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20 Hottest New Gen Anime: Impact on Global Pop Culture

In recent years anime has managed to bewitch the entire world with its distinctive art style and many intriguing premises. More and more people are being drawn towards anime and thanks to this, it has inarguably made an impact on pop culture. And while on that note, we will be discussing the 20 hottest new-gen anime today that have not only impacted global pop culture but also have their plots centered around that premise.

20 Hottest New Gen Anime

20) Girlish Number

Girlish Number

IMDb Ratings6.5
Number of Episodes12
Genre(s)Slice of Life
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, HIDIVE

Anime would be incomplete with seiyuu or voice actors. Girlish Number portrays the seiyuu industry through the eyes of the protagonist, Chitose Karasuma, a college student who joins her brother’s seiyuu agency, Number One Produce.

Still a bright-eyed rookie, Chitose will have to navigate the competitive world of seiyuu while dealing with its various challenges.

19) Yes, No, or Maybe?

Yes, No, or Maybe?

IMDb Ratings6.8
Number of Episodes1 movie
Genre(s)Boys Love, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Where to WatchCrunchyroll

The successful newscaster Kei Kunieda might look like a friendly guy at work, but he’s anything but. Inside, he’s just cursing everybody around him for one reason or another. While maintaining this dual personality, he meets an independent stop-motion animator named Ushio Tsuzuki, on two separate occasions in two different moods.

Turns out Ushio thinks there are two guys when it’s just Kei behaving in different ways during their two encounters. As they begin to fall for one another, Kei is left to wonder whether Ushio only wants one side of him or both sides.

18) Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop

Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop

IMDb Ratings6.8
Number of Episodes1 movie
StudioSignal.MD, Sublimation
Where to WatchNetflix

The next addition to the hottest new gen anime about pop culture is Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop. This anime movie is a coming-of-age story about two youngsters who express themselves better on social media, yet come to understand the strength of bonds and connection in real life.

It centers around the two protagonists, Yui Sakura or Cherry who expresses himself through writing haiku, and Yuki Hoshino aka Smile who’s a social media influencer who wants to make everyone smile despite her self-consciousness towards her own.

17) Smile Down the Runway

Smile Down the Runway

IMDb Ratings6.9
Number of Episodes12
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix

There is not a lot of anime about runway modeling, so Smile Down the Runway is a rare one in that respect. It centers around Chiyuki Fujito, the daughter of a modeling agency president, who wants to become a model herself and walk in the Paris Fashion Week.

However, despite being gorgeous, Chiyuki is only 158 cm tall, which makes her dream of becoming an international model impossible. But when she finds Ikuto Tsumura, a talented rookie designer, her dreams seem to be within her reach.

16) Wave, Listen to Me!

Wave, Listen to Me!

IMDb Ratings7.0
Number of Episodes12
Genre(s)Comedy, Drama
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation

Despite the mediocre execution, the concept of Wave, Listen to Me! is pretty interesting. It starts with Minare Koda, an energetic woman who works at a restaurant and has just had a difficult breakup. While ranting about her sorry state to a stranger after getting drunk, Minare is shocked to hear herself on the radio the next day.

Turns out the man she was ranting to was a radio station director, and he’s just found his new radio talk show host in Minare.

15) Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend

IMDb Ratings7.0
Number of Episodes23 (2 seasons) + 1 movie
Genre(s)Comedy, Romance, Ecchi
StudioA-1 Pictures
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix

This new gen anime focuses on a group of high school students who are making a dating simulation game. It starts with an otaku, Tomoyo Aki, who wants to make his own game, but doesn’t know how to. So, he recruits four girls, each one handling a specific part of the game.

As these youngsters work towards completing the game, the equations of their relationships begin to change.

14) Zombieland Saga

Zombieland Saga

IMDb Ratings7.1
Number of Episodes24 (2 seasons) + 1 movie
Genre(s)Comedy, Supernatural
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation

Zombieland Saga puts a unique twist on both idol and zombie subgenres by combining them. It narrates the story of Sakura Minamoto who dreamt of becoming an idol before her untimely death. Ten years later, she’s revived as a zombie in the Saga Prefecture by a man named Koutarou Tatsumi.

