Board 8 > I rank the 56 plus anime I finished in 2021.

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01/13/22 6:16:46 PM

I mean none of the shows listed so far have scored better than an 8. So stuff now is just "a bit better than good"
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01/14/22 12:40:30 AM

36. Blue Period

Note: This is being retroactively added in.

Blue Period was a pretty hyped show, and based on the anime I can see why it was. But from what I understand the adaptation was not the best ever, and it shows. So I don't know how many of my problems are anime only.

When I say problems, I really mean one, and that's how Yaguchi doesn't really have any development as a character. I mean he develops as an artist because the show is obviously heavily focused on art. But a lot of it is just him learning new techniques and improving on that. To be fair, he is different when compared from the start to the end of the show, but his change just kind of happens. He's only kind of challenged at the very end of the show, and challenged is like a very strong word.

Ryuuji has a stronger development arc, and a lot of that is because we do see more of her background and has a much more obvious struggle to overcome. The other side characters add a little "flavor" to the rest of the anime, but not much more.

Again, this is a show where I understand why people would think this is amazing, the show is what I call "awards bait" but I also know (from word of mouth) that it could have been better with a more faithful adaptation as this one apparently cut out a lot of stuff.
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01/14/22 1:47:47 AM

14. Mieruko-chan

Mieruko-chan does something that a lot of anime have tried before and failed to do: make a horror themed anime actually feel scary. This has a lot to do with how much they dedicate to just letting each scene build up tension through action. The anime does a great job at giving you a sense of danger and uneasiness.

The characters are great. You see something new about Miko or see her grow during several of her encounters. Hana is a decent comedic foil who has some great dialogue. She is also the source of the fan service, which I understand has been ramped up for the anime.

If I had one complaint it's that it feels like the anime is just the first step to something deeper even if that's not really the case.

13. Don't Bully Me, Miss Nagatoro

Nagatoro is an anime that took a little bit to kick in for me, but once it did I really enjoyed it. Skilled-Teaser Takagi is one of my favorite shows and this is similar to that only a little less childlike. The animation team did an amazing job adapting the look and feel of the source material without compromising that it's an anime.

While as a whole it's not as good of a show as Takagi-san, it does have something on it and that's there is a clear difference in the attitudes of the characters at the start and end of the season.

12. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime S2

Season 2 is like season 1 only with slightly more stakes involved. That's all.

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01/14/22 2:54:09 AM

Season 2 of slime was...a bit disappointing. Shoulda done more with Rim being a demon lord now and apart drom Veldora being an idiot I feel it lost a fair bit of steam

"I do because I can."
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01/14/22 10:49:59 AM

I have the second part rated a little lower than the first part of s2. But the cast is so strong I still enjoyed it a lot
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01/14/22 1:06:58 PM

Note: the final show got added in.

12. Higehiro

Note: There are significant spoilers in this write up

Higehiro is by far the most polarizing show of the year. There is virtually zero middle ground discussion on it and it comes down straight to the subject matter. Both the western and Japanese audience are split on it for different reasons. In the west it's the actual subject in the morality of an adult taking in a Teenager. In Japan it's more because of the legality of it from what I understand and less of "is it morally right to do".

I want to say, that it's complete unnuanced reactions to shows like this that my growing distaste for a lot of the anime community comes from. The anime is the story of how Sayu tries to seduce Yoshida after running away from home. Yoshida refuses, but still lets Sayu stay at his place. Throughout the series we follow both of them as they try to work through their different set of problems in their lives.

It is revealed later in the anime that Sayu ran away because of continued emotional abuse from her peers and the blame being put on her for her only friend (Yukio) committing suicide due to the collateral attacks on her because of her association with Sayu. This mixed with a poor relationship with her mother is what prompted her to leave.

There is a romance tag on the show, but it's not a romance. It has some romance in it, like Yoshida trying to date his coworker, or Sayu's struggling with her own feelings, but the show is pretty much straight on a drama as we see both mains work through their own issues with each others support, more than friends, but less than lovers.

I want to point out to that every single advance is Sayu's, and it makes sense why. She's the younger and more immature one, so she theoretically should not have as firm a grasp on what her actions could cause in the future. This mixed with that it is confirmed that sleeping around was how she got by before only cements this. Like, a ton of people say the whole situation is wish fulfillment. My ass, imagine having to take care of someone needing to thread a needle between caring of them and going overboard, with fear of them potentially breaking down emotionally and the legality of the issue too. It sounds like a fucking nightmare.

