ACN Team Picks Anime Of The Year – 2021

The year is almost over (thankfully) and if anything good has come of it, it’s the amount of decent anime titles we’ve gotten. Starting with sequels to popular titles like Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, and Jujutsu Kaisen, to new adaptations and original series, each season had something to offer. We on the Anime Corner News team (and our helpers) took the time to sit down and pick out some of our favorites – for no particular reason other than that we love them. All participants provided a few sentences with the reasoning and we hope you enjoy reading them as much as we had writing about them.

Here is the list, in no particular order:



Blue period – Georgia

Whether it’s a movie, book, or anime, the lyrics that stick with me the most are always the ones that elicit a strong emotional response. 2021 was full of fun and interesting anime titles, from sk8 infinity at weird taxi. But none touched me as much as Blue period. Although it cannot compete with the likes of demon slayer in terms of animation quality, its writing more than makes up for its visual shortcomings. Well fleshed out characters and relatable, grounded storytelling combine to make for a very fine series. So this is my personal choice for anime of the year.

©︎ Tsubasa Yamaguchi, Kodansha / Blue Period Production Committee

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song – Eric

Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song- incorporates the best of both worlds when it comes to anime – beautiful combat animations and a wonderful story. Arguably WIT Studio’s best work since The attack of the Titans, long live is a wonderful sci-fi original anime that many people will look back on ten years from now and wonder why they never watched it when it aired. With some of the best storyboards you’ll find in modern anime, long live ticks off everything an anime fan might like in a series.

anime of the year 2021
©Vivy Score / Aniplex, WIT STUDIO

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation – Jakub

When I was told to choose my anime of the year, I was torn between two titles. Part of me wanted to choose the epic and action-packed first part of The attack of the Titansthe last season of, and the other part, the fascinating world of Mushoku Tensei. Now that the first season of Mushoku finished, the choice seems simple. I thought I was over my isekai phase but Mushoku Tensei proved me wrong. He’s gotta be the best isekai I’ve ever seen, and the way he builds the character of Rudeus is just amazing. It’s not just a tale about an epic fantasy world, it’s a tale about forgiving yourself and learning to move on. The story is simply amazing and the characters are endearing. The amount of thought put into world building is insane, and the size of the world is impressive. Top it all off with breathtaking visuals and a great score and you have the anime of the year! I just can’t wait any longer as my eager self has already gone through every available English volume of the light novel.

mushoku ep21
© Rifujin na Magonote / MF Books / Jobless Reincarnation Production Committee

Kageki Shojo–Westin

One anime that really impacted me in 2021 was Kageki Shojo. From the outside, it didn’t look like the show would represent too much, looking like a regular slice of anime. However, the series consistently wowed me from episode to episode and captured my heart in a way few outlets have this year. Kageki Shojo built a very human narrative about chasing his dreams and introduced some incredibly compelling and interesting characters along the way. His story was also very mature, bringing up and discussing serious matters with great tact and thought. It’s a combination of many aspects of storytelling done to such a wonderfully exceptional degree that elevates this show to such a high level. That this anime is as memorable to me as those that boast raging titans or flashy jujutsu wizards is a testament to the quality of the series. Through brilliant writing, wonderful characterization, and stellar storytelling, Kageki Shojo is a prime example of how even the simplest stories have the ability to exude excellence in spades.

©Kumiko Saiki, Hakusensha / Kageki Shojo production committee

To your eternity – Carla

To your eternity was one of the most creative and beautiful stories of this year. The overall aesthetic, the heartfelt music, the unique story, the charming characters, and even Utada Hikaru’s epic opening song – it all contributed to the incredible journey that makes up this anime show. Something about it is so melancholy yet so captivating. You can even call it a roller coaster ride/a train wreck of emotions. Nevertheless, watching it was an unforgettable experience.