Tatsumi tells her that he revived six girls from six different periods as zombies to form an idol group in order to boost the economy of the Saga Prefecture. Thus begins the journey of this unique idol group.

13) Love Stage!!

Love Stage!!

IMDb Ratings7.3
Number of Episodes10 + 1 OVA
Genre(s)Boys Love, Comedy, Romance
StudioJ.C. Staff
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, HIDIVE

Izumi Sena has always been surrounded by celebrities, with a former musician and talent agency owner father, his actress mother, and a rockstar brother. But his dream is to become a manga artist. When he’s asked for a 10th-anniversary ad for a magazine he’s featured in as a child actor, he’s reunited with his old co-star Ryouma Ichijo.

Turns out Ryouma has been in love with Izumi since their childhood, believing him to be a girl. When he finally learns the truth, will he move on or will the feelings prove greater than anything else?

12) Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan

Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan

IMDb Ratings7.3
Number of Episodes13
StudioStudio Blanc.
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Wakanim

Adapted from the popular comedy manga, Uramichi Oniisan, this anime shows the bleak work culture behind the TV screen. It’s set in a studio of a popular children’s show, Together with Mama, where the cast interacts with preschoolers and teaches them simple lessons with lighthearted cheerfulness. 

However, the reality is that the cast members are miserable with their jobs and adult lives. It’s very funny and relatable to see a bunch of adults pretending to be happy when they’re anything but. This is also a great new gen anime about pop culture.

11) Dakaichi: I’m Being Harassed by the Sexiest Man of the Year

Dakaichi: I'm Being Harassed by the Sexiest Man of the Year

IMDb Ratings7.3
Number of Episodes13 + 1 movie
Genre(s)Boys Love, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Wakanim

Dakaichi is another Boys Love anime that focuses on the film industry. This time the protagonist is Takato Saijou, a successful actor who’s been named the “Sexiest Man of the Year” for consecutive years. His track record is broken when a new rookie actor comes into the picture.

Junta Azumaya is fairly new to the industry, having debuted only three years ago. But in that short time, he’s managed to become the “Sexiest Man of the Year”, and also steal the role of the main character from Takato. 

Spoiler alert, these rival actors soon find themselves falling in love.

10) Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club

Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club

IMDb Ratings7.4
Number of Episodes37 (3 seasons) + 2 movies
StudioKyoto Animation, Animation Do
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix

This anime dips its feet into the world of competitive swimming, revolving around Haruka Nanase, or Haru, a teenage boy who loves water and swimming. Slowly, Haru goes through an internal journey of finding his passion in competitive swimming with the help of his friends, finally reaching the world stage where he represents his country in the world championship.

With dazzlingly beautiful art and a horde of gorgeous anime boys, Free! is a must-watch anime for sports lovers.

9) Ya Boy Kongming!

Ya Boy Kongming!

IMDb Ratings7.6
Number of Episodes12
StudioP.A. Works
Where to WatchHIDIVE

At the moment of death, great tactician Zhuge Kongming of third-century China wishes to be reincarnated in a peaceful world instead of the war-ravaged world he’s lived in. His wish comes true when he finds himself in a younger body in modern-day Tokyo.

Confused about everything around him, he gets inside a nightclub and sees a young woman perform brilliantly. Moved by her singing, he befriends the girl, Eito Tsukimi, and eventually becomes her manager to help her music career. But the music industry is harsh enough for Kongming to bring out the tactician in himself again.

8) No Game No Life

No Game No Life

IMDb Ratings7.6
Number of Episodes12 + 1 movie
Genre(s)Comedy, Fantasy, Ecchi
Where to WatchHIDIVE, Netflix

Sora and Shiro are two step-siblings who are completely co-dependent and spend their days ruling the gaming world as the top player, One. One day they are summoned into a fantasy world where every decision is decided by the outcome of games. Soon, the siblings find themselves tangled in the politics of this world.

Famous for its extremely colorful art and cunning twists, it’s easily one of the best isekai anime of recent times, and also one of the hottest new gen anime.

