Image courtesy via Pixiv
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Well everyone, looks like the world is starting to return to normal as the pandemic is slowing down, although there’s still trouble around the world. Of course, I’m not talking about real life as I want to talk about the 2021 Anime Season.
01. Best Transition Anime in 2021…
– Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (Winner)
Let’s start with the first category where it’s a tough one to choose which anime show is the best in this category. Ultimately, I choose Mushoku Tensei over Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? due to various factors, even though both protagonists started out as outcasts in the real world.
For one, the former has amazing visuals compared to the latter where it uses CGI heavily, mostly involving Ms. Spider and various monsters inhabiting the dungeon. However, what made Mushoku Tensei as the clear winner is the story where it’s a gradual progression, compared to Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? where its story is somewhat difficult to follow due to switching between two main characters: Ms. Spider and Schlain Zagan Analeit.
With that said, I’d say that Mushoku Tensei will have a bright future ahead, although I wish Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? will get better should Kadokawa announce a new season. But yeah, Mushoku Tensei is the clear winner.
02. Best Spring Anime in 2021…
– 86 -Eighty Six- (Winner)
– Super Cub (Runner-up)
Moving onto Spring 2021 where I have to state the obvious that 86 -Eighty Six- is the best one I’ve ever watched.
The 1st half was all about the painful reality of being forced to fight against the Legion and while Shinei Nouzen and his fellow soldiers managed to get out of the brutal Republic of San Magnolia, many of their allies are lost in battle thanks to San Magnolia’s racist policies. Of course, the 2nd half of 86 -Eighty Six- got a bit better when Shin and the rest of the Eighty-Six survivors got support from the Federal Republic of Giad, it plagued some production issues during its run to the point that the last 2 episodes aired in March 2022. But hey, the ending for the entire 1st season is quite solid and heartwarming too where I feel that the future is bright for 86 -Eighty Six-.
As for the runner-up, I chose Super Cub because it’s all about a girl named Koguma whose life was changed upon riding the trusty Honda Super Cub bike. Really, the anime studio behind the adaptation of Super Cub did a great job of conveying some color transition, turning Koguma’s dull life into a livelier one upon riding the famous bike from Honda. Seriously, people miss this show out as Super Cub is one of the most interesting slice-of-life anime and an effective promotion to Honda’s greatest product of all time.
03. Best Summer Anime in 2021…
– Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki (Winner)
– Bokutachi no Remake! (Runner-up)
Let’s go to Summer 2021 where I found a few interesting anime shows. For the runner-up, I choose Bokutachi no Remake! ’cause it’s pretty relatable when it comes to correcting past mistakes. For Kyouya Hashiba, he wanted to become a famous creator much like the Platinum Generation, even as far as being classmates with such people like Aki Shino, Nanako Kogure, and Tsurayuki Rokuonji. Of course, he’s not some malicious person as Hashiba wanted to help everyone, even as far as starting over to correct countless mistakes that derail the Platinum Generation members.
As for the winner, it’s Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki where even though it’s a typical isekai anime starring Yuusuke Kobayashi, the main character Kazuya Souma uses his knowledge and Machiavellian-like political maneuvers to save the Kingdom of Elfrieden from various crises, even as far as annexing the neighboring Principality of Amidonia while striking an alliance with the Gran Chaos Empire. Honestly, I’m pretty invested with this series where Kazuya’s reform has made a big difference.
In any case, both shows are quite amazing in their own right and I wish that there will be sequels in the near future.
04. Best Fall Anime in 2021…
– Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu (Winner)
– Komi-san wa, Komyushou desu. (Runner-up)
We’ve now reached Fall 2021 where there’s nothing fancy that happened during that quarter, with the exception of Ousama Ranking which it said to be a great anime by some people.
But here are my picks for the best anime series in Fall 2021, and my top pick for that quarter is Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu. The reason for choosing that show is not because it has Megumi Hayashibara taking the lead role, but it’s an interesting story of the Space Race with the existence of vampires being added to the mix. And while there’s still Cold War politics between two superpowers, especially when the Federal Republic of Zirnitra its (Soviet Union equivalent) dealing with internal affairs, it focuses on both Irina Luminesk and Lev Leps reaching their dreams to become cosmonauts no matter what.
As for 2nd place, I choose Komi-san wa, Komyushou desu. where it’s not because Shouko Komi is a cutie, but she’s a girl who needs help when it comes to communicating with other people. At least Hitohito Tadano and Najimi Osana are helping her out… with the exception of Ren Yamai where she’s freaking annoying, especially when she’s the most obsessive one in the bunch. While Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu didn’t get a sequel, Komi-san wa, Komyushou desu. got another season.
05. Best Winter Anime in 2021…
– Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku (1st Place)
– Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru (2nd Place)
– Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu (3rd Place)
Finally, we’ve arrived at Winter 2021 in which this quarter has some heavy hitters. If fact, there are so many good shows to watch that I have to choose three of the best shows in Winter.
Starting in 3rd place will be Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu as it’s slightly similar to Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki, especially when the protagonist tries to save the kingdom from financial ruin as well as being annexed by a powerful country. Of course, the difference is that Wein Salema Arbalest is a genius prince who really wants to retire early rather than looking dignified in front of everybody. Oh yeah, and he’s actually a genius strategy and a capable warrior who can get out of sticky situations together with his army of soldiers. Honestly, Prince Wein is quite entertaining to watch compared to King Kazuya.
