There’s nothing more exciting for an anime fan than a series that’s yet to start. Chainsaw Man reached unbelievable levels of popularity ahead of its release, and now it’s here, people are already looking for the next big anime!
Chainsaw Man was a popular manga long before it became the anime sensation it is today. However, with so many great manga without anime right now, we’ve done some digging to discover which series are the ones to watch out for in the future.
What Makes a Big Anime?
There are hundreds of really good manga being serialised right now, and the next big anime could well come from an unlikely source.
For one, most blockbuster anime have won notable awards as manga. Jujutsu Kaisen and Spy x Family won the Tsutaya Comic Award in 2019 and 2020 respectively, while Chainsaw Man won a Harvey Award in 2021.
Secondly, all big anime series have a big audience before the anime airs. Jujutsu Kaisen sold over 2 million copies before an anime was announced, Chainsaw Man sold around 5 million copies and Spy x Family sold over 10 million!
So, for our list of the next big anime, we’ve shortened it down by looking at some of the best-selling manga of the last few years that have also received notable award nominations or wins.
In fact, we’ve shortened it down to two potential big hits.
Without further ado, here are the two series that are most likely to reach the same heights as Chainsaw Man and the others!
Kaiju No. 8
Since first being serialised in 2020, Kaiju No. 8 has consistently been one of Shonen Jump’s most-loved stories.
Kaiju No. 8 was the fastest-ever series to surpass 30 million views on Shonen Jump+ and is often credited alongside Spy x Family for the platform’s growth. The series has had millions of views and sold over 8 million physical volumes!
Kaiju No. 8 has also had awards success, including winning the Next Manga Award in 2021 and being nominated for an Eisner Award in 2022.
The story takes place in a Japan that is constantly being attacked by monsters known as Kaiju. Kafka Hibino grows up wanting to join the Defense Force and protect the country from the monsters, but can’t pass the exams and ends up working for the clean-up crew.
However, Kafka’s life changes when a tiny monster gives him the ability to transform into a Kaiju. Despite being hunted by the Defense Force, he decides to try once again to join the resistance.
An anime adaptation of Kaiju No. 8 has already been announced, so look out for more news on this series in 2023!
If Kaiju No. 8 looks straight out of the shonen anime guidebook, Dandadan has made a name for itself with a different, irreverent style and story, while also delivering big fantasy action.
As with the other shows mentioned in this article, Dandadan has plenty of notable awards nominations. The series actually came second behind Kaiju No. 8 in the 2021 Next Manga Award, while it came first in Japan’s Nationwide Bookstore Employees recommended manga for 2022.
While Dandadan’s physical sales are smaller than Kaiju No. 8’s – latest figures put it at over 1.4 million sold – the series performs very similarly to Kaiju No. 8 when it comes to performance on Shonen Jump+ and its western equivalent, Manga Plus.
Dandadan revolves around two high school students that get into an occultic argument. Cool girl Momo Ayase believes in ghosts but not aliens, while unsociable geek Ken Takakura believes in aliens but not ghosts.
To settle their debate, they both dare each other to visit places where sightings supposedly occurred, and discover that, actually, both ghosts and aliens exist, putting the two of them in danger and starting their unlikely connection.
Despite multiple rumours, no Dandadan anime has been announced at this stage. However, it’s surely a matter of time before this appears on our screens.