Whereas To your eternity isn’t mainstream like other action or romance anime, it still stands tall in its own category. It’s a sad anime to watch, yes, but it also has a lot more depth than that. The story of To your eternity sparked themes of love, growth, connection, loss and grief. It focuses on how all of these emotions and experiences shape us throughout our journeys. To your eternityThe brilliant storytelling of has always provided a hard-hitting and meaningful way to say this. Whether it’s hope or sadness, or both.

© Yoshitoki Oima, Kodansha / NHK, NEP

House of Shadows – Tamara

I sometimes feel like my time watching anime is spent waiting for the next season of The attack of the Titans, which is, in my humble opinion, one of the titles that will be remembered as a classic for years to come. And it would be an easy choice to put it here, but something else managed to win me over this year and make this long wait a little easier. And something is house of shadows. I don’t know if it’s the story, the characters, the animation or the music, or maybe all of those things that managed to contribute and make this anime a really welcome surprise. The mystery aspect of it was one of its biggest selling points, and everything else managed to complement it perfectly and make it one of the best and most refreshing new anime of 2021.

Shadows House Episode 13 7
© Soumatou/Shueisha / Shadows House Production Committee

Mushoku Tensei: Unemployed Reincarnation – Marko

My vote for anime of the year 2021 has to go to Mushoku Tensei: Unemployed Reincarnation. With high expectations, Studio Bind delivered consistent quality for 23 episodes over 2 courses. It started out as a classic isekai, but it showed why it’s one of the greatest of its kind with its impressive world and character development, with the obviously impressive production quality that was objectively among the best this year. There were shows that had elements that I liked more, like Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-, ODDTAXI Where Ranking of kingsbut I can’t say that none of them deserve the AotY title ahead of Mushoku Tensei this year.

anime of the year 2021
© Rifujin na Magonote / MF Books / Jobless Reincarnation Production Committee

Love Live Superstar – Ken

Love Superstar Live had its own unique and refreshing take on previous installments. The group only has 5 members and the series is more inclined towards the slice of life theme rather than the generic idol theme. Since there are fewer members, there is more exposure for everyone. As a result, the show made each character more substantial, attractive, and with more personality. Super star also moved away from the generic plot of saving the school and leaned more towards becoming the best version of yourself as an idol. The songs are still amazing and catchy and the lively performances were by far the best. It was shocking at first how they broke franchise standards, but Superstar managed to put on an impressive show and exceeded expectations. All in all, Superstar not only broke Love Live tradition, it did it again and still proved it held its own, and that’s why it’s my Anime of the Year for 2021.

anime of the year 2021
©2021 PROJECT Lovelive! Super star!!

To your eternity – Kelly

Despite the many amazing anime that have aired this year, To your eternity is arguably unrivaled in its execution of careful character development, deft storytelling, and unique world-building that tugs at your heartstrings when everything is put together perfectly. It’s more than just a bloody story. Through the perspective of an immortal boy who started life aimlessly, this anime delicately explores what it means to be human and to find beauty in the world even when you’ve lost everything.
From the smooth and unique fight scenes, to the devastating tragedies, to the beautiful opening theme and animation sequence, To your eternity has everything that qualifies it as Anime of the Year.

anime of the year 2021
© Yoshitoki Oima, Kodansha / NHK, NEP

Aquatope on White Sand – Marvic

Aquatope on white sand was very relevant to me, making it my anime of the year for 2021. The story revolves around two teenage girls, Fuka and Kukuru, who have different dreams. However, Fuka’s dream was already shattered and Kukuru’s dream is hanging by a thread. Together they try to save a certain expensive theme park in Kukuru.

History shows that your journey in life must continue even if you haven’t reached your goal. Because if you pick yourself up and keep living, you can always find a new dream. Even if you made a bad decision in life, you could be doing yourself a favor by finding a different path.

© Tingarla Project

And what was your Anime of the Year 2021?

As you can see, some titles appeared more than once. The results may or may not be what you expected, but this is just a list of our personal favorites. What was your personal favourite?

The Anime Corner News team wishes you all a very Happy New Year 2022!

We would love to thank the author of this write-up for this awesome content

ACN Team Picks Anime Of The Year – 2021

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