The Best Anime of Spring 2021 - Ones To Watch
Before getting into the meat of this list, I need to make a quick public service announcement on top of continuing adaptations of hiroaka fruitsbasket irumakun, how not to summon a demon lord and moriarty. The patriot this spring brings us follow-ups to three of the best original anime in recent memory: zombieland saga, revenge, nomad megalo box 2, and sss dot dynasty triggers semi standalone sequel to grid man.
The Best Anime of Spring 2021
Vivy -Flourite Eye’s Song-
Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro
86 (Eighty Six)
Pretty Boy Detective Club
Those Snow-White Notes (Mashiro no Oto)
Fumetsu no Anata e (To Your Eternity)
Personally, I consider all of these to be must-watch, but since this season is so stuffed if you only have time to catch up on, one I'd say make it megalo box. The first season was a fantastic if formulaic underdog sports saga, but the second takes its hero to a much darker, more psychological place. That echoes some of the greatest boxing movies and manga ever made it's shaping up to be an actual masterpiece and I'm worried folks will miss out on it because they liked, but didn't love the first part or just because of original anime, in general, tends not to get As much attention as manga and light novel adaptations do, which does make sense, shows based on established properties, inherently seem like safer bets than brand new stuff with no one to tell you how good the source material was. That said, our first actual one to watch an original anime called Vivy fluoride eyes. The song is co-written by chaos child's aegee umehara and re-zero's creator tape, nagatsuki directed by shinpei azaki, the guy who made hanebado look like this produced at attack on titan in vinlon, saga's wit, studio and sound designed by jin akitagawa.
So it was about as sure a sure thing as anime gets these days and I'm pleased to say it lives up to that pedigree. As for what it's, actually about 100 years before a brutal ai uprising wipes out most of humanity, Vivy, the world's first truly autonomous android, is visited by a hyper-advanced ai from the future. Named matsumoto who's been sent back in time to enlist her help in stopping that an odd choice, given that Vivy is a theme park idol whose existence defining mission is to make everyone happy by singing, but as matsumoto points out, everyone can't be happy if everyone is Dead, I want to say this show is like 12 monkeys and ghost in the shell had a baby and that baby's name is hatsune miku, but that glib summary really sells. The brilliance of the show's writing and direction, but especially the writing. Woefully short, Vivy's narrative is focused on singularity points.
Key events spread years sometimes decades apart, that cumulatively created the conditions for that ai uprising. Each new arc sees matsumoto catching up with the digital diva in a new era of her eternal youth. The time between she spends following her own personal mission and trying to figure out how a thing without a heart can sing its heart out. This is a truly ingenious story: structure for television that allows the series to cover a broad swath of historical world-building details and tell a centuries-long tale. That'S epic!
In scope, while still keeping the stakes in characterization intimate and personal Vivy's, slow, emotional self-actualization becomes a through-line connecting action-packed high-concept episodic adventures involving terrorist attacks and space hotel disasters and her character contrasts beautifully with matsumoto's cold determined, complete the mission at all costs attitude, the Character! Writing here is every bit as great as you'd expect from nagatsuki, and they, in particular, make for one of the strongest odd couples in anime. Speaking of don't toy with me, miss nagatoro is, without a doubt, the single most hyped new anime of the season and, I'm happy to say it holds up to that hype. It'S a show with a deceptively simple premise: a meek, aspiring teen mangaka accidentally drops his latest rough draft in front of a gaggle of gossiping garus in the school library, and while three of them just laugh at him off one. The titular nagatoro sees something more in his juvenile self-insert fantasy.
A target thus begins the tanned teen troublemaker's relentless campaign of teasing, her senpai, whose actual name she never bothers to learn because he's weird and creepy and likes pervy manga. Definitely not because she likes him or wants him to draw her like one of his moe girls or anything like that for senpai's part. He quickly discovers that, while nagatoro gets on his nerves, he doesn't actually dislike having her around. In fact, in a weird way, she's really helping him break out of his shell, to quote something that definitely wasn't said by super eye patch wolf in a private conversation. This is an anime for guys who want girls to step on them, and I am here for it.
