The animation landscape is changing once again. With collaboration between the East and West, 2018 animated content has many fans anxiously waiting for the new year to begin.
Western animation has seen an increase in popularity since 2016, much because of the millennial generation who grew up watching Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and various anime like Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One Piece.
Then there’s individuals like Dave Filoni, who’ve been changing the landscape of animation since the release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, along with his continued collaborated work of Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars Forces of Destiny.
Audiences are tiring of live-action films that fail to deliver. And production companies are changing their tactics. Instead of creating a live-action movie, they’re either creating new animated content, or rebooting the classics through animation.
This year saw its fair share of good animated content, with many expecting 2018 to be a peak year for animation regarding American audiences. Companies such as Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, Disney, and various others are all collaborating with highly successful Japanese production organizations.
The purpose behind this new resurgence of animated content? Why, money of course. But fans of animation will also win in this scenario, getting well-written content and true-to-form artwork.
New anime that is making waves from 2017 include series’ such as Black Clover, Garo: Vanishing Line, Black Butler, My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, Pokémon Sun and Moon, and so many more.
Here are the 15 Animated Series You Didn't Know Were Coming In 2018.
15 Deadpool The Animated Series
Deadpool The Animated Series won’t be your everyday Saturday morning cartoon for kids. No, this iconic comic book character has been picked up by FXX (an offshoot of FX), the same network who created and produced Archer. Donald Glover and Stephen Glover are the co-creators, working alongside executive producers Jeph Loeb (Marvel head of TV) and Jim Chory.
FX head John Landgraf stated in an interview that their Deadpool series would differ from the movie version. “Deadpool will be really different from the movies. It has a different tone and editorial voice. [We] wanted to make something distinctly different from the movies.”
Most likely this means they will play off the comic book versions more, having the freedom to do so without live-action restraints.
Don’t worry, though, because Deadpool himself isn’t being changed. The Merc with a Mouth will premier in 2018 with 10 episodes, airing on FXX.
14 Persona 5
Hailed as one of the best rpg video games to be released in 2017, Persona 5 is getting an animated adaptation. Crunchyroll, Atlus and A-1 Pictures are teaming up together to produce one of the most highly-anticipated animations for 2018.
Prior to the holidays, Atlus confirmed that the original Japanese voice cast from the video game will return to voice their characters in the anime.
A mini solo version titled Persona 5: The Daybreakers was released in July 2017, giving audiences a taste of what is coming while contributing to the story told in the games.
The story follows a group of rebel teenagers who see themselves living in doomed system which promotes slavery as a way of life. Seeking freedom, they head off on adventures which allows them to enter corrupt adult’s hearts, transforming them and the world they live in.
Persona 5 will release in April 2018 in Japan first. You’ll be able to watch it on Crunchyroll, VRV, and other providers.
13 Batman Ninja
If your first impression of Batman Ninja is one of American companies trying to imitate anime, then you’re wrong. Warner Bros. realizes how influential anime is and has confidently handed the reins of Batman over to Japanese director Junpei Mizusaki.
Batman Ninja is progression, highlighting the continued growth of animation. Supported fully by DC Comics and written by Kazu Nakashima, Batman Ninja is a true collaboration between East and West.
Batman has evolved several times since his creation back in 1939, making him the ideal character to continue to take on new tropes while creatively tackling a new interpretation upon an old mythology.
Other characters joining Batman are Japanese versions of Nightwing, Red Robin, Joker, Harley Quinn, Deathstroke, Two-Face, Catwoman, and so many more.
No specific release date has been set for Batman Ninja, although 2018 has been confirmed and it looks like it will release straight to Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital download.
12 Mega Man
Cartoon Network in conjunction with Dentsu Entertainment USA (Monsuno, LBX), just announced that they will be reviving and rebooting the Mega Man animation in 2018 (or later). The cartoon series will be aimed at kids ranging from six to nine in age, along with the parents who obviously grew up playing the video games.
The series will introduce Mega Man’s alter-ego, Aki Light. He’s set to be, a normal, upbeat, schoolboy robot — but when activated, his skin re-forms into computer code and visual pyrotechnics.
He will have a suit of impenetrable nanocore armor, including the classic Mega Buster arm cannon and helmet. Characters like Rush will return, along with new ones such as Mega Mini.
