The Medical Mystery Anime Series Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen

By Nina Phillips | Published

Every year, there are dozens of potentially amazing anime released. Fall 2023 was a good season with the continuation of several great anime. Even amongst continuing seasons, some new anime managed to stand out, such as The Apothecary Diaries.

The Apothecary Diaries

This animated series is based on novels under the same name written by Natsu Hyuuga. In Japanese, it’s also known as Kusuriya no Hitorigoto.

The show is set in a fictional country. However, it’s heavily based on Imperial China, around the time of the Tang Dynasty. The main character is Maomao, who was an apothecary before she was kidnapped.

During the first season of Apothecary Diaries, she becomes part of the servant class at the Imperial Palace. Though she tries to stay out of it, she gets wrapped in all sorts of mysteries and plots. She uses her love of plants and life experiences to solve them.

From Novels To Manga To Series

The novels started online, before being published as a light novel. Later, The Apothecary Diaries was adapted into a manga by Square Enix. As of October 2023, it was adapted into an anime by Toho Animation and OLM.

There is a reason this story has been so popular. All the characters, even the side ones you only see a few times, have depth and personality. Every character is realistic, even the villains.

Maomao Is An Interesting Character

The most shocking part of The Apothecary Diaries is the main character. Though she is a woman of an age to get married, as is custom in this world, she’s not interested in much. Her goal is to stay out of trouble, survive, and get her hands on as many poisons as possible.

However, she doesn’t look down on people for their position, status, or goals in life. She accepts most people for what they are. With most of her “family” being members of a red light district, she’s learned not to judge.

Anime Fans Love The Series

It’s not just the story that stands out. The animators of the show did a great job bringing the characters to life. They look perfectly like the characters in the manga. The color and animation are also on point, settling around the story to bring it to life naturally.

Both new fans and those who have been following the story since the beginning are happy with the anime adaptation of The Apothecary Diaries. It has an 8.84 out of 10 on My Anime List. That’s after being reviewed by over 80,000 users.

Many viewers were surprised by just how good the show was. The description of the plot itself sounds fairly standard. However, there are small details and plot points that make the story stand out.

Where To Stream The Apothercary Diaries

Fans of anime such as The Raven of the Inner Palace, Snow White With the Red Hair, Oooku, Moriarty the Patriot, and Yona of the Dawn all recommend this new series. With a mix of mystery, comedy, political drama, and a hint of romance, there’s a little something for everyone.

The first season of The Apothecary Diaries is available to stream on Crunchyroll. The first season features two cour, for a total of 24 episodes. The season ends around volume seven of the manga, or light novel book three, for those who have read the series.