Nagatoro is formatted as a series of short skits, a common formula for comedy manga, but it sets itself apart through sweet, subtle character, a development that persists from gag to gag nagatoro and senpai's playful. Antagonistic relationship may be off-putting for some at first and she does actually bully him before learning his limits. But having read ahead, I can say with confidence that their romance resonates in ways that anime rarely do bolstered by incredible artwork that wordlessly conveys volumes about both characters. Inner worlds, the anime reflects that quality in stunning sakuga sequences that are every bit as hilarious as they are packed with personality. I can say the same for the show's vocal performances which are all top-notch, as are the music and sound effects.
It'S just a solid production all around. What I'm trying to say here is: if you love anime love stories, you don't want to miss miss nagatoro. On the other hand, if you love a good solono drop, then you won't want to drop 86. The latest big light novel adaptation from a1 pictures. If you didn't get that reference, uh hiroyuki samono, composed the music for this show and his music's always really good, but especially when it's infused into war-torn science.
Fantasy settings, a thing of which this anime is one of those, maybe I'm trying too hard with the segways and wordplay, there's a lot more to recommend about 86. Beyond its masterful music. The series is set in the futuristic utopian republic of san magnolia, whose conspicuously homogeneous population lives under constant threat from the ai drone legion of the giadian empire. Luckily, san magnolia has drones of its own, allowing the democratic nation to defend its 85 districts from the imperial assault without spilling any of its citizens. Blood.
At least none of it gets on any official documents. In reality, sound magnolia doesn't have the resources to fight their technologically advanced neighbor on even ground and thus has come up with an efficient and morally repugnant alternative in the border zone between the republic and legion lands lies the run-down officially non-existent sector 86, whose conspicuously non-homogeneous Population has been stripped of their humanity and rebranded as processors for the unmanned weapons of the republic. Major vladolina mirizei is a handler tasked with remotely commanding these drone squads in battle and a prodigious commander at that. Having earned her rank at just 16
But her skills and empathy for the processors are tested like never before when she's assigned to lead the spearhead division, whose commander shinee the gravedigger nozen is known for driving his handlers to suicide, which is to be fair, a pretty reasonable response to being conscripted into anonymous War, slavery, but the unstoppable legion of killer robots doesn't see much difference between the 86ers and the rest of the humans in their warpath and thus they'll need lena's help if they want to stay alive. 86 pairs, a dark look at the dehumanizing nature of drone warfare with compelling intricately detailed world-building to fantastic effect.
Sci-Fi fans mechanuts, especially and iron-blooded orphan stands very specifically - will definitely want to keep an eye on it. I have a bad feeling that next to nobody will want to keep an eye on odd taxi, no matter what I tell you guys about it as a very weird original project from a brand new director with a cartoon furry art style. It'S not exactly primo otaku bait, but it is, in my opinion, one of the absolute best new anime in a season full of exceptional new anime. If you mapped a gretzko and b stars to a venn diagram, odd taxi would sit dead center in their overlap, but even saying that undersells, how unique and interesting it really is. Autocala is a middle-aged walrus who compensates for his lack of friends with an addiction to radio rakugo and whose job as a tokyo taxi driver lets him have brief, yet enlightening talks with many interesting animals from a young alpaca nurse, with a dark secret to a pair Of corrupt cops to a dorky, college-age, hippo who's, trying and mostly failing to be the next social media sensation.
You can follow him on Twitter if you want idols stand-up comics, a gun-toting mandrel thug, the city's full of strange strangers looking to hitch a ride, and somewhere in its twisting streets connected somehow to several of atokawa's passengers. There'S a missing girl who needs to be found. That'S right, odd, taxi the colorful cartoon animal anime is actually a dark, deeply psychological, mystery thriller and it may not even be about cartoon animals. It'S entirely possible that this is just regular old Tokyo, filtered through the deranged eyes of a lonely taxi driver who only thinks that he's a walrus and his doctor, slash best friend, is a gorilla which should tell you everything you need to know about the level of Writing we're dealing with here, if it doesn't, the bruce Springsteen scene will just watch the first episode until you hear someone say bruce Springsteen and I promise you'll be hooked. People on Reddit are comparing this dialogue to tarantino movies, and I do not disagree in the slightest.
