The Anime Of 2021

The Best Anime Of 2021

Better late than never.

Welcome to the pile of hurt. This year was bad enough to make me think about quitting anime entirely. There is just something very lovely to making it out of 40 hours of work a week and then ending up with whatever this is. Thank goodness we don’t have a global pandemic, massive inflation, a destabilization of democracies worldwide and war on this continent going on. Oh wait. That’s the new normal apparently.

But I digress. As always, this list only includes anime that actually finished last year as there are enough anime that love to squander their potential and mess up at the final stretch.

I make it a point to extensively check out the shows a season has to offer, so if something isn’t on this list, I might have watched and dropped it. Or haven’t watched it at all because even I have my limits and I’m not checking out all 10 seasonal isekai anime in the hopes of finding something good there. Whenever I think of the good anime I would have missed out had I not checked everything out, only two come to my mind (DenYuuDen and admittedly MahoIku, which would have changed things a lot for me) and I’ve been seasonally watching anime since 2009. That is not a good quota.

Yes, this includes or rather excludes critically acclaimed power fantasies for teenagers and critically acclaimed incel power fantasies for horny teenagers. Shocking, I know. I’ve come to make it a habit to drop most of the bad stuff and I don’t regret branching out into movies these days at all.

The Best Anime Of 2021: Ousama Ranking

86: 86 is a war-centered mecha anime with commentary on fascism as it draws allegories to the holocaust. Now that on its own sounds promising. The issue here, however, is that it’s based on a light novel so it’s all a bunch of poorly written bullshit about the racist Blue-Eyes White Dragon people discriminating against their war slaves with non-white hair colors by sending them out to die against monstrous life forms. They are commandeered by the one good but slightly hypocritical and very pretty moe kawaii uguu Blue-Eyes White Dragon girl who just so happens to wear garterbelts so Saving Private Ryan, All Quiet On The Western Front, The Grand Illusion, Das Boot… this is not these. It’s Schindler’s List for illiterate people, which describes politicized anime fans very well. The sad part is that there’s actually nuggets of gold and entire good episodes in this when the anime staff ramps up anime original material, the good-looking battles start or the director goes full auteur on the directing. So it’s a bad source material polished up to 11. Sadly, however, that can only do so much. Mediocre.

Beastars S2: I wasn’t too hot on the first season of Beastars, which always felt like it was acceptable but not particularly outstanding, especially on the romance front which could have been from every other anime ever except with animals. So imagine how positively surprised I was when this season made actual use of its setting, gave us a compelling mafia plot focused on the most interesting character of the show, put its characters to the very edge of the forefront as it made them develop and question themselves, tackled its main mystery and resolved it and generally did all the things it should have done in the first season… that is, until it all comes crumbling down in its last third and weird plot resolutions are followed by inconsequential copouts that did a huge disservice to both the characters and plot points and were oftentimes straight up bizarre. That is one way to disappoint me. And they have yet to adapt the part that everyone says is bad! Mediocre.

Bishounen Tanteidan: Bishounen Tanteidan is the latest in the line of self-mastubatory nisiOisin anime that deem themselves way smarter than they are, something that makes the rather primitive Juuni Taisen stand out rather favorably by comparison, and somehow, it… mostly works? Oh, there’s still enough pseudo-witty gimmick writing in here, don’t get me wrong. But there are also some actually smart elements in it and it cleverly managed to interweave its character conflicts with its arc-based mysteries. It was also on a surprisingly non-gimmicky yet still outstanding enough presentational level for a SHAFT project. So that is something. I still remember absolutely nothing of this show in retrospect and that is not good but I do remember giving it a passing grade for good reason. Whatever that reason was. Decent.

