one of the parasitic aliens, who takes over his right hand rather than his brain, the two are forced to coexist, navigating an environment that is now hostile for them both.

  14. Dorohedoro

    Studio MAPPA specializes in dark works and Dorohedoro is no exception.

    Ideal for those who enjoy odd mixtures of death and comedy, the show features a gritty dystopian district, separate from conventional ethics and dominated by magic users, who use it as a testing ground.

    The twists and turns of the fantasy show are very enjoyable, but beware; it’s quite disturbing!

  15. Death Parade

    Seinen anime tend to have more of a death count compared to anime aimed at underage audiences but they can still be fun and look good while at it!

    In this mystery anime, what seems like an amusing bar with cool employees, is, in fact, a place of judgement, where decisions are made about the destination of recently deceased people’s souls.

    If you give it a chance, you are likely going to love the main character Dekim, as well as the mysterious woman who has found herself working for him, having lost all memories of her past.