The Top 5 Anime of 2022, According to King Vader

Top 5 Anime of 2022

Anime has had a phenomenal year. After the $500 million worldwide success of Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train in 2021 came JuJutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie the following year with an impressive $224 million. Both films have since become the number one and fifth-highest-grossing anime movies of all time. Highly anticipated films such as Toei Animation’s Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and One Piece: Film Red premiered in 2022, earning $86 million and $162 million, respectively.

The adaptations for the popular manga series Chainsaw Man and Spy x Family saw their debut, which also saw the return of Mob Psycho 100 and the end of Attack on Titan: The Final Season: Part 2, with the final part set to arrive next year. Surprise hits like Cyberpunk: Edgerunners broke into the scene. Even seasoned series like One Piece and Pokémon showcased some highly notable moments within the anime community. And with Toonami hitting its 25th anniversary, it’s fitting to see how well anime is doing stateside in 2022, half a century after the cartoon block introduced anime to a new generation of kids.

King Vader at Anime NYC 2022

King Vader

Initially starting his digital career on Vine, King Vader successfully transitioned to YouTube, where he became well-known for his contributions to the anime community. He’s starred in and directed a bevy of parody shorts like Hood Jujutsu Kaisen, Don’t Disrespect Halloween 5, Hood Naruto, and many more. The YouTuber currently has over 2 million followers on his official account, with the third part of his original Naruto parody currently sitting at 31 million views. Although he expects to debut Hood Naruto 2 and Blade vs. Ghost Rider shorts at Dream Con and LA Comic Con, respectively, the celebrated actor/director also plans on moving into original content in 2023.

“We’re actually entering the last days of King Vader live-action anime for a very long time,” he admitted to TV Insider during Anime NYC 2022. “I do what I do when it comes to anime, video games, [and] movies, to pay homage […] But now it’s time to move on and start to create and become my own film director and actor by paving my own path.”

But before the creator pushes forward, Vader sat with us as a fan to discuss his top 5 favorite anime of 2022, film and television shows included.

5. JuJutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie

“I think JuJutsu Kaisen is a fire anime–it’s always been about great animation and fast-paced storytelling […], but the build-up vs. the payoff at the end of the film felt like it lacked a little. I think the movie needed 30 more minutes, and that’s a rare thing to say because most movies are like, ‘hey, that movie’s too long.’

But at the end of the film, they introduce a villain who’s racist (Geto) [and] he challenges the whole school. He says, ‘Hey, we going to war in like three days.’ And then they go to this city, they release all these curses, and they’re scrapping it out. The thing is, we only see 20% of this entire battle. So I’m like, where’s my content? We see Gojo beat up anime Samuel Jackson for three minutes, and he’s just beating the relentless life out of this man. That’s racist, too, because I’m like, ‘why are you hitting him so hard!?’”

They brought Toge into the mix and then cutaway, and I’m like, ‘No, I l love that character.’ And then we saw the fight at the end, which was cool, and I liked the animation. I just felt like we didn’t get much of everything that was promised.”

4. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero

“I think, like most, Super Hero is a fire film. It’s great for the characters of Piccolo and Gohan. It’s their movie, so I’ll give a W for that. It’s very rare to see anything Dragon Ball-related that has nothing to do with Goku or Vegeta.

The ending was cool, but I thought it lacked the emotional pull it wanted. This is [about] Gohan going into his untapped potential. This is what we’ve been watching and waiting for since Cell. We’ve had to watch Gohan become a street-level hero and fight common thugs and step away from being a Saiyan completely to [go down] this new path, which is cool; we’re here for him. But we’re also like, ‘Gohan, whenever you want to turn up, we’re here for you too.’

And I’m not going to hold you, and I don’t care who feels any type of way; I hate Cell Max. I hate everything about Cell Max. It’s a cool concept, but it’s better on paper than in the film. It’s like they just made this big “thing,” and it’s like, he could have been fighting any big “thing.” Imagine if Cell Max was a more Perfect Form of Cell, a Perfect Cell that went god-level. Imagine Cell stepped out there talking his stuff. Oh my god.”

3. Ranking of Kings

Ranking of Kings is a very fire anime. It subverts your expectations. You see this anime; you see these characters drawn all silly-like, and think, ‘Oh, it’s like a cute little anime; there can’t be any violence here.’ And then you blink your eyes, and it’s violence and chaos! There’s death! And I’m like, ‘whoa!’ So I like it for that. I like it for subverting my expectations.

It has some heartfelt moments, the main character he’s partially deaf. So he’s supposed to be the next “king.” But everyone in the city doesn’t believe in him because he’s deaf. They’re using his disability and basically saying, “you can’t.” But his disability has helped him do other stuff. And now he’s incredibly fast, dodging, and has different amazing feats about him. He’s such an interesting and likable character.

And one specific thing I love about Bojji, his character, is everyone thinks that he’s entirely deaf. So when he goes into his room, and no one’s looking, he breaks down and cries. And it’s because he can read people’s lips. So they think that he can’t hear them, but he understands what they’re saying. So he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. And people think they can say anything they want [about him], and he’s not going to be affected by it. But [when] he goes to his room, he bears all this weight. And we only see this from a character who’s spying on him. And it just makes you appreciate him more and more, and I’m just like, ‘Damn, my boy, my boy.’”

2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season 2)

Demon Slayer went hard in season two. Tanjiro went hard, Inosuke went hard, Zenitsu went hard, Tengen went hard. And they had three or four episodes of some intros, some filler, but after that, it’s hands for the rest of the season. And I was shocked. I was like, I can’t handle this; it was getting so active at a point. It’s cool because that separates your expectation, and I love Demon Slayer for that.

They’ve been known for subverting expectations, even with the Mugen Train [movie]. You think the fight’s over because the train just stopped, then you get off, think it’s safe, you think we’re about to get credits. Then a demon drops in, and it’s like, “new challenger!”

I can’t handle that. I can’t predict something like that. So I love Demon Slayer for that, and they basically did that here in this new season. They’re fighting this girl this whole time, and another demon comes into play out of nowhere.”

1. Attack on Titan: The Final Season, Part 2

“It’s obvious why AOT is number one. Storytelling on 10, intelligence on 10, writing on 10, and animation on 10. I’m not going to get too deep into it, but they did. They did fourth-dimensional writing, like writing on top of writing in this season. This season makes the entirety of the show that much better. And any show that can do that needs to be talked about highly.

I was watching stuff and things being revealed that I saw in Season 1, and I’m sitting here like, ‘did you guys just know what you were doing from the beginning? You’ve just been playing all of us; that’s nice.’ I’m not going to say much because he hasn’t watched the show (Vader points at his manager.) Because you need to watch it, you’ll appreciate it.”