Best Anime of 2021

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It’s that time of year where we look back on all things that happen during the year. And 2021 was another rough year for so many reasons but it also had some great content for us to escape into for Anime. So as we look back at the best of 2021, we are going to go through our top series, films, and OPs.

We will start our list with #5 and work our way up to #1.

Tokyo Revengers

This is one of those animes where the main character is annoying dense, whiny, and pathetic most of the time. Yet, he manages to redeem himself each time as he fights to protect his friends and those he loves. The show doesn’t shy away from going to the dark place or protecting any main characters, so just know going in that nobody is safe.

This series also takes a top spot for us with an original soundtrack that both rocks it out during the series and with its OP Cry Baby.

Takemichi Hanagaki is a freelancer that’s reached the absolute pits of despair in his life. He finds out that the only girlfriend he ever had, in middle school, Hinata Tachibana, had been killed by the ruthless Tokyo Manji Gang. The day after hearing about her death, he’s standing on the station platform and ends up being pushed over onto the tracks by a herd of people. He closes his eyes thinking he’s about to die, but when he opens his eyes back up, he somehow had gone back in time 12 years. Now that he’s back living the best days of his life, Takemichi decides to get revenge on his life.

Watch On Crunchyroll

SK8 the Infinity

SK8 is a sports anime without the typical goal of winning. Our lead character loves the sports and just wants to keep doing it but finds himself discouraged as he sees those who are much better at it leaving him behind. Throughout the series, his character grows to understand he can still like it and enjoy it regardless of what anyone else says.

Reki, a high school sophomore and skater, is addicted to “S,” a highly secret and dangerous downhill skateboarding race that takes place in an abandoned mine. The skaters are especially wild about the “beefs,” or heated battles that erupt in the races. Reki takes Langa, a transfer student returning to Japan after studying abroad, to the mine where the races are held. Langa, who has no skateboarding experience, finds himself pulled into the world of “S”…

Watch on Funimation

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train

After all the hype of the first season of Demon Slayer began to subside, the movie was announced which would bridge the gap leading into the second season. The film promised us a lot of action and it didn’t disappoint. What made this film better than most anime films in 2021 is that it wasn’t a side story or a non-canon piece of the world. This film actually progresses the story.

And with Ufotable animating the movie, just like the series, we received stunning animation and fight sequences, that lead us to a heated climax of a fight, and a heartbreaking finish. But all of it set up the next season which just kicked off on Funimation Dec 2021.

Prepare to venture into an endless dream as “Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train” comes to theaters soon! “With your blade, bring an end to the nightmare”

Watch on Funimation

JUJUTSU KAISEN (cour 2)

Jujutsu Kaisen is an interesting supernatural series centered around a boy who knows nothing of the monsters around him but would at the drop of a hat help a friend in need. Which of course lands him right in the middle of trouble and makes him the most valuable person in the world now, but not in a good way.

Yuji Itadori is a boy with tremendous physical strength, though he lives a completely ordinary high school life. One day, to save a classmate who has been attacked by curses, he eats the finger of Ryomen Sukuna, taking the curse into his own soul. From then on, he shares one body with Ryomen Sukuna. Guided by the most powerful of sorcerers, Satoru Gojo, Itadori is admitted to Tokyo Jujutsu High School, an organization that fights the curses… and thus begins the heroic tale of a boy who became a curse to exorcise a curse, a life from which he could never turn back.

Watch On Crunchyroll or Funimation

To Your Eternity

Coming in at our top spot is To Your Eternity. The characters and the story are emotional and meant to hit the viewer in the gut. It is because of this, that this show rocketed to our top spot in the 2021 rankings. The creator of this is the same one behind A Silent Voice, Yoshitoki Ōima. So the emotional impact of the series should come as no surprise. What makes the writing so special is that the main character has no prejudice towards good or evil in the world.

Watching ‘it’ experience this without reaction or emotion as it grows and learns leaves the viewers to take on the reaction the main character cannot. I can’t think of the last anime to tear my heart out as much as this show did, and just after 1 episode. But I mean that in the best way possible.

The original soundtrack by Ryo Kawasaki for To Your Eternity is also one of our top for the year along with an original OP song Pink Blood by Utada Hikaru.

In the beginning, an “orb” is cast unto Earth. “It” can do two things: change into the form of the thing that stimulates “it”; and come back to life after death. “It” morphs from orb to rock, then to wolf, and finally to boy, but roams about like a newborn who knows nothing. As a boy, “it” becomes Fushi. Through encounters with human kindness, Fushi not only gains survival skills, but grows as a “person”. But his journey is darkened by the inexplicable and destructive enemy Nokker, as well as cruel partings with the people he loves.

Watch on Crunchyroll

Robert Prentice