I ask for a fair amount, but I'm asking you to check out odd taxis and tell all your friends about odd taxis For your and their sake as much as my own sure, it's gonna drive me crazy to see an anime. This incredible go under-watched and underrated, but you will also be losing out if you don't see an anime this incredible at all, and if you do you get to be that friend, with the best taste in obscure anime, you can't lose on this one, while I'm busily Begging, please also watch mars red because, in addition to being one of the most gorgeous anime on tv right now, with its flat-shaded letterboxed, look and surreally geometric shot composition. It is one of the dopest depictions of vampirism I've seen in anime since shiki the year is 1923. The place in japan, where the local vampire population has recently exploded for unknown reasons and an artificial blood source with mysterious properties called ascra, has made those vampires even more dangerous. In response to this crisis, the imperial government retools a covert ops unit, known as code zero into a squad of vampire hunters who happen to be vampires themselves.
Leading that squad is yoshinobu maida, a grizzled veteran soldier who we first meet as he attempts to interrogate an actress who's been turned by a local bloodsucker and who can now only communicate by reciting lines from her last role, the title character in oscar wilde's biblical tragedy: Salome her performance seems to captivate maida and if you know anything about goddamn vampires, you know that can't be good. What is good is every single scene where the vampires get loose and wreck so fast and silent, yet devastatingly powerful that the army's finest must discard their firearms and fight back with only katanas there's plenty of what I'd consider being the peak. Anime vampire action in this show, but beyond that, there's an impressive amount of nuance and depth to the characters. If the show within the show trope didn't give it away mars red, isn't quite an original anime. It'S actually based on a stage play written in 2013 by the show's sound director, buno, fujisawa and adapted for the screen by blood plus writer, director junichi fujisaki, who also wrote several excellent episodes of ghost in the shell standalone complex.
If you haven't seen blood plus mars red is a bit more theatrical than anime fans might be used to in its pacing framing and writing style, which may make it a bit of an acquired taste. But i assure you that its writing is excellent and slathered with subtext, mars red offers, a delicious mix of slow creeping atmospheric dread, and sharp fast bloody action strung together by a twisting plot, full of great characters and intriguing mysteries. It may be a little too strange for some, but if you vibe with it, you are gonna vibe hard. The same can be said for bishon and tanteidan, or pretty boy detective club, the latest collision of bakemonogatari novelist, nicio, esen's, inimitable writing style and the equally inimitable directing style of shaft's akiyuki shinbo for some of you. That was all I needed to say about this anime.
For the rest, the rules of the pretty boy detective club are as follows: one is pretty two be a boy more specifically a shonen, and three be a detective. Now look at this animation and tell me they don't at least have rule one down pat and for what it's worth the music is equally beautiful blending classical sounds and bedroom jazz to create a sexily distinctive soundscape. If you need to know a little more about the plot and stuff like that, before committing the series, is basically a zanier insaniar take on auron high school host club with the character motivations, slightly updated to suit the detective premise very slightly these rich, pretty boys still Value beauty, above all else, they mainly solve problems to improve their school's aesthetics and to prove the importance and power of beauty and the shonen spirit to the world at large. Don'T take that to mean you can underestimate their talents or dedication to the mystery. Solving, though club president manabu sotowin is a genius, aesthetic, analyst redhead bad boy, michiru fukuroi is a chef par excellence.
Nagahiro sakiguchi ex-student council president is an unparalleled orator with a knack for mimicry, so saku yubiwa is a child prodigy in both finance and visual arts and hyota ashikaga has really really nice. Legs they'll need all of those talents. If they're going to help mayumi dojima a bookish girl whose eyes are star bright and eagle, sharp in their sight in her seemingly impossible quest to track down a missing star-like eseen and shinbo's other collaborations, pretty boy detective club is an absolute trip and treat for The senses that will delight anyone who likes their anime weird. If that sounds like you, then you'll also enjoy those snow-white notes. The surreal almost dreamlike tale of a teen shamisen prodigy named sawamura setsu, who drops out of school and runs off to Tokyo after his grandfather, a renowned shamisen master, passes away on his deathbed.
