Hello my friends and welcome back to Otaku Thursday! Today I’m coming at you with, the most anticipated time of the season– the end of the winter 2021 lineup and our Top 5 Anime of 2021!!! This season we had a lot of surprisingly good contenders, but also some surprisingly BAD contenders (and yes I’m going to just call you out like that Promised Neverland–irredeemable I tell you. IRREDEEMABLE). But there were five anime that stood out to me as the top five, though the order of them is debatable. Because we had such amazing second seasons coming out, I felt like they’d dominate the competition, so I decided to leave them at honorary mentions for now (not to say they WEREN’T amazing cause they were). I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge, that all of our top anime of this season had to do with trauma in one way or another (a lot had to do with children and trauma — RIP). Anyway, without further ado, let’s count it down!
Honorary mentions: Attack on Titan the Final season part 1, Beastars season 2
5) Kemono Jihen
Initially, this show had me with the first episode. It lost me for a hot second, got me again, lost me again, and ended with a questionable storyline, however I still believe this was one of the strongest anime I witnessed this season. Why? Because I found the character surprisingly likeable, their adversaries completely terrifying, and the overall stories a pleasure to watch. While fights were somewhat lackluster and there were some questionable plot choices made (considering all MCs are kids), it was still overall a great anime and I look forward to more.
If you’ve read my review of Code Black, you know that I love this show. It’s a lot of what I wanted OG Cells at Work to be, and its done really well. Its an action dystopian, free of fluff, and with surprisingly high stakes. This is one of those shows I looked forward to every week because I honestly didn’t know if the host body would survive. Plus its a serious lesson in self care.
What. Even. Are. YOU?! Okay, the only reason this masterpiece is in third place is because it didn’t really have a satisfying ending. And that’s because there is still one “special” episode that will come out in June and hopefully give us a better close to the anime. The action of this? Amazing. Animation? Almost flawless. Characters? Pretty likeable. Plot? Surprisingly deep. But, there are a lot of unanswered questions that I’m still looking forward to.
I honestly never thought I’d like this as much as I did. Tentatively titled B8, Sk8 was a refreshing take on sports anime. Not only did we get to see skating, but we actually were left with the idea that more important than winning or being amazing at a sport was just to have FUN doing it. The characters were enjoyable, the skating animation was pretty good actually, music was on point, and it was really a fun ride. Star and I always looked forward to it, and to Renga interactions. I’m not sure it’ll get a second season, or if it even NEEDS a second season, it’s honestly a delight as is.
This almost feels unfair that this is what gets crowned king. I mean, it was one of my favorite manga of all time so naturally I was going to like the anime adaption. While I think that this show was the best of the season and extremely great, it was by no means perfect. However, I loved the animation on it that really brought out the best of both the original material and the animation studio. The unique touches of adding the colors of emotions to the characters shadows was super unique and conveyed well. The characters got represented fairly well (though avid manga readers like myself would say that we missed out on some great key moments for side characters like Shuu and Shinzo). And overall it was a joy to watch even for Star who had never read the manga. I really liked how the show managed to take the anthology of over 100 short chapters and actually piece out the key moments to Miyamura’s growth. Part of me wishes it was only the first season and that a second was coming out, but it has indeed ended–just as the manga recently did. Still, this show was a great slice-of-life comedy and I think it’s going to be fairly memorable in the scope of things. I do think it deserves a nomination for best of year.
Well, that’s it for today’s Otaku Thursday! Those have been my choices for the top 5 anime of Winter 2021! Minus any of the sequel seasons that were amazing like AoT and Beastars. So, what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think! Would love to see what your top five of the season were. Until next time~