At 2nd place, I choose Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru where I’m really surprised that a gyaru character like Marin Kitagawa is really interested in the world of cosplaying. Also, it’s quite educational when it comes to cosplaying, from making costumes to taking pictures of cosplayers like a pro. Heck, even Wakana Gojo learned how to make nice costumes for Marin-chan which in turn improve his skills in making hina dolls. Of course, the romance between these two characters are downplayed a bit but you know what, Kitagawa is really lovestruck towards Gojo-kun.
Finally, the 1st place in Winter 2021 goes to Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku where it really heals my heart when watching this anime show, especially when Komichi Akebi made new friends despite wearing a different school uniform. C’mon, the positivity really shines throughout the show and I’m glad that CloverWorks did a great job on their anime adaptation.
06. Best anime sequel in 2021…
– SSSS.DYNAZENON (Winner)
– Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou 2nd Season (Runner-up)
Moving onto the best sequels for the 2021 Anime Season where there are a few that stood out to me. While I want to consider Hamefura Season 2 as a contender, I feel that it’s a step-down from the first season.
Anyways, the runner-up will be Arifureta Season 2 where it’s a big improvement over the 1st in terms of pacing, although there’s still some terrible CGI from time to time. But hey, at least Daisuke Hiyama got a fitting punishment thanks to Hajime Nagumo where he just overpower that bully.
As for the winner, it’s SSSS.DYNAZENON where despite looking like a spin-off, it’s actually a sequel to SSSS.GRIDMAN (and by extension, Dennou Choujin Gridman) where the characters must overcome their inner demons while dealing with kaijus on a daily basis. There’s nothing wrong with Studio Trigger’s mecha anime, although you need to watch the 1993 tokusatsu show to understand the real story.
07. Most overlooked anime in 2021…
– Sabikui Bisco (Winner)
– Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou Desu (Runner-up)
Time for some anime shows where I believe that was overlooked by everyone else (aside from Super Cub) and I found two shows that fits the bill in my opinion.
The runner-up goes to Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou Desu where it’s your typical isekai anime show, except the main character Sei Takanashi is not only overpowered with her saint-like abilities, but also has a bit sassy, yet humble personality where she’s surrounded by hot men like the Hawke brothers, Johan Valdec, and Yuri Dreves. It’s no wonder why Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou Desu got a 2nd season.
As for the winner, it’s Sabikui Bisco where it’s a shonen-like anime series set in a post-apocalyptic world, even though its source material came from a light novel under the Dengeki Bunko label. Seriously, there are some crazy moments from Bisco Akaboshi and Milo Nekoyanagi in the pursuit of the elusive Rust Eater mushroom. Sucks that Sabikui Bisco needs more love ’cause it’s really entertaining!
08. Worst anime series in 2021…
– Wonder Egg Priority (1st Place)
– Kyuukyoku Shinka shita Full Dive RPG ga Genjitsu yori mo Kusoge Dattara (2nd Place)
– Shikkakumon no Saikyou Kenja (3rd Place)
Just before we go to the overall pick in 2021, I want to address some literal bad eggs that appeared during the season. Now while Shikkakumon no Saikyou Kenja is just painfully generic, the next 2 anime shows deserved to be in the garbage-tier in my opinion.
Starting off with the 2nd place where Full Dive RPG started off as a parody to Sword Art Online. However, I found this anime to be much stupid than I thought, as not only Reona Kisaragi’s motives of forcing Hiroshi Yuuki to play Kiwame Quest is quite petty, but the ending ruined my day. I mean Hiroshi did everything to survive playing Kiwame Quest, only for a spanner to befall on him which destroys his expensive console rather than losing a life. That’s fuckin’ infuriating to see!
But the 1st place for the worst anime series in 2021 goes to Wonder Egg Priority where CloverWorks destroyed this promising anime show. Now, it supposed to be included in the 2020 Anime Season, but production delays keep piling up until the real final episode aired in June 2021. Oh and speaking of the final episode where it has an hour’s worth of footage? I would say that it’s just half of it where it didn’t resolve everything. Seriously, Wonder Egg Priority is the worst anime that I’ve watched in 2021!
09. Best overall anime series in 2021…
– 86 -Eighty Six- (1st Place)
– Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (2nd Place)
– Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku (3rd Place)
Finally, it’s time for me to choose which is the best show overall in 2021 and man, I feel that I found some of my favorites.
In 3rd place, it’s Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku where it’s an amazing slice-of-life show as CloverWorks redeemed themselves with their anime adaptation.
In 2nd place, it’s Mushoku Tensei where it not only has amazing visual, but an intriguing story where the protagonist wants to have another chance to become a better person.
And in 1st place, it 86 -Eighty Six- where this war drama/mecha anime shows that the oppressed can overcome various odds to survive until they found a place they call home. Oh yeah, and mecha anime is cool!
Image courtesy via Twitter
And now, I end this post with the current members of Nijisanji English as of this writing. Now, this branch was created in response to Hololive English and I’m sure that they’ll grow even further for many years to come!
But that concludes my review of the 2021 Anime Season. Now that the 2022 Anime Season is underway, I’ll see you next year for my review on it.