I ALSO want to point out that this being set in Japan has to be taken into account. In the west things like mental heath awareness and the like is at the forefront of importance. This is not true for Japan. I don't know why this is often glossed over as I think this is one of the more well known negative aspects of Japanese (actually a lot of the Asia Pacific) society. Anyone saying "just get her professional help" doesn't understand that in Japan that's not really a thing that happens. Yes, school officials can put a "stop" to some things, different shelters exist for people like her, but they are not going to do anything to repair Sayu's mind. Iirc, the manga was written as a direct response to the lack of mental health awareness in Japan.

A lot of people too have pointed to things like "copycat situations in real life" and attribute it to the manga. Do these same people blame FPS games when a shooting happen? Do you stop making things because "someone somewhere might try to replicate it?" These people are not even addressing anything in the show itself and are just trying to take a moral highground in the same way politicians try to by tackling a hot button subject. People are like "it romanticizes a crime", but even if they do have a small point, that's not even related to the actual quality of the show itself.

Also, she's 17... which I'm pretty sure is actually technically legal in a lot of the US from what I understand. It's just one of those things where people are so intent on disliking the show.

Note: I am not making any moral judgements on if what Yoshida did was right or wrong. I do think what he did based on his situation when you see him that he did what would be realistic.
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01/14/22 1:12:41 PM

I only watched a couple episodes of either, but the other show that aired the same season with the same premise seemed better.

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Mac Arrowny
01/14/22 1:42:18 PM

Why is half the writeup defending the morality of the show?

Also Redo of Healer is way more polarizing.

All the stars in the sky are waiting for you.
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01/14/22 2:09:01 PM

Redo of a healer is not polarizing. Redo is controversial. People dont actually really like Redo of a healer. People do like Higehiro.

As for why so much time is spent on the more meta aspect of the show. That's just the discourse of discussion related to it. It's more of a response to people who have seemed to solely based their assessment of the show based on the morality of the situation versus the actual anime itself. It's basically unavoidable.
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01/14/22 2:09:57 PM

Note: I forgot to mention but Higehiro is the first show that has a 9 or higher.

11. Fruits Basket The Final Season

Fruits Basket is a show that has been extremely well received. I'm not going to go too long into this because it has two full 25 episode seasons before this one. The final season is the culmination of everything. If I had to say what the series is about, it would be about Being loved, being able to be loved, being forgiven, and being able to forgive, and how all of those tie into each other.

A huge thing is that actual closure is given for just about everyone involved and its done in a way that feels very earned. I do think there might be a little too much melodrama at times. This is a show where I can clearly see the quality of it overall, but there is something in it that doesn't just click with me which is why it has a 9 instead of a 10.

10. Aggetsuko S4

Aggretsuko S4 is one of the weaker seasons of the series but that doesn't mean it's not great. Like every other season is tackles very real real life issues under the facade of cute sanrio characters. Retsuko takes a little but of a backseat as we get more insight into other members of the cast. Some people complained about this, but you can only focus on one character for so long.

9. Welcome to Demon School Iruma-kun S2

Welcome to Demon School is a modern underrated gem. The biggest strength is simply how charming the entire cast is. The relationship Iruma has with his classmates grows in this season and it's very fun to watch. Despite being a comedy the anime does take care to develop its cast and make their ambitions and struggles relatable. They do this and manage to bring some great comedy at the same time. There is a very similar feel to shows like Combat Butler Hayate. The anime clearly has some production issues, but its somewhat masked by the distinctive art style.

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01/14/22 2:32:00 PM

Aggretsuko and Fruits Basket are great.

"Hope is allowed to be stupid, unwise, and naive." ~Sir Chris
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Mac Arrowny
01/14/22 2:34:40 PM

I found Iruma S2 quite a bit less funny than S1. Too many reused jokes...

KokoroAkechi posted...
Redo of a healer is not polarizing. Redo is controversial. People dont actually really like Redo of a healer. People do like Higehiro.

I liked Redo of Healer. I'm not going to write half a post defending the morality of it though.

All the stars in the sky are waiting for you.
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01/14/22 5:05:43 PM

Mac Arrowny posted...
I liked Redo of Healer. I'm not going to write half a post defending the morality of it though.

Well, sure, that's a losing battle, after all.

Just killing time until the world ends.
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01/15/22 1:58:57 AM

8. Komi Cant Communicate

I don't think I have to talk much about this show. In case you have somehow never heard of Komi, she is a high school girl who has extreme social anxiety. She wants to make friends, but is too scared to say anything. Everyone else thinks she's just being cool and are too afraid to approach her... until someone does.

Komi is an anime no one thought would be made (although once Nagatoro, Jahy, and so on got made I think everyone eventually resigned that it was going to be a thing.) because no one thought they could really capture the distinct look of the manga in anime form. But there is virtually no compromises made here. If you want something that really captures the feel of the manga I don't think an anime has done that better than Komi has when it comes to the art.