The old man told setsu to give up the instrument disappointed in the boy for merely copying his sound instead of finding one of his own, but that's exactly what he hits the big city looking for what he finds instead is yunatakichi an aspiring actress and semi-successful gravare Model who puts him up in her apartment out of the goodness of her heart, something she's a little too willing to hand out to struggling musicians like her deadbeat wannabe rockstar boyfriend, takito, who well, I don't want to spoil it. The first episode goes by in a barely logical blur and a lot happens in it, but it hits some powerful raw emotions as it rushes along resonating, far harder than you'd expect. It'S got all the wild energy of a kick-ass shamisen solo. So does the actual shamisen solo that setsu performs to a crowded concert hall toward the episode's end pouring all the emotions of the story so far back out at us in a beautiful burst of sound and furious finger motion, the music in this show had to be Good for it to work at all and boy is it, but the rotoscoped technically detailed animation that accompanies it is equally impressive. Those snow-white notes offer complex, compelling commentary on the nature of artistic expression and the struggle to create great art that anyone with a creative passion will deeply appreciate.
While we're on the subject of pursuing passion and great animation. Bakflip'S protagonist shotaro futaba has spent his whole life aimlessly trying to find his. He knows he loves sports and has dabbled in soccer swimming and baseball throughout his elementary and middle school years, but never found the drive to be more than a benchwarmer in any of them. That is until an impulsive decision to watch a rhythmic gymnastics, tournament lights, a fire in his heart, and he decides to enroll at sochikon high, whose talented team didn't win that tournament, but only because they were docked points for not having a full six-man squad. I admire any sports anime that has the confidence in its subject matter and presentation to simply let the sport speak for itself and over a multi-minute showcase of 2d sakuga blended.
With fluid 3d motion capture, backflips rhythmic gymnastics left as strong an impression on me as they did its hero original anime tend to take better advantage of the strengths of animation than adaptations do, but even by those standards. This is a stunning work of both big actions. Animation and more nuanced expressive, character, performances just look at these characters. Eat dinner. We haven't had a lot of time to get to know backflip's main characters yet and with a six-man squad, plus their coach and a delightfully sardonic club manager.
There'S a lot of them to get to know, but each and everyone has an instantly appealing memorable personality. The show has a phenomenal sense of humor and collectively their group dynamic has idiot energy about it. That reminds me intensely of haikyuu. They didn't throw those two exclamation marks in the title, for nothing for sports, anime fans, shonen lovers, and connoisseurs of artisanal animation alike. Backflip is an absolute must-watch.
Now, if you like, seeing hot-blooded young men moving backward dramatically, you'll also want to check out Tokyo, revengers takamichi hanagaki a 26 year old virgin who's going. Nowhere fast is devastated to learn that tachibana hinata, the only girl he ever dated, has been killed in a violent truck attack by a vicious street gang along with her younger brother, not long after that. Takamichi is pushed onto the subway tracks by an unseen assailant and as his life flashes before his eyes, he's brought back to its peak in middle school pathetically when he was a rowdy, bleach-blonde, yankee delinquent, getting in fights for fun and bragging rights. He and his pals gained neither in that day's encounter with the Tokyo manji gang the same gang that would murder his middle school sweetheart a dozen years later and after getting their asses handed to them, they'd be physically forced to spend their high school years, toiling as Errand boys for the gang setting takamichi up to become the loser. He is today.
This dying vision does at least give him a chance to recall hinata's face one last time in a heartfelt conversation that almost feels real and right after that he gets a chance to save her younger brother, naoto from a less threatening group of teenage thugs. Then, on impulse he warns the young boy about the deadly future awaiting him and his sister before fading out of the fantasy, as the train rolls over him, except, of course, that's not what happens. That'D be a really short anime takamichi awakens on a bed in the station infirmary his past actions having rewritten his fate and nalto's, but not Hinata's. To save her he'll need to dive back into the past rise through the ranks of the Tokyo manji gang and earn the power to change the course of history with his own hands. If you enjoyed the premise of erased or you've been feeling the recent lack of good anime about pugilistic street punks, then you are gonna have a ton of fun with Tokyo, revengers speaking of history, we've finally arrived at that instant all-timer manga adaptation.
