Here are a few of my favorite anime series that were released winter 2021.
1. Wonder Egg Priority
This is an original Japanese anime television series created and written by Shinji Nojima. It aired from January to March 2021, with a special episode set to premiere on June 30, 2021.
The 12 episode series follows Ai Ohto, a junior high school student who has avoided class after the suicide of her best friend Koito Nagase.
During a late-night walk, Ai follows a mysterious voice behind a beetle that guides her to a deserted location where she obtains a “Wonder Egg.” That night, Ai is drawn into a dream world where the Wonder Egg cracks open to reveal a girl, whom Ai must protect from tiny monstrous creatures. She is told that by protecting enough Wonder Egg inhabitants, she will be able to get her friend back. She decides to continue and along the way, Ai meets three other girls in the same situation as her: Neiru Aonuma, Rika Kawai, and Momoe Sawaki.
This anime had my attention from the very first episode. I didn’t know what to expect but it kept me watching. The effort put into everything is like that of a movie.
The deeper I got into it, the more I realized how dark it was and how the bright and colourful aesthetic is completely opposite to the dark and depressing tone of the story. It features themes like suicide, depression, self-harm and rape and it takes them seriously. Although the story is fictional, many aspects of it are realistic.
With the ending we received, I am very much looking forward to the special that is said to finalize the series.
2. Jujutsu Kaisen
This series was adapted from a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami. The first season ran from October 3, 2020, to March 27, 2021, with a total of 24 worthwhile episodes.
The dark fantasy, which is animated by MAPPA, the story follows high school student Yuji Itadori as he joins a secret organization of Jujutsu Sorcerers in order to kill a powerful Curse named Ryomen Sukuna, of whom Yuji becomes the host after eating one of his fingers.
The concept is unique and I already look forward to future seasons, and might even read the manga. The first season also felt like an introduction to the bigger story, and I have a feeling that it won’t disappoint.
While the action scenes and animations are a valid reason for why the show is so popular, the plot and the characters make it even better.
There is something different about it. Starting with the main character, Yuji Itadori. He is a very happy-go-lucky character and has a positive ideology in the beginning, but once he faces the reality of being a Jujutsu Sorcerer, everything crumbles and he has to live with that.
It will get darker and it makes sense as the main thing they fight against, curses, are brought about by beings manifested from cursed energy as a result of the negative emotions that flow out of humans.
I still look forward to understanding the fictional world more and getting to know a lot of characters, maybe even getting some backstory on the overpowered character Gojo Satoru.
3. SK8 the Infinity
This is another Japanese original anime television series produced and animated by Bones that aired from January 10 to April 4, 2021.
In this series, a group of hardcore skaters participate in a secret, “anything goes” competition after midnight known as “S“, racing each other in battles called “beefs” on skateboards down a winding road carved out of an abandoned mine.
Reki, a high school sophomore and skater, goes with new transfer student Langa to S one night and a small mistake ends up pulling him into the world of skateboarding.
One thing sports anime never fail to do is make me enjoy watching a sport that I initially had no interest in. Of course it’s not always realistic, there are times the fiction jumps out, but there is still the fact that research and time was put in. The terminology used, the way a board is used and even the animation. It all feels authentic.
I immediately fell in love with the characters and their personalities. Even with the main antagonist, Adam, as unlikeable as he is, there is no denying that he is interesting.
It’s a show that can make you laugh but also make you cry. It is exciting and keeps you on your toes. It blew away my expectations and even had me wanting more.
I don’t know if there will be any future projects concerning SK8, but I will definitely keep up with news concerning it.
4. Attack on Titan: Final Season
Also animated by MAPPA, this popular dark fantasy and post-apocalyptic anime TV series is adapted from the manga of the same name by Hajime Isayama. This is the first part of the final season.
Unlike the others, this is an anime series that started in 2013. Many viewers already know the story and how far it has gone since the first episode.
The final season is set in the near future and it follows Gabi Braun and Falco Grice, young Eldian Warrior candidates seeking to inherit Reiner’s Armored Titan four years after the failed mission to claim the Founding Titan.
Here, we get to see their perspectives. How they are treated as Eldians in Marley and what led to Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie infiltrating Paradise Island. It is insightful and tragic.
Racism and the lead up to war. This is what I got from this season.
From intense dialogue to complicated characters, Attack on Titan does not fail to keep me questioning and watching.
As always it’s unpredictable. In season one, no one would have imagined that this is what it would all lead up to.
If you are impatient and can’t wait till next winter for the next part, you can read the manga as it had the final episode released April 9.
I still have others I have to finish and start like Beastars and Dr. Stone which I look forward to, but so far from what I have watched, these are the ones that really left an impression on me.
Of course, with the end of winter 2021 comes spring and some of the current spring anime series I’m looking forward to are Fruits Basket, Tokyo Revengers, and My Hero Academia.