If you have spent some time watching anime, you'll notice some patterns emerge with every new season. Here are some broad categories that almost every seasonal anime falls into.
1. The Popular Shounen Adaptation.
Manga is a major source of anime, so it's no surprise that the biggest titles from Weekly Shounen Jump (Japan's most popular manga magazine) get hyped up to infinity. There are legions of fans just waiting for their favorite manga to get the anime treatment.
With many fans, also come a strong hate-dom. For every person that loves Weekly Shounen Jump, there is another person who is dedicated to making sure you know it's trash beyond saving. They'll quickly label the popular shounen series "overrated" and wonder aloud why their superior (and less hyped manga) wasn't adapted.
Which side is right? That's for the fandom and the quality of the anime adaptation to decide.
Examples: My Hero Academia, World Trigger, and Naruto.
2. The Critically Loved Series No One Will Watch
Have you watched this intellectually gratifying anime that is filled with deep symbolism, character development, and non-traditional art style? Yeah, most anime fans haven't either.
Critics really love to promote anime that people haven't watched. Maybe using buzzwords like challenging, "objectively better", and tonal consistency is quick way to turn most people towards the popular shounen side?
Examples: Everything Becomes F, Mushishi, and Fune wo Amu
3. The Long Awaited Sequel
These anime have a lot of hopes and dreams behind them. Long awaited sequels can appear years after the last season, and old fans just can't wait to back into the world.
These can either be the best show of the season or an utter disappointment, depending on how the studio handles the pressure and how high fans expectations are riding.
Example: D.Gray-man Hallow, Durarara!!x2, and Terra Formars: Revenge
4. The Series that Covers a Specific Niche
Anime that usually use cute girls to publicize a really specific hobby or niche. Cycling, deep sea diving, baking, and drawing are just some hobbies that have served as the main focus of anime.
These types of anime are always made for the hobbyist in mind, with general anime fans second. They tend to fall into the slice of life category and depending on how the anime is handled, you might learn something new!
Examples: Bakuon!!, Amanchu!, and Pan de Peace!
5. The Game Adaptation That Will Exceed Expectations
Anime studios have gotten better at adapting video games, which basically serve as a commercial for the video game so there's less pressure to make money. While a majority of game adaptations are meh (Luck & Logic made many of us sad), there are an increasing number that are exceeding expectations.
Usually fans of the game will know if the anime is true to the source material, but you don't have to have played the game to enjoy the anime.
Examples: Tales of Zestiria the X, Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Legend Star, and God Eater
6. The Feels Bringer
Who doesn't love a good cry? There will also be at least one anime that knows how to bring the feels during a season. Even better if you do not expect them to emotional rides! These anime are for the masochists who love when their heart takes a beating.
Examples: March Comes in Like a Lion, Your Lie in April, and Amaama to Inazuma
7. The Series that is Loved for Half the Season, then Hated for the Rest
For the first few weeks, the community can't stop praising a series for having a great story, relatable characters, and stellar animation. Then, out of the blue, everyone hates the series for having terrible writing, bad characters, and crappy animation.
What happened? Usually, there is one episode that pisses the community off and they turn their back on the show and angry voices start to drown out the positive ones, creating a negative echo chamber.
Examples: Charlotte, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, and Dimension W
8. The Series Japan will Love, but Everyone will Hate
Regional tastes is totally a thing. Not everyone will love the same anime, but sometimes the international community will be really surprised to find out that a seemingly bad show is actually successful. People will use this as "proof" that Japan has terrible taste.
Examples: Ace Attorney!, DAYS, and Kyoukai no Rinne
9. The Series Everyone will Love, but Japan will Hate
The equally as frustrating inverse. Sadly, Japan has all of the power in determining what will get more seasons. If a show fails in Japan, you probably won't ever see a second season. Again, some fans use this as "proof" that Japan has terrible taste.
Examples: Keijo!!!!!!!!, ReLIFE, and Dagashi Kashi
10. The "So Bad, You Have to Watch it" Anime
Like a train wreck, you can't look away! Despite the bad writing, laughable characters, and weak animation, people will watch and love it. Sometimes a terrible anime is just as enjoyable as a great one, especially when it keeps giving you high quality memes.
Examples: Blood-C, Bloodivores, and Big Order
What are your favorite types of anime going into a new season?