The Best Anime Of 2021: JoJo's Bizarre  Adventure Part 6 Stone Ocean

Blue Period: And here we have an anime that does not justify its existence in an animated medium whatsoever. Well, technically, that applies to a lot of them but this has zero directing, zero animation and zero memorable music. It stands out how unintentionally bland the presentation is. So what’s there to like? Quite a lot actually. While it feels very weird that our protagonist learns one to three lessons about the discovery of self within art every episode to the point where you can’t help but wonder how many self-discoveries a man can have within a few days while essentially speedrunning through the skill ladder of actual artistry so the lessons learnt often have nothing to do with art theory itself, this is a show that really does pick up after a third or so and gives us engaging characters with very interesting identity conflicts and manages to present the world of art as not only vast but also deep and inherently challenging, both internally and externally. Granted, Yotaro still sometimes feels more like a mouthpiece for This Is The Important Stuff They Don’t Teach You At School than an actual character, but the inspirational energy that flows through him can also be felt by the audience. Decent.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou: Speaking of anime that don’t justify their existence, what the fuck is this shit? Yeah, I was the first on this planet to call this out on not being a remake way back when it was first announced because reairing the original right before a remake sounded too stupid to be true but then again, “too stupid to be true” fits this show very well. Imagine the original Higurashi. Now strip away the atmosphere. Now slavishly remake that with a worse art style. And then change only the last parts of each arc to some other kind of bloodbath. What do we have? A massive waste of time, that’s what. As a sequel, it also completely ruins the message of the original and once we did get to the “new” parts, things got better insofar as that I finally got to see new content but man, were the culprit’s motives absolutely idiotic and did they ruin the entire character. And then we got a cliffhanger ending. Splendid. Very bad.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sotsu: Which brings us to Sotsu. I thought this was going to be better. After all, we made it out of the recap hell, didn’t we? Yeah, see, the first 13 episodes of Sotsu are busy recapping the entirety of Gou. Which was recapping the original series to large chunks. I am not making this up. 13 of 15 episodes were stuff we already saw except with tiny sprinkles of “And this is how the culprit did it” parts put in, most of which were unspectacular revelations and a lot didn’t even make sense. The last two episodes then gave us a magical girl fight, which was the best worst thing ever about this entire mess and bruteforced us into a happy end that we had previously already achieved except we now have some Umineko teasing that also ruins Umineko characters but it’s just teasing, not confirmation, ain’t we being cheeky smartypants here, teeheehee. Oh, that rascal Ryukishi07! No, seriously, this is worse than Endless Eight. And, and I actually mean this, the worst anime I have ever finished. Unwatchable.

The Best Anime Of 2021: Mars Red

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean: It’s more JoJo. That is good. You know JoJo. You like JoJo. Here we are, you and me, liking JoJo. It does have some starting problems admittedly but the characters quickly turn into very fun affairs with clever and creative Stand battles. What’s not so good is that 1.), it’s poorly produced, a shame compared to Part 4 and especially Part 5 and 2.) it’s only 12 episodes… until the show gets to continue one year later. And then yet again another year later. Thank you, unnecessary Urusei Yatsura sequel (back in the days, noitaminA meant something etc. etc.). Thank you, absolutely idiotic Netflix model. This was still a good anime, mind you, but I’m mostly using this space to vent on how they managed to make people uncare about JoJo of all things. Congratulations on achieving that. If Part VII gets the same treatment, I just don’t know anymore. Good.

Kageki Shoujo!!: Girls go to a competetive theatre school. The drama unfolds on both the stage and outside of it. I’m a simple man. I can dig that. And the character backstories of this were sometimes surprisingly decent. Looking at you, girl who ruined her haircut. What wasn’t, however, is that the actual progress of the show was nonexistent and while the theatre bits delivered, the character drama was oftentimes the pits. Oh, it tries to tackle serious subjects. Tries, that is. With all the sledgehammer standard shoujo writing you could think of. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sexual abuse story as bad as this one’s. Or, get this, when one of the teachers tells one of the girls she might want to lose a bit of weight (this is, of course, told, not seen, since we can’t have our characters not be pretty as we criticize toxic beauty standards!), she immediately becomes bullemic and starts vomitting into the toilet. Is this what we call writing nowadays? Because it feels like unintentional parody. Some of these characters are walking complexes. Which is a shame, because I do like the subject matter and there is enough in here that sticks but the vomit at the toilet seat does so too. This is not Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, that much is for sure. Mediocre.