I think the best way to go into Komi is just as a cute comedy show about a girl who has a hard time talking to others, with some romance too.

7. Attack on Titan the Final Season (part 1)

Gonna be quick here too since I think everyone has seen this. In case you haven't though, Attack on Titan as a whole I would say is very deserving of its popularity. The world building is strong, the character development is great, and the way it plays with the entire premise just makes the show feel continually fresh. The final season (part 1) is no exception to this. I like how each season has a different feel to it yet familiar at the same time. This a case though where production quality 100% is an issue. Even if it's "fine" it's clear MAPPA is either not at the level or didn't dedicate as much to it as WIT studio did when it was running the show.

6. Wonder Egg Priority

Note: This does not count the special bonus episode which I have not seen yet, and I hear ruins the entire show.

If I had to describe WEP quickly it would be a modern Madoka Magica. This sounds weird, but remember that Madoka was 10 years old when this came out. It follows a group of girls, who are each looking to save someone they lost.

Visually the show is stunning, and I would go as far to say it has the best art for the entire year. The Egg realm is basically like a version of the witch's domain from Madoka, with a person who the girls need to help in some way inside. The monster they fight is a representation of whatever trauma the person they need to save has gone through.

If I had a complaint it's that despite the subject matter presented, the show is extremely shallow in how it handles things. But, make no mistake, my theory has always been that the point of each egg journey was never to help the person inside, but for the girl who did the saving. Much like how in Madoka all the characters are basically tools the author used to get Madoka to her final decision, I feel that the "eggisodes" are pushing the girls to a point, and their different personalities seemed to drive them in different directions.

The show is also very incomplete unfortunately without the special episode (i have not seen). If you want to know why people think it sucked, well I can tell it's probably because of CLOVERWORKS or maybe not because Wonder Egg is an anime original.

But, despite it's perceived flaws, the show does what it sets out to do with a flair that few others have.

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01/15/22 3:54:16 AM

5. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S

Dragon Maid S is the first TV anime that Kyoani has released since the arson attack. And you'll be glad to know that in terms of pure production quality they are pretty much unmatched in terms of how consistent they are.

When it comes down to it, Dragon Maid is simply a comedy show where the main catch is that a lot of the cast members are secretly dragons who only a few humans know about. But there is just something very special about how Kyoani manages to bring out each characters personality to the forefront, making them each entertaining in a different way.

The anime is very similar to season one, but slightly better I'd say overall. If you want something from this year, Jahy is kind of like it, only Jahy is a bit more hearthwarming and Dragon Maid 100% has stronger characters and comedy.

Note: The final 4 shows have scored 10/10.

4. Re:Zero S2 Part 2

Re:zero S2 has the same basic set up as the first season, but the season, imo, is very different. Yes, the whole return by death thing is present and there is a big event that Suburu has to try to circumvent, but the cast members who are in the forefront are changed, mixed in with new additions S2 manages to keep the spirit of S1 but have its own identity.

A lot of the difference comes from Suburu, now changed form his experiences in the first season he has more take charge attitude that you saw from before. While his growth in the season is somewhat limited, the show takes its time to focus on several other cast members who didn't get much of it before. I mean they make friggen OTTO an interesting character. Of course there is miss "body fluid tea" Echidna who acts as a great enigma for Suburu to try to deal with.

The world building is good, a good majority of the second season is set in one place and they reveal a lot of the rules of the area and history in the show. We also get much needed back stories for certain characters, and even some closure in certain areas. You know how I said Mushoku's Tensei's main strength was how well it developed its characters? That show would be like 20 spots up the list if it did the job at making me feel the raw "human" emotions as genuinely as Re:Zero.

3. Odd Taxi

Odd Taxi, I think more than any other show on this list, is one that people really need to watch BEFORE reading a review. The anime follows an ensemble of characters that all connect to a mystery of a murdered girl.

It's completely not what I had expected going into it. Imagine taking something like DRRR, only instead of crazy stuff happening with weird super powers, it's a bunch of animals mimicking human life much like say Zootopia or Beastars... only even more closely to reality.

2. Non Non Biyori Nonstop

I liked the first two seasons of Non Non Biyori, but the third one really takes things to a new level. The show is the same in premise and approach but for whatever reason is better. The show makes things like talking about FRICTION entertaining.

The cast is great. While Renge is clearly the strongest character in the show overall, I really like everyone and how, a lot due to their differing ages bring variety to the show. I also think Renge might be a borderline genius or something. It's like I feel she's presented in a way that is very childlike (I mean shes a child) but her peculiar nature makes me feel like she's just very smart.

1. Zombie Land Saga Revenge

Zombie Land Saga is what happens when you mix idols and zombies. The first season was good, it was like a test run to see if the idea would catch on. They go nuts in this season. We get more back story for more of the girls and we see the continued story of how they plan to revitalize the Saga prefecture.

