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The Best and Worst Anime of Winter 2021


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HAL14



Joined: 01 Apr 2018
Posts: 260
Location: Heart of africa
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:20 am Reply with quote
Best: AOT final season. Great season; production values are still good despite the change in the studio. The only issue I have is how abruptly the first part ended.

Runner-up: Kemono Jihen. Best boy: Kabane; Best girl:Kon Laughing

Most disappointing: Horimiya. I had high hopes when I saw the production values but the adaptation choices and pacing have been awful.

Worst: TPN S2. Not much to say that hasn't already been said. I believe a "behind the scenes" video about this season would be more entertaining than the show we got.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 1127
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:48 am Reply with quote
Huh. Not a single mention of Redo of Healer anywhere in the article.

It's for the best. The less said about it, pos or neg, the better.
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Mami-kouga



Joined: 19 Jan 2021
Posts: 48
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:05 am Reply with quote
Best: Mushoku tensei. Let me be clear- I detest the casual and constant sexual harassment in this show as well as the lolicon bait played for comedy all the while trying to sell me on a show about a manchild growing the hell up. That being said, in a season where intense lethargy led me to drop almost every show I picked up, this kept my attention the whole way through and I enjoyed watching the animation and seeing the characters and world grow as the episodes went by. T'was fun.

Runner (actually runners) up: AOT final season part one and Jujutsu kaisen. AOT was kind of a bonding experience between my sister and I (we binged the whole show late last year) and I adore Jujutsu kaisen itself. That said, they both lose out somewhat because of the direction of some episodes. Jujutsu kind of oscillating in how good it was in taking the source material to screen while after binging 3 seasons of mostly consistent quality, the style change in the final season as well the awkward CG and some weird direction choices brought them both down for me.

Worst: Wonder egg priority.Now this is going to be a choice pick, I've honestly had reservations about this show as early as episode two and as more episodes go by I'm constantly left with the feeling of "Wow, this is stupid!". The show both has the subtlety of a house on fire and yet continues to be round about to drag certain revelations out for episodes on end. It's way of handling many of its themes comes off gratuitous a lot of times, and the damn plot twists these past 3 episodes are the dumbest things I have ever borne witness to. On the bright side, it's actually more fun to dunk on these aspects with my friends. Rika was mostly well handled though, even if she reminds me of a girl I hated back in boarding school.


Last edited by Mami-kouga on Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3753
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:07 am Reply with quote
Poor, poor Nick.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:10 am Reply with quote
Kemono Jihen definitely feels like the sleeper hit of an entirely-too-loaded season. Hopefully more people can get around to watching it now that the winter season is more or less wrapped.

My (extremely close) runner up would have to be Sk8, which I took a while to get into because I worried it was too good to be true. Instead it ended up being truly too good.
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 2219
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:15 am Reply with quote
Since we're counting it, Best would go to AoT. It's slightly better than Season 3 Part 2, which was the best AoT to date, so hey, it's on a good trend. I wonder if the next part being after the manga ends (and thus reception on its ending will be very clear one way or another) if there's a possibility to get more content from the anime, maybe tying up loose ends the manga wasn't able to.

Runner Up (and if AoT didn't count, Best) would be Tomozaki. It was a subpar adaptation by my standards, but the underlying material is strong enough to carry it. If AoT didn't count, runner up would be Heaven's Design Team, just lots of fun every week, and slightly educational too. Other educational anime usually fail to be one or the other by the end, but this one didn't.

Worst, if we're only counting stuff I actually completed, would be Re:Zero. It's not as bad as Arc 3's conclusion, but it was boring for most of its runtime. If we're counting dropped, then Promised Neverland's attempt at a facedive onto a cliff has gotta be it.
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AmpersandsUnited



Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 351
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:18 am Reply with quote
Top 2:

Mushoku Tensei - Great animation and world building. Characters are fun and it lives up to the legacy it has in the isekai genre.

Redo of Healer - Addicting dark fantasy show with a fun MC and revenge schemes and also pushes the limits of TV anime.

Bottom 2:

Ex Arms - i don't think I need to explain why

The Promised Neverland - What a spectacular face plant it did from season 1 by completely disregarding the manga and pleasing no one in the process.
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Oggers



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 223
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:36 am Reply with quote
The only shows I had the time to keep up with this season were Laid-Back Camp, Heaven's Design Team and Pui Pui Molcar, but I still enjoyed all of them for different reasons.