7) My Dress-Up Darling

My Dress-Up Darling

IMDb Ratings8.0
Number of Episodes12
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Wakanim

My Dress-Up Darling is not only one of the hottest new gen anime but also one of the cutest love stories in recent times. Starting with Wakana Gojo, a reserved yet dedicated boy who makes Hina dolls, and his beautiful and popular classmate, Marin Kitagawa.

After spending his entire school career without any friends, Gojo is one day approached by Marin to make a costume for her cosplay. Thus begins their wholesome friendship. Filled with plenty of otaku culture and steamy moments, this anime is a must-watch for pop culture enthusiasts.



IMDb Ratings8.1
Number of Episodes62 (3 seasons)
Where to WatchCrunchyroll

There is no shortage of idol anime, but IDOLiSH7 certainly does it better than others. It starts with a rookie manager, Tsumugu Takanashi, taking on the new idol group of seven boys. But instead of cutting four boys out of the group as per her father’s instructions, she helps them to stay as a group and create IDOLiSH7.

Full of handsome anime boys and dazzling art, this anime shows the trials and tribulations of the idol industry, but in an entertaining manner.

5) Yuri!!! On Ice

Yuri!!! On Ice

IMDb Ratings8.3
Number of Episodes12
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation

Earning massive critical appreciation for its portrayal of thoughtful LGBTQ+ representation, Yuri!!! On Ice became a darling of anime fans upon its release. The anime has beautiful art and flawless animation, along with a sweet love story at its core, which makes it one of the hottest new gen anime.

Featuring the world champion, Victor, and a rookie figure skater, Yuri as the main characters, this anime has Yuri participating in the Grand Prix competition under the mentorship of Victor.

4) My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia

IMDb Ratings8.3
Number of Episodes138 (6 seasons)
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix

In the world of My Hero Academia where 80% of the population are blessed with superpowers called Quirks, Heroes dedicate their lives to protect society from Villains. Heroes are very famous among people and are treated as celebrities. 

The most prominent example of this is All Might, the former Number 1 Hero who was the biggest celebrity in the country.

The story of this anime is about Izuku Midoriya, a Quirkless boy who dreams of becoming a Hero.

3) Given


IMDb Ratings8.3
Number of Episodes11 + 1 movie + 1 OVA
Genre(s)Boys Love, Drama, Romance
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Netflix

A heartbreaking tale about love, loss, and healing, Given starts with Mafuyu, a reserved boy whose boyfriend committed suicide after they’d had a fight. Grappling with grief and guilt, he meets Uenoyama who fixes his ex-boyfriend’s broken guitar.

After witnessing Uenoyama’s passion for music and understanding the feelings of his ex, Mafuyu joins Uenoyama’s band. As Mafuyu starts to find his own passion for music, he begins to process his grief and heal, all the while falling in love with Uenoyama.

2) Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen

IMDb Ratings8.5
Number of Episodes47 (2 seasons, ongoing) + 1 movie
Genre(s)Action, Fantasy
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation

Though Jujutsu Kaisen isn’t really about showbiz and pop culture, its characters are surprisingly fluent in pop culture. From Itadori’s crush on Jennifer Lawrence to Nishimiya’s obsession with Sebastian Stan, it has plenty of small pop culture moments. Not to forget Itadori’s hope about learning a technique similar to Rasengan or bankai.

The plot of Jujutsu Kaisen revolves around Yuji Itadori who finds himself thrust into the world of jujutsu sorcerers and cursed spirits after he eats the cursed finger of Sukuna, the King of Curses.

1) Oshi no Ko

Oshi no Ko

IMDb Ratings8.6
Number of Episodes11
Genre(s)Drama, Supernatural
StudioDoga Kobo
Where to WatchHIDIVE

This anime was a pleasant surprise of the last season and managed to capture the attention of the viewers from the get-go with its fantastic first episode. Oshi no Ko portrays the lives of celebrities in showbiz, starting with the popular teenage idol, Ai Hoshino.

Gorou Amemiya, a gynecologist and a big fan of Ai, is shocked when the teenage idol comes to his hospital as pregnant. Not only is Ai unwilling to reveal the father, but she’s eventually murdered by a fan, leaving her twin children alone in the world.

Here ends the 20 hottest new gen anime that features pop culture and has an impact on it. Check out these awesome anime and when done, visit Otakus’ Notes for more suggestions.