You can sometimes forget this is actually an idol show. Each musical performance is unique and a treat to listen to. I really liked seeing just how much the fans love Fran Chou Chou (the name of the group).

I think what sets it apart from other idol shows is that while there is time devoted to "preparing for the show" Zombieland realizes what's more important is giving us significant reason to care about the show being good without having to resort to what I see as somewhat "tired drama" you see in other shows. The cast sometimes struggles getting along with one another, but I feel like it's just presented more realistically. Like, I was watching another idol show this year called "Selection Project" and everything just felt so manufactured.

Note: I will make a post with my top 5 OPs, and other favorites for the year too.

If you have any questions on shows that ARE NOT on this list you can also ask them I will tell you why they are missing.
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01/15/22 4:03:31 AM

Full List for reference. This is copied right from the spreadsheet. So some of the names might be a little off, etc.

  1. Zombieland Saga Revenge
  2. Non Non Biyori Non Stop
  3. Oddtaxi
  4. Re:Zero S2
  5. Dragon Maid S2
  6. Wonder Egg Priority
  7. Attack on Titan the Final Season
  8. Komi Cant Communicate
  9. Welcome to Demon School Iruma S2
  10. Aggretsuko S4
  11. Fruits Basket: The Final Season
  12. HigeHiro
  13. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime S2
  14. Dont Bully Me Nagatoro
  15. Mieruko-Chan
  16. Kemono Jihen
  17. The Quintessential Quintuplets S2
  18. Jujutsu Kaisen
  19. Kanojo mo Kanojo
  20. Ousama Ranking
  21. The Great Jahy will not be defeated
  22. Moonlit Fantasy
  23. Otome Fairytale
  24. Mother of the Goddess Dormitory
  25. Beastars S2
  26. My Senpai is Annoying
  27. Yuru Camp S2
  28. Vivy
  29. Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut
  30. The Aquatope on White Sand
  31. Takt.Op Destiny
  32. 86
  33. Megalo Box S2
  34. Heavens Design Team
  35. Uma Musume S2
  36. Shadows House
  37. Blue Period
  38. Mushoku Tensei
  39. Sakugan
  40. Assassin gets reincarnated as an aristocrat
  41. Kekegi Shoujo
  42. How Not to Summon a Demon Lord OMEGA
  43. SK8
  44. The Case Study of Vanitas
  45. Bottom Tier Character Tomozaki
  46. Cells at Work CODE BLACK
  47. The Promised Neverland S2
  48. Otome Game S2
  49. Horimiya
  50. How a Realist Rebuilt a Kingdom
  51. The Vampire Dies in No Time!
  52. Sentouin, Hakenshimasu!
  53. Slime Diaries
  54. Cells at Work S2
  55. My Hero Academia S5
  56. Dr. Stone Stone Wars
  57. Bokutachi no Remake
  58. To Your Eternity
  59. The Faraway Paladin
  60. Tokyo Revengers
  61. Peach Boy Riverside
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01/15/22 3:23:02 PM

My favorite openings of the year.

Taiga yo Tomo ni Naite Kure - Zombie Land Saga Revenge

Dark Seeks Light - The Worlds Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated as an Aristocrat

Seija no Koushin - Heion Sedai no Idaten-tachi

Sing My Pleasure - Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song

Kaibtusu - Beastars S2

Ai no Surpreme! - Dragon Maid S

Sudachi no Uta - Wonder Egg Priority

Long Shot - Re:Zero S2 Part 2

Cinderella - Komi Can't Communicate

Vivid Voice - Jujtsu Kaisen

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01/15/22 4:23:49 PM

Miku is indeed best girl.

Thanks for the topic! I had a lot of fun reading through the ones I'm familiar with (usually through the manga).

"So much love in his words."
- RIP Stephen Sondheim, 1930-2021
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01/15/22 6:23:03 PM

Re:0 near the top as it should be.

"I do because I can."
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01/15/22 6:33:15 PM

Wonder Egg Priority sucked even without the special episode tbqh.

I didn't do guru this year but azuarc can be in my sig anyways.
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01/15/22 6:47:28 PM

Wonder Egg was anime of the year for a solid two months when it first started out.

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01/15/22 9:16:11 PM

Oh wow ZLSR out of nowhere at #1! I absolutely adore the franchise and can't wait for the movie, which of course they are telling us nothing about. I just finished rewatching the second season, the animation and story did make it feel more "high-quality" than the first but there was just something magical about the silliness and lack of expectations in S1 that makes it special for me. I still refuse to call myself an idol fan but I've been slowly getting into Love Live and Bang Dream all because of this stupid show...

-Abraham Lincoln
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