Mars Red: Well, I guess this is one of the better shows of the year and it’s still a disappointment so that implies bad things for the year and good things for its ambitions. Which exist in spades. I have a soft spot for it with its theatre x vampire x shouwa era x post-war commentary genre mix that’s not only atmospheric but also surprisingly makes a lot of sense thematically but both the writing and production were breaking apart under not being able to achieve what it set out to do. The music, for what it’s worth, always delivered but that didn’t hinder it from having the best first episode of the season that perfectly encapsulated everything the series then thereafter tried to say and fell short of replicating. It was almost comical how it tried to mimick its past greatness and just couldn’t pull it off. It’s certainly one of the better anime you can watch from last year and it warrants mention for its good intentions and originality but when it feels like it would have been a lot better by leaving half of its elements out of its restricted 12 episodes runtime and pretentious blonde vampire kid commentary is how they decide to let the curtain down you know this was a perfectly avoidable outcome. Decent.

The Best Anime Of 2021: Bishounen Tanteidan

Odd Taxi: Everyone’s beloved critical darling from this year aside from Ousama Ranking and who am I to disagree? Odd Taxi is a cleverly written multi-perspective story with so many side plots dangling around until finally arriving at the same destination and it puts enough dark humor, grit and bits of social commentary in its very human animal tale. Think Baccano!, not bloody, but with animals and that’s it. I’m admittedly not as big on it as others are as I’ve seen this kind of storytelling before and not all plot threads were engaging and I found the final twist to be too obvious (in fact, I guessed it at the very start) but it’s such a beautiful finale nonetheless that will no doubt mark one of this year’s best and remains as a strong contendor for one of the best ways to end an anime. So yeah. A furry thriller that you should watch. Hard to believe. Thank you for not being Beastars. Good.

Ousama Ranking: Everyone’s beloved critical darling from this year aside from Odd Taxi and I do disagree with this one. Oh, it’s not bad by any means. In fact, I put it on my 3×3. I really didn’t want to. Curse this year. But Ousama Ranking does quite a few things right where others fail. First of all, it’s a fantasy series not plagued down by isekai or self-insert nonsense. Opponents actually feel threatening, you have several perspectives on different fronts and various plot threads engaging with each other and the action, more often than not, does feature animation. There’s an absence of negatives combined with uncommon positives. And yet, it’s a dark fantasy story where nobody dies… permanently, that is. Every character in this show “dies” three times only to actually still be alive thereafter. You know, when you have a war going on in your story about… mass murder, discrimination, evil and whatnot, pretending that you have stakes but actually not having them and converting every single nasty villain to an actually good guy at heart, right down to a “actually, the devil just had a bad childhood”, that is just kind of laughable. Multi-faceted, intriguing characters turn into one-note caricatures, political scheming falls flat and the last third of the show is devoted to fighting a regenerating armor for five episodes until someone finally comes up with an idea to not kill but spacially contain it. Holy terrible pacing, go read some Ajin. Decent.

Shadows House: Easily one of the better shows on this list but it doesn’t make liking it particularly easy at its start. Emilico serves Kate. They act cutely. Emilico cleans things. Here’s a premise but there’s not much of a plot. They try to capture some unspectacular-looking shadow blobs. Not exciting, is it? But then! It actually does get better and quite a lot. This is rare for anime. Shadows House starts introducing several more characters, each with their own agenda, facing their own hurdles as they try to overcome their own weaknesses and faults in life, with their paths intersecting with each other, stakes are raised, conflicts become engaging, charismatic villains appear, hindrances are tactically fought, an emotional core is established, the interesting setting receives exploration and both scale and dimension of the story enlargen. That is sadly still too late into the show and the last anime original arc meant to round things out, while nice enough, doesn’t quite capture the quality of the preceding one (although easily beats the start) but if the sequel so far has been any indication, we’re on a road to continue just the way it should and that’s something to look forward to. Decent.