I mentioned at the top of the video to your eternity based on a shonen fantasy series from a silent voice, creator, yoshitoki oyma, directed by baby steps, Masahiko Murata, and featuring a simple and clean theme song from Hikaru Utada. This show tells the tale of a sentient orb able to take the shape of anything that stimulates it, which is cast down to earth by a god-like entity to experience life, love and loss, lots and lots of loss, immortality's kind of a like that. It spends some time as a copy of mossy rock and then a copy of the moss on that rock before a chance encounter with a dying white wolf gives it legs with which to explore our world wandering into a desolate tundra. The immortal being meets a lonely young man with stark white hair, who turns out to be the owner of the wolf which was named Johan, taking the place of the boy's pet. The orb keeps him company, as the sole occupant of his small fishing village.
Then follows him out into the frozen wastes when he leaves to catch up with the villagers who left to find paradise over the mountains. A severe leg, injury on the first day out, does not bode well for their extended journey, but the boy is eternal in his shonen optimism and the orb will carry that with it for a long long, long time to your eternity takes an even longer view in Its storytelling than Vivy's century-spanning, epic, introducing its inhuman lead to many friendly faces and forcing it to watch as they fade into the inevitable flow of time. So if you want to have the best possible kind of bad time, the onohana variety on a near-weekly basis. This is looking like a good way to do it, assuming the series can keep up its exquisite artwork sound direction, and animation for 20 straight episodes. The only thing standing between it and anime of the year status is Vivy and odd, taxi and wonder egg priority and mushoku tensei and jujutsu kaizen and attack on titan and re-zero and any other good that drops in the next two seasons.
I'll probably never sleep again. I'm not even done with this video, yet those were the 10 most promising new anime of spring 2021. In my estimation at least, but, like I said they're far from the only new shows, I enjoyed this season. So if you have time in your schedule for more here, are some quick honorable mentions first up full dive, this ultimate next-gen full dive, RPG, is even shittier than real. Life is a light novel-based spoof of sword, art online.
That seems like it was made for me specifically if you enjoyed my SAO, is a terrible game. 2 videos or you like the sort of dark humor where accidental murder is the punchline. I think you'll have a lot of fun with it. Also for enjoyers of fantasy video game parody stuff dragon goes house. Hunting follows a trash tier, the big, dumb baby of a dragon who enlists a demon lord real estate agent, to help him search for shelter in an RPG world, full of violent narcissistic, human heroes and monsters.
Hunters looking to make a killing on his horns and organs, the show's a bit rough around the edges in its production, but it offers some hearty laughs if you want a more serious fantasy isekai deal. The saint's magic power is omnipotent in about a 30-something office. Lady who gets transported to a magical world meets a lot of very handsome men there and learns how to make the best magic potions ever fans of bookworm will probably dig it if you like romance or drama. You may also like a high hero after getting rejected. I shaved and took in a teen runaway that title premise sounds likely, but the protagonist is very firm in not wanting to sleep with the teenager and straight-up calls any man who does this is shaping up to be a seriously cute and comfy tale of found Family so long as it doesn't do, soggy drop us into the creep zone.
On that note, shadow's house is a creepy cute slice of life thing about a manner full of aristocratic shadow people and the human living dolls who serve them. It starts more than a little slow, but it seems to be leaning into some dark mysteries that are quite intriguing and may just fill the void left by that promise that never landed if you're looking for something that's just chill and a slice of life super cub is A beautifully directed show about a lonely young girl whose small town opens up to her after she buys a vintage honda. Super cub motorcycle, not much else, I can say about it. It'S just a whole relaxing vibe speaking of vibes card fight, vanguard, overdress. In contrast, the more strategic card game angle of the original card fight vanguard attempts to emulate the feel of a dramatic tcg duel through a glorious trigger-style fight.
Animations also clamp did the character designs. If you like original anime, it's definitely worth checking out. So is our last honorable mention joron the princess of snow and blood, which explores a supernatural alternate history: the 1930s? Japan still ruled by the tokugawa shogunate. I prefer mars red's take on the retro, japan, aesthetic, and I think this show has some problems in its storytelling, but joron throws around some interesting ideas, and the way it depicts fighting transformations by changing animation styles is slick as hell.
The Best Anime of Spring 2021 - Ones To Watch