Mega Man will air on Cartoon Network and does not have an official release date at this time, but the network is hopeful it will take place within 2018.
11 Attack on Titans (Season 3)
Tetsuro Araki and Masashi Koizuka are back as chief director and director for Attack on Titan, season 3. Fans can breathe easy about not having to wait like they did for season 2.
A teaser was released showing three individuals standing by an ocean, showcasing the theme for season 3 with text etched over the image saying, “Behold, the Sea.”
Attack on Titan isn’t for everyone, but for those who enjoy a well-crafted tale, with bits of gore and horror — it’s worth checking out if you haven’t yet.
Prior to the release of season 3, season two will premier as a theatrical release in Japan. Titled Attack on Titan: The Roar of Awakening, the film will release on January 13, 2018. The official release date for Attack on Titan, season 3, is July 2018.
You can view previous seasons of Attack on Titan via Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, VRV, and various other providers.
Constantine didn’t make history when it premiered on the big screen back in 2005, but it created a loyal following of fans. CW is resurrecting Matt Ryan’s live-action Constantine by turning it into an animated version, which will premiere on CW Seed (the networks digital platform).
Warner Bros. released key art from the series recently as a teaser and John Constantine is looking better in animation than he ever has before. Ryan will continue to play a part in Constantine’s character by performing the voice over work for this popular comic book demon hunter.
Constantine is being produced by some huge names in the live-action comic book world with names like David S. Goyer, Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl), and Sarah Schechter (Blindspot, Riverdale, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), taking the lead.
The script is written by J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League Dark, Batman vs. Robin) and directed by Doug Murphy (Justice League Action, Young Justice).
The animated series will be ten episodes long, with a running time of five to six minutes per episode. Constantine will air on CW Seed in the early part of 2018.
9 Fairy Tail (Final Season)
Fairy Tail was first serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 2, 2006. Since then it has attracted millions of followers, producing 252 episodes, and eight seasons (the last titled Zero). Along with this being the final season, the manga will come to an end too.
“Even though the original manga is ending,” stated creator Hiro Mashima in a tweet. “I don’t think Fairy Tail is done just yet. I have a lot of plans, so please look forward to them.”
There is currently no official release date, but it has been confirmed by Mashima himself that the final season will release in 2018.
Funimation Films has already started the promotion with a screening of Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry at 300 American and 12 Canadian theaters this past August. You can find previous seasons of Fairy Tail on VRV, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Amazon, and other select providers.
Netflix is bringing back the 80s iconic Princess of Power in an animated reboot, hoping to introduce her to a whole new generation of fans. She-Ra is being written by the award-winning cartoonist Noelle Stevenson, who will also serve as the series’ showrunner.
The original cartoon She-Ra: Princess of Power, a spin-off from He-Man, had a total of 93 episodes which aired from 1985 to 1986. She-Ra introduced millions of fans to the adventures of Princess Adora and her powerful alter ego She-Ra as she battled the Evil Horde and its leader Hordak.
The new She-Ra will be a modern take on the character, celebrating female friendship and empowerment, which lines up nicely with Stevenson’s previous work on Lumberjanes and Nimona.
Netflix has yet to release an official date (2018 has been confirmed), but is currently running the original cartoon series.
7 One Punch Man (Season 2)
One Punch Man took the anime community by storm in 2015 with its first season, and fans have been eagerly expecting its second season.
While it’s not unusual for a couple of years to pass in between seasons, the hit series might take a different direction in 2018. One Punch Man was originally animated by Madhouse Studios, but it was recently announced that season two will be animated by J.C.Staff Studios instead.
Shingo Natsume has stepped down as the director and Chikara Sakurai is taking over the coveted position. One Punch Man is a story about Saitama who wants to become a hero because it seems like it’s fun. He not only gets his wish, but becomes the strongest hero to ever have existed.
An official release date for One Punch Man season two has yet to be released, but is confirmed for 2018. One Punch Man is currently being aired on Hulu, Crunchyroll, VRV, and other various formats.
6 Gorillaz The Animated Series
Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have been ahead of their time since the late 90s, early 2000s. Having created cult classics such as Tank Girl, along with dozens of multi-media works through the bands website, videos, and live projections during shows — Gorillaz should be one of the biggest animation hits of 2018.