The Best Anime Of 2021: Odd Taxi

Sonny Boy: People hail Shingo Natsume for One Punch Man, something that, to me, always felt like more of a collaborative animator effort and not well-directed by any means and Boogiepop never really was as atmospheric as its original PV so I’ve always deemed ACCA his best work but Sonny Boy eclipses even that as it’s the one anime that proves he might just be a visionnaire. From where I stand, I put Sonny Boy into the same category of anime as Serial Experiment Lain, Paranoia Agent or Texhnolyze. It’s a highly inspirational, creatively flourishing, ridiculously well-written auteur anime with a lot to say and the executive prowess to deliver in spades on that. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sonny Boy turned out to be my anime of the decade – and it’s technically isekai! Sonny Boy mixes meta physics with philosophy for its very intriguing premise and does so without a hint of pretentiousness as it takes you along on its journey without much handholding. And what a journey of character growth and an outlook on life itself it is! It’s supported by visuals that know how to execute its colorful setting and the music, while minimalist, serves Sonny Boy well and even its insert songs, something too often the equivalent to CG cars, stands out all the more positively. This is a challenging story that doesn’t hand out freebies to either its audience or characters and is all the better for that. It can be both emotionally devastating and yet believes in mankind’s ability to choose, which is a realistic but overall positive outlook in life. Sonny Boy is the smartest anime I have seen in ages. Sweet dreams are made of this. Very Good.

Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor – The Beyond: Hehe… hey there, readers! Are you there? Get it, because that’s what the Festum always say… oh, wait. You don’t get it and you aren’t there because you actually haven’t watched Fafner. Well, that’s very stupid of you, you total imbeciles. Anyway, Soukyuu no Fafner is a long-running, way-longer-pausing existentialist dark mecha anime that started back in 2004 that loves itself some technobabble and improper German terminology use and it’s really popular in Japan contrary to the West where almost noone has heard of it or just calls it an Evangelion ripoff because Western anime fans are just that stupid. It’s also written by Tow Ubukata whose writing quality ranges from Psycho-Pass S2 to Le Chevalier D’Eon, so make of that as you will. It’s a high action survavilist story with a both very damning but also bright outlook on mankind and war commentary as teenage soldiers fight to protect their home while their parents can only witness in agony as their families are broken apart and the idea of the preservation of peace in times of slaughter rests on the attempt to pretend that everything is normal and the struggle for a future filled with hope, something that does not necessarily coexist with peace. The Beyond, with its mere 12 episodes, doesn’t quite do justice to all the previous plot threads and the scope of the world of Fafner as international politics and a refugee crisis leave surprisingly little mark on a finale more personal than grand in scale and I admittedly don’t think all characters were treated equally and yet, it puts the story of Kazuki and Soushi to a beautiful conclusion that is, especially in these trying times of ours, all the more needed and valid. Good.

SSSS.Dynazenon: It’s a Gridman sequel. Gridman was mediocre. So is this. There’s the occasional standout episode here and there but what interesting build-up for potentially good character conflicts it has ends just like that in the middle of nowhere as weak dissolutions do a huge disservice to what could have been but ultimately wasn’t. On the upside, it actually has characters this time. And a group of antagonists that was somewhat interesting contrary to the special snowflake girl who really loves kaijuu. On the downside, it doesn’t have a plot. Which makes it hard to work with anything here. Is it a general mood piece with a poorly implemented message and sprinkles of character drama? There’s hints at a backstory but that’s just that. So overall, it just kind of goes on until it stops and it’s not the most boring ride alongside and contrary to Gridman doesn’t take half the show to reel you in but when your big finale leads to “Wait for the movie to come out!”, was there really any point? Mediocre.