I'd still like to watch all of Sk8 the Infinity once it's finished, since I've seen and heard good things and I've already enjoyed Hiroko Utsumi's previous directorial works.
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db999



Joined: 23 Dec 2017
Posts: 101
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:42 am Reply with quote
Best Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1. This really is the best season of the show thus far. Its story choices are just so incredibly bold and risky that it’s amazing that it’s able to pull it off. This has been a fantastic adaptation of the manga and I can’t wait for the second half because the stuff that’s yet to come is even more insane and risky.

Runner up is Jujutsu Kaisen. The second half of the season didn’t quite live up to the Junpei arc, but it was definitely still incredibly fun, horrifying, and well written. Not to mention the absolute best production value of the season. I’m really hyped for the prequel film to come out next year and am totally excited for season 2.

The Second Runner up is Higurashi Gou which was really fascinating, but my big problem is that the final 3 episodes of the show felt like padding. I still am not sure how I feel about the culprit having been revealed to have been spoiler[Satoko], but I will definitely check out Sotsu when that comes out in July

I have two shows for the most disappointing category. The most disappointing was Yashahime. I wouldn’t quite call it a bad show but it’s just so horribly mediocre. There are some good episodes but the connective tissue for the story and characters just isn’t there and the final episode was really bad. I’m not sure if I’ll stick around for season 2, but hopefully, the writers will actually figure out what story they want to tell.

The other most disappointing show was Mushoku Tensei. Just a note here I actually did like Mushoku Tensei quite a bit. The production values are really good, and it has fantastic writing both for world-building, and character development, but one thing continually drags the series down. The main protagonist. I know a lot of people just don’t see the main character being a pervert as being a huge deal, but that’s never been anything that appeals to me, and even if it was all being pointed at adults I still wouldn’t like it. But when the reincarnated adult is perving on CHILDREN is where I draw the line. Every time I think the character is improving or getting better, this element comes back. I have no idea why the author thought he should write the character like this because it is the one element that consistently stops this from actually being a good show. This would probably be one of the best shows if the main character wasn’t the way he was. If you removed every element of fan service towards children from this show it would be fantastic. Hopefully when season 2 comes out this aspect will disappear completely like it did in the final 2 episodes.

The worst show this season though is The Promised Neverland Season 2. I haven't read the manga but I do know roughly what has been skipped. It’s just so rushed that none of the emotional impact lands. Honestly, this season is 3 seasons crammed into 1. The first 4 episodes were good and I didn’t have any problem with them, but then they skipped a pretty big arc that apparently could have been the rest of a second season so they could try to take a full 12 episode season and shove the material into 6 episodes. And then the final montage could have been another season in and of itself. They clearly took a 24 episode story and attempted to cram it all into 11 episodes which don’t work. Apparently, they even made the final arc even more rushed than it already was.

Other shows I watched and enjoyed. Spider Isekai was fun and the human side material intrigued me, but I did find myself getting a bit bored of the show in the latter half. I'll probably drop it next season and binge the rest of the season once it ends.

Sk8 the Infinity was a fun sports show and it felt so nostalgic because when I was a kid I was massively into skateboarding myself, although I was never good at it. It's just a solid fun time.

I also checked out Hortensia Saga, but dropped it pretty quickly it was an avergae show nothing much to write home about.
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tfwnoymir



Joined: 03 Dec 2017
Posts: 127
Location: Hungary
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:53 am Reply with quote
Best: Molcar and Wonder Egg Priority
Both are pretty unique shows that came out of the blue for me and completely stole my heart.
-Whoever thought that a stop-motion animation shorts about guinea pigs which are also cars are going to end up here on my list. Me neither. The show is legit funny and actively plays around its own idea and you don't even need to understand Japanese since there's no dialogue whatsoever.
-Wonder Egg is not the kind of show that beats around the bush and by the virtue of that, it already ends up saying something. It's certainly not for everyone, it's incredibly raw and brutal from start to finish and people with certain traumas might want to sleep on it before they're ready or just avoid it altogether. For me though, these were the eggs I were looking for.

Runner-up: Yurucamp S2 and Re:Zero S2 Second Cour
-It's more Yurucamp and with that, more Nadeshiko. I already loved her a lot - she's my favorite - but now my love for her has grown tenfold. And we're finally getting more side character content, it's not just Rin and the Camping Club members anymore.
-The fact that Subaru finally stops wallowing in self-hatred and decides to rely on other people has improved my enjoyment of the series by a lot. But the show it not only about him, the side characters are also got their chance to shine and boy they do. Not to mention Emilia herself: this cour has made me appreciate her even more.

Also worth mentioning: while Non Non Biyori didn't end up among my favorites, it was still pretty sweet. And while there are only 5 episodes so far, Tropical-Rouge! Precure is pretty good so far, for the virtue of starring an absolutely feral monkey-like protagonist and a haughty, power-hungry mermaid. Also Sango is cute as a a button.

