Anime Awards: Spring 2021

Thus the spring season of anime concludes, and I shall now be taking a look back at what I watched over the past few months, and celebrating the stuff I enjoyed about it all.
Here’s what I watched:

  • Battle Athletes Victory ReSTART!
  • Blue Reflection Ray
  • Farewell, My Dear Cramer
  • I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
  • Let’s Make a Mug Too
  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S Short Animation Series
  • My Hero Academia Season 5
  • One Piece
  • Super Cub
  • The World Ends With You The Animation
  • Tropical-Rouge! PreCure

I get the distinct feeling a certain light novel adaptation will be dominating this season’s awards…

Best Opening Theme
“Gudafuwa Every Day” by Aoi Yuuki

Honestly, if The World Ends With You The Animation had used a version of Twister that included female vocals – like the original version – that probably would’ve taken this top spot. But no, instead, we can all enjoy Aoi Yuuki’s voice as she sings about wanting to lead a peaceful life. I’m sure we can we relate to that desire, too. A fun, catchy opening theme for a fun anime.
Runners-up: “a hollow shadow” by Kenichiro Suehiro (SHADOWS HOUSE); “Taiga yo Tomo ni Naitekure” by Franchouchou (ZOMBIE LAND SAGA REVENGE)

Best Plot
Living a slow life
Shalsha, Azusa & FalfaYou could argue that I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level doesn’t really have a plot, and I’d totally agree. However, it sure is nice to see