The Best Anime Of 2021: Blue Period

Super Cub: It started out strong as a character study with something to say, then, by the halfway point, turned into a generic cute girls anime with cubs as its gimmick and by the last third, became a glorified mess of an ad and a braindead parody of itself. Half of the dialogue in its last episodes reads like an overly SEO-optimized text with keyword spamming all over it. If you can’t believe in yourself, believe in the heart of the Super Cubs that will believe in you. Maybe the true friends were the Super Cubs we made along the way. Because at the end of the road lies a Super Cub. Honda will always be by my side. That company is my friend. This is an anime that started out as a naturalist mood piece and ended on a girl fearing for her life as she was stuck in shallow water… as classic music kept playing over the supposedly life-threatening incident. See, that’s what you get for riding a bicycle, woman! Which are so not super! Unlike Super Cubs! Buy them! Mediocre.

Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu: Much like 86, this never quite had the making of great commentary on racism. And unlike 86, apart from its first episode, the production also fell apart so hard that it’s by far the ugliest anime on this list. But very much like Mars Red, its genre mix of vampires x Not-Russia x racial commentary x romance x space adventure was a very fresh, surprisingly fitting and at times incredibly charming experience. Sure, some of the stuff in here was always in your face. Like the Crazy Racist Scientist With Garlic Around His Neck Who’s Also Very Evil. And it always felt undercooked on the Not-Russia state commentary and the space training segments. But the human element? It was there. This is an anime that felt like a very traditional romance of two people fighting against all odds and scenes such as the ice skating ones or when their ambitions and hopes and dreams for the future match just about hit the right spot. Every victory in this felt cathartic. Until the end, that is. Because that is when this decided that throwing the entire struggle against the odds out of the window was the best idea to then have everyone who has always been racist become unracist as plot convenience and the world’s worst Martin Luther King imitation speech were met by applause as the present authority figure agreed in a very ham-handed “Pranked! I actually was unracist too all along! Take that, dictatorship country!” manner and all of our long-lasting, complicated, societal issues were fixed in a heartbeat because someone said so. And none of the romance got resolved either! Man, way to make sure that everything that came before the end of your show didn’t actually matter. Mediocre.

Urasekai Picnic: This is not a very well put together anime by any means. And I don’t just mean visually. There are parts in this that contradict each other in terms of chronology because they shuffled around the source material’s chapters for anime original content written by the author himself and now that is one oversight that is absolutely bottom-tier embarrassing. But yeah. The presentation and its CG. Not too great either. It has some great scoring though. Good soundtrack and absolutely effective use of music. The sound director was the only one who understood that horror should creep you out and was absolutely killing it. With that said, it’s not the worst thing ever. It’s an anime at its best when it lets itself stray far into the abstract and inexplicable phenomena pop up, giving it some Chernobyl-like atmosphere in its Yume Nikki-esque setting. The more abstract the danger the better, the more giant screaming CG monsters the worse and it doesn’t help that most of the time, the protagonists touching apparitions somehow makes them disappear and explanations are oftentimes left out. Considering that none of these characters or their conflicts feel any engaging and that the mere fact that they willingly return to Horror Plot Convenience Land with no stakes attached all the time, I don’t think the original light novel or its manga adaptation are much better however. Mediocre.

The Best Anime Of 2021: Sonny Boy

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song: Coming from the author of Re:Zero and that other show everyone has already forgotten about so my hopes for the writing weren’t the highest. Vivy is an anime that starts out with high stakes and consequences in its brutality as it makes you wonder what the finale could possibly hold in store for you, only to completely lose the spice after the first six episodes and throw idol bullshit and the world’s least interesting resistance organization at you to deliver a finale that couldn’t have been any more generic if it tried. The action, when it was there, looked good. The characters and whatever they had to say on robots were utterly shallow. Go read Pluto or whatever. Or look forward to watching it. And let’s hope Nagatsuki Tappei doesn’t get to write another anime anytime soon. Bad.