"Somewhat" disappointing: Beastars S2 and Horimiya
I don't hate neither of these series, for starters I don't tend to watch something I don't enjoy from start to finish unless I'm too curious about the rest or just enjoying the trainwreck and neither of them are like that. My problem with both of them are the pacing. Horimiya particularly ends up jumping from one thing to another and sometimes it's too fast for my liking, it ends up featuring characters I have no idea where they popped up from, but I don't read the manga, so I can't comment on whether it's a good adaptation or not. But I still ended up liking both of them, even if I have these problems.
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FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 1536
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:03 am Reply with quote
Best: Jujutsu Kaisen - It's very rare that I go back to rewatch episodes, especially as often as I did for this. What a blessed series. What a blessed adaptation.
#2: Tomozaki - Just a really charming story about high school self-improvement. I was familiar with the first half or so from the manga, but it only got better as it went on. Can't wait to see more of it.
Worst: Kaifuku - I'm still amazed this got approved and the VAs signed on. LMAO if there's a season 2.
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Helix91



Joined: 30 Apr 2017
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:12 am Reply with quote
My picks are:

Best: Attack on Titan Final Season
Riveting plot, thrilling action scenes, and it was fascinating to see how the cast has changed over time. It does make a mess with it's allegories, but still an incredible ride.

Runner-Up: Jujutsu Kaisen
The quality of the production continues to stun me episode after episode. I could do without some of the long winded power explanations. The cast is incredible endearing, not to mention Hot.

Honorable Mention: Wonder Egg Priority
This is posted before the final episode airs, so my opinion could go way up or down. I love how ambitious it is, and its high points were incredible.

Worst: The Promised Neverland Season 2
I laughed pretty hard during the final episode. I'm glad I wasn't so invested that I got mad instead.
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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 135
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:56 am Reply with quote
Hard to pick just one in each category as there were a lot of great anime this season...

Best - tie between Molcar / Kemono Jihen (I'm also not over the horrifying mosquito women)/ BSD WAN.

Runner-up - Jujutsu Kaisen / Heaven's Design Team / Wonder Egg Priority

Honourable mentions - With a Dog and Cat, Everyday is fun (HanaKana and Sugita’s performances were both awesome) Maiko-san (okay, it’s technically a monthly series but I’ve loved the two episodes that have been released so far)

Worst - The Promised Neverland S2 (obvious choice) Only good thing was the beautiful ED by Myuk & E ve

Dishonourable mentions - Spider (dropped after I watched episode 12. It was difficult to follow) High-rise invasion (nearly finished it. The plot is confusing and the art is ugly)


Last edited by ab2143 on Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:35 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Jinbei



Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:59 am Reply with quote
Let's see here...

The Best: Jujutsu Kaisen

Hands down. I liked the manga already and the anime just outright polished that diamond in the rough into something unspeakably beautiful. I admit that I get easily excited over animes that have epic fights and cool posing and all that jazz, but JJK did all that without coming across as cheesy(to me at least). I'll be eagerly waiting for continuation, since the stuff just gets better afterwards. AOTY potential.

Runner-ups:

Ok... uhh... I just can't. Too many here to take just one. But I'll be swift..

Re Zero s2, pt2: Emilia finally showed us what she's made of. That, and everything else in this season concluded the arc nicely.

WEP: I first picked this as an afterthought and it seems like a right decision. So many underlying themes, sharp social commentary and some truly disturbing imagery made for an entertaining watch.

Mushoku Tensei: Despite Rudy(and all the male Greyrat's really) thinking with his d**k and being slimy, I adore the world-building, animation and action. So much potential here. To be honest, I even liked a good chunk of the humor. There, i said it. Fight me.


The Worst:

The Promised Neverland s2

Season one was good, but this one spat in the face of the franchise and made it, as a whole, completely unrecommendable. Laughable writing all over...


Honorary mentions:

Slime Isekai s2,pt1 , Kemono Jihen , Yuru Camp s2, Beastars s2, Kumoko(ongoing) and Sk8[/b]
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CrownKlown



Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 1729
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:17 pm Reply with quote
I find it interesting that kemono jihen and wonder egg deal with similar if not overlapping themes , the former is mentioned only once , whIle the latter is mentioned on pretty much everyones list . Krmono to me looks visually better, has a great soundtrack , imo much more likeable characters across the board , and would still stand as a solid mystery horror without its deep topics .

Honestly the main difference to me is the sexual makeup of the cast and whose consequentially the victim. I suppose you can take that for what you will.
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