Undoubtedly, 2021 has been one of the most remarkable years for anime fans, as many popular anime TV shows premiered this year. Besides new releases, some ongoing anime shows also reached their peak.
Anyway, now that we are close to leaving behind this fantastic year, I’ve listed down the ten best anime shows of 2021 that felt like a blessing to me.
- More: Dualshockers’ Favorite Games of 2021 – Jo’s Top 10
Best Anime Series of 2021
1. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stone Ocean
Millions of JoJo fans were eagerly waiting to watch Jolyne Cujoh’s story in the animated format. And after announcing it in April 2021, Netflix released the Stone Ocean‘s anime adaptation on December 1st.
In all fairness, only the first twelve episodes of Stone Ocean have been released on Netflix. So, I don’t know how the upcoming episodes will turn in terms of quality. However, I absolutely loved what the first batch of episodes had to offer. Besides fantastic animation, the show flexes incredible music and voice acting. Also, Stone Ocean featured some of the best Stands, and I was on the edge of my seat every time a new Stand was revealed. Apart from the action, I loved how the anime grabs you emotionally through Jolyne and Jotaro’s complex relationship.
2. Beastars Season 2
Studio Orange released the first season of Beastars in Japan back in 2019. However, it was in March 2020 when the first season arrived on Netflix, and that’s when the international audience experienced the show’s brilliance.
After the positive reception around the first season, Orange released Season 2 of Beastars in July 2021. Like the first season, the second Season of Beastars flexes stunning animation. However, Season 2 of the anime relied more on character development, making it an improvement over the first season. I feel like the creators gave us everything that was missing in Season 1, making it one of the best anime series of 2021.
3. Demon Slayer Season 2
Season 2 of Demon Slayer is still ongoing, and the new Entertainment District Arc has just started. However, no one would deny that it is already one of the best anime series of 2021.
Of course, I was disappointed that the Mugen Train arc took the first seven episodes of Season 2. But honestly, waiting some more days was definitely worth it, especially when I look at the quality of Entertainment District Arc so far. Obviously, Ufotable has already outdone itself in terms of animation. But apart from that, the impressive voice acting and music scores make Season 2 a blessing from the anime Gods.
4. Tokyo Revengers
When Liden Flims premiered the first season of Tokyo Revengers in April, no one thought it would get so popular. Millions of worldwide anime fans loved watching the story of Biker gangs and delinquents.
Of course, almost every anime features characters that, in several situations, are way more interesting than the lead. Well, Tokyo Revengers is one of those rare stories where the lead character is the weakest.
We’ve seen Takemichi getting beaten up by other characters in the entire season. Whereas characters like Mikey and Draken had several hyped-up moments. For instance, I remember seeing the anime community explode on Twitter when Mikey flexed his strength against Kazutora. Honestly, it’s because of those moments that I think that Tokyo Revengers was one of the best anime shows of 2021.
5. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
As suggested by the title, Boruto serves as a sequel to the legendary Naruto anime series. The anime features almost every character from the original series, but it puts the spotlight on the next generation of Shinobis.
Of course, Boruto anime has been ongoing since 2017; however, for me, the anime reached its peak in 2021. The sequel series could not live up to its predecessor all these years, but in 2021, the show focused more on our favorite knucklehead ninja, Naruto.
Manga fans were already familiar with Naruto’s Baryon mode, and in September, anime fans witnessed the new form in all its glory. Naruto and Jigen’s fight and Kurama’s sacrifice caught the attention of millions of Naruto fans, even the ones who don’t watch Boruto. And because of that, it’s hard to deny that 2021 was so far the best year for the Boruto anime series.
6. To Your Eternity
To Your Eternity anime is based on a manga series written and illustrated by Yoshitoki Oima. Brain’s Base premiered the 20-episode season back in April 2021, and the show instantly reached heights because of its emotional storytelling.
Throughout Fushi’s journey in Season 1, the viewers explore true human nature. Besides a moving story, the show featured an incredible cast who did justice to manga’s characters. On top of that, the music scores in the show would win your soul and take you on an emotional ride every time you hear them in the show. Honestly, if you haven’t watched To Your Eternity, then you are missing out on one of the best and grounded anime series of 2021.
7. Odd Taxi
The story of Odd Taxi is set in a world of anthropomorphic animals, where we follow the journey of Odokawa.
Odokawa is a taxi driver who likes to have conversations with animals who ride in his taxi. However, his world turns upside down when one of these conversations opens a mystery about a missing girl. And eventually, Odokawa finds out that many dangerous people are looking for him.
Odd Taxi was indeed one of the biggest surprises for me. Like most anime fans, I didn’t even hear about Odd Taxi when it started in April 2021. However, its compelling story and characters grabbed me by the hook. Of course, it might not be one of the most popular anime series of the year, but it’s definitely one of the best for me.
8. Attack On Titan Final Season Part 1
There’s no way that I would forget Part 1 of Attack on Titan Final Season when talking about the best anime of 2021. of course, some AOT fans didn’t like MAPPA’s animation style in the first part, but honestly, I didn’t mind the change in animation, thanks to the fantastic story.
The first 16 episodes of the season had a lot of surprises, especially for fans like me who didn’t read the manga. From Eren’s transformation to exploring the world outside of Paradise Island, everything about the final season has been great so far. And now, with Final Season Part 2 arriving in January 2022, we are getting even closer to the ultimate finale.
9. Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen is another masterpiece from MAPPA that concluded with a total of 24 episodes in March 2021. Of course, manga fans were already familiar with the brilliance of Jujutsu Kaisen, but MAPPA’s animation took the story to a whole new level.
I loved watching Yuji Itadori, Satoru Gojo, Sukuna, Megumi, and Nobara Kugisaki on the screen. Of course, Gojo was my personal favorite because of his witty nature, and I loved watching him interact with Yuji.
The spectacular action sequences, animation, music, and, of course, the comedic elements made me fall in love with the anime. Now, like millions of other fans, I am desperately waiting for Jujutsu Kaisen to come back with a new season.
10. Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
Studio Bind premiered Mushoku Tensei’s anime adaptation in January 2021, and ended it with Cour 2 in December. Of course, the anime flexes some very compelling characters and an intriguing storyline, but honestly, my takeaway from the first season of Mushoku Tensei was its animation. There were several moments in the first season where I got awe-struck by its visuals. So, it’s no doesn’t surprise me that despite running in some controversies, it’s considered one of the best anime series of 2021 by several anime fans.
Check out the rest of DualShocker’s staff Top 10 lists below and our Offical Game of the Year Awards winners:
December 20: Jo Craig (Staff Writer)
December 21: Natalie Schmidt (Freelance Writer)
December 22: Dean James (Freelance Staff Writer)
December 24: Kyle Knight ( Staff Writer)
December 26: Mehrdad Khayyat (Senior Staff Writer)
December 27: Md Armughanuddin (Head of Content- India)
December 28: Iyane Agossah (Head of Japanese Content)
December 29: Rachael Fiddis (Deputy Editor & Head of Stakeholder Relations)
December 30: Sam Woods (Managing Editor and EIC)
December 31: Game of the Year Awards 2021 Official Winners Revealed
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