“I’ll direct the first and the last one,” Hewlett recently stated in an interview. “But we’ll have to get someone in to direct the other episodes. I think even attempting to do it all by myself will kill me.”
He also went on to say, “Everybody does cg now, and it is great when you’re making backgrounds, like environments and landscapes, but not the actual characters. I’m still very much inspired by the work of Chuck Jones, and I love that animation. So, the characters on the show will be 2D, but everything else is up for grabs.”
There has been no official release date for Gorillaz The Animated Series, however, 2018 has been confirmed.
5 Tokyo Ghoul: Re
The highly anticipated and popular anime horror series Tokyo Ghoul is releasing a second season in 2018. The series first launched as a manga series in 2011, following an anime adaptation in 2015.
Labeled as a Japanese dark fantasy manga series by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul: Re will begin with a new weapon created by the Commission of Counter Ghoul, who has sworn to do whatever is necessary to protect humanity from predator Ghouls.
This new weapon, however, is experimental. Creating a setback in that both the procedure, and the recently formed Qs Squad, have yet to be tested.
Tokyo Ghoul: Re series is bringing back many familiar characters from its hit first season, along with a host of new ones. You can watch previous seasons of Tokyo Ghoul on Hulu, Funimation, Crunchyroll, VRV, Netflix, and other various providers.
4 Code Geass R3
Code Geass first aired in Japan over a decade ago, gathering millions of fans around the globe with its innovative and creative style. Two films were released in 2017 as a way to bring fans back into the fold, with a third titled Lelouch of the Revolution: The Imperial Path, planned to release in March 2018.
Code Geass R3 has been green-lit for 2018 too, however, no official date has been confirmed at this time. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection is being directed by Goro Taniguchi, who has previously been a director on Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and Code Geass R2.
The ever-popular series has been adapted from its original manga form into films, TV series’, video games, and various other media platforms. You can watch the first two seasons on Netflix, VRV, Crunchyroll, and other streaming apps.
3 Cannon Busters
Creator LeSean Thomas took his ideas to Kickstarter, releasing a short pilot film of Cannon Busters which has now been picked up by Netflix. While an official premier date has yet to be announced, Netflix has revealed that 12 episodes are currently in production from Manga Entertainment, Nada Holdings, and anime studio Satelight.
Netflix describes Cannon Busters as the adventures of S.A.M, a high-end, royal-class friendship droid who's joined by a quirky, discarded maintenance robot and a deadly fugitive. Together, the unlikely trio embarks into a fantastic and dangerous world in search of S.A.M's best friend, the heir to a powerful kingdom under siege.
Thomas is the executive producer for the series, while also working as a writer with Natasha Allegri (Bee & Puppycat), Anne Toole (The Witcher), and Nilah Magruder (M.F.K.). Matt Wayne will be serving as the story editor.
2 Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments
The Seven Deadly Sins manga has sold over 10 million copies since its release in 2015, making it an instant hit and classic. Because of its popularity an anime season was adapted and released in 2016. Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments will continue the story based off the manga series and is set to release January 6, 2018.
Netflix describes the series as a story that follows a magical group of Knights who were framed for the murder of the Great Holy Knight Zaratras. The group has been re-uniting through season one and is all set to return in Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments following the first seasons giant cliffhanger.
You can watch current episodes of Seven Deadly Sins on Netflix, Funimation, and other media platforms. Netflix will release the second season on January 6, 2018.
1 Fate/EXTRA Last Encore
Kinoko Nasu first created Fate/Stay Night back in 2004, which has been adapted into various anime, light novels, video games, and novels. Even Netflix did their own adaptation in 2016 with Fate/Apocrypha. Nasu is returning with a continuation of Fate/Stay Night by producing Fate/EXTRA Last Encore.
The popular PS portable game is set to be released as an animated series in January 2018. Character designs will be based on the original artwork created by Aruko Wada. For loyal fans of the series, this is huge news, as Nasu hasn’t produced an anime from the series since he did the prequel to Fate/Stay Night with Fate/Zero.
Fate/EXTRA Last Encore can be viewed on VRV and Crunchyroll, along with the first two instalments, Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night. Netflix also has the previous two along with its new version set in an alternate timeline called Fate/Apocrypha.
Did we miss any other animated series that are coming in 2018? Let us know in the comments!