Yuru Camp△ S2: It’s more Yuru Camp. You know what to expect. I liked the Rin and Sakura dynamics a lot. There’s just something great about two emotionally indifferent girls with an age gap having low-key interactions. Reminds me of Snow White and Mariko. But I digress. Probably for good reason since I can’t think of anything else to say. This show keeps pretending that its characters develop but when that doesn’t go beyond “Rin prefers solo camping but realizes that group camping with her friends can be fun too… just like in the first season”, we’ve exhausted all options… years ago. There are quieter, more somber moments in this show that work but equally as many that, due to the absence of everything, are just tedious. All of that is amplified when it ditches that and goes for the generic “mountain climbing is so fun” route with its stereotypical school girls and it’s just like any of the other club-themed CGDCT anime. And I also couldn’t help but realize how absolutely uninteresting these characters are as its final stretch was so bad it drew all its weaknesses and nothing else to the foreground. I feel like I’m getting more out of Yama no Susume than this. Which is to say, bloody read Kokou no Hito already. Mediocre.

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru Churutto!: I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash I Hate Gacha Trash Where Is My NoWaYu Anime. Bad.

The Best Anime Of 2021: Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor - The Beyond

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Dai Mankai no Shou: Oh, there is my NoWaYu anime… oh no… oooooh nooooo. You know. Out of all of the anime that have happened this year that were disappointing or an onslaught on my soul otherwise, this one hurt the most. This was the sequel to an anime with a perfect ending. That was already a bad start. But actually it’s a chronological step back to adapt two spinoff light novels, one of them the aforementioned NoWaYu which you would require to read for S2 actually, adapted in roughly four episodes each. Which required cuts. NoWaYu, the critical darling everyone (including myself) was hoping for, started at the 70 % mark, with two characters dead before they got a single line. It then proceeded to adapt the rest somewhat well (which still didn’t work since there was no context to it) except it cut out to the ending part which is what was badly needed to give this anime and the finale of S2 any cohesion so… WHAT’S THE POINT OF THIS???? And then the last few episodes were recaps of the last episode of S2 except now with worse music and it took them two episodes to recap one episode with minor new scenes that added absolutely nothing. And it also turns out that they could have adapated anything but specifically chose to do it like this and don’t even count the NoWaYu adaptation as one so why does this exist? And yet, the last episode was very brilliant, gave us what everyone thought this was going to be, thematically enrichened the story and presented us with a touching sendoff that was as much of a graceful final closure as it could have been so it gets points for that. I just don’t know anymore. Mediocre.

Yuukoku no Moriarty Part 2: It’s more Moriarty. It’s batshit insane and doesn’t realize it and most of what this considers to be smart is actually not. But it’s certainly entertaining in its bishounen Sherlock vs bishounen Moriarty story with crossdressing James Bonde (not a typo) tagging along. Speaking of tagging along, if you were wondering if the huge cast of side characters ever got their backstories or ended up contributing to the plot at all outside of plot device activities… nope! And half of the show was just that – assembling the team. So it could do at Moriarty’s bidding. Moriarty’s two brothers also kind of didn’t end up mattering either. So that’s 2 cours of anime not exactly wisely spent. And yet, somehow, for some reason, I can’t hate this show so very much in love with its weird scheming and criminal rivalry set in 19th century Britain about making sure that Elon Musk pays his fair share of taxes by cutting of his hand or whatever. And it even ended on a surprisingly decent note! I ask for so little these days. Mediocre.

Wonder Egg Priority: It shouldn’t be legal for a show to be this disappointing. Oh, the start. Heavy hitting, existentialist, surreal, atmospheric, artistic, social commentary in spades, a clear tale of a character who wants to be part of her own show on her challenging road to self-improvement. You know, the cracks already started soon thereafter when it turned into a Social Commentary Kids Beat Up The Nasty Persona Monsters That Look Really Dumb show. But it still did things well enough. But then came its end, which isn’t an end and it feels like nobody there had any idea to what the show should be and how it should end. It felt like an axed manga ending, something that usually doesn’t happen with anime productions. The signs were there earlier. With utterly moronic twists like Neiru who had her scar on her back because her sister tried to kill her (this is a good setup) and also happened to be the child CEO of a multi-million dollar company (what) with that one’s secretary collaborating with the bad guys (what) and it turns out our girl was friends with a special albino girl (what) who is now in a coma (what) who proved parallel universes right (what) and is still alive therein (what) but guess what, Neiru is actually just a robot clone of her sister (what) and now we must save her from the parallel world… after the show ends. The End. Excuse me. Who was in charge of this fanfic? Just the Neiru stuff is enough for a one cour anime on its own. Another character had regrets over a fan of her idol activities committing suicide and then her subplot concluded with an episode dedicated to not knowing who her real father was. How was this in any way relevant to what her character was about? And the list goes on. And yet, even after all this time, writing all of this still hurts. What a travesty. Very Bad.

The Best Anime Of 2021: Shadows House

Congratulations, you have made it through the pile. As always, here’s a list of hardly related 2021 statements to round things out because we just can’t break with the tradition.

Best Writing: Sonny Boy.
Best Visual Execution: Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor – The Beyond.
Best Directing: Select episodes of Sonny Boy and 86.
Best OST: Mars Red.
Best Opening: Bishounen Tanteidan’s maybe?
Best Ending: Shadow House’s probably?
All Hope Lost: For a MahoIku Restart anime.
A Wish Upon The Stars: For MahoIku to not end anytime soon.
I Swear, I Will Finish This Game One Day: Returnal.
I Don’t Think I’ll Finish This Game Actually: Anything Monster Hunter-related, really.
Positive Surprises That Were Had: The unnecessary Megumi no Daigo sequel is rather decent actually?
A New Fetish Has Been Acquired: Jester girls are super magi-cool!
Connections You Wouldn’t Make If You Weren’t Smart: 86 truly is the Soukyuu no Fafner of our times. Except not worth watching.
Banal Realization That Took Me Too Long: Isekai, Weekly Shounen Jump, you name it… these aren’t creative entertainment products or art, they are mere content. Think not, just consume.

And that about wraps it up with another year of anime. I’d say we should hope for the next one to be better but considering that due to the late disc release of Fafner, this post is about eight months late, so I already know the answer and let’s just say that it’s less convincing than ever.

3 thoughts on “The Anime Of 2021

  1. > Isekai, Weekly Shounen Jump, you name it… these aren’t creative entertainment products or art, they are mere content. Think not, just consume.

    Funny enough, I had this realization instead when it came to the mixed-media franchises and gacha adaptations that are becoming far more pervasive, and will certainly flood the annual anime output very soon in the wake of UmaMusu’s inexplicable popularity.
    Takt Op, Princess Connect, Extreme Hearts, Pride of Orange, Hypnosis Mic, Engage Kiss, Shine Post, the list goes on. All funneling hundreds of millions of yen into their productions all looking to create the next big money maker: a cyclical case of spending money for the sole purpose of making more money that’s been infecting Hollywood for the past decade, now it’s finding its way globally in this corporate era of media.


    • Sorry for the late forward, something evidently went quite wrong there.

      Yes, those are very obvious examples as well. I think I have them mentally categorized under “marketing schemes”. It doesn’t help that a lot of them don’t even run for that long and they then drop everything. Kind of makes all the money you’d spend on these things look absolutely wasted since there is no game preservation with gacha.

      Heck, you look at stuff like Deep Insanity that gets axed after a year yet had an entire anime production behind it and can’t help but feel that that was all wasted effort and you might just wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to spend that money otherwise.

      Yuuki Yuuna is probably the franchise that had it best, reason being that it was written independently of its gacha game but even then you had Takahiro commenting that if you want another season, you better invest in the gacha. Mind you, that anime sold +10.000 copies. It’s absurd. And now the gacha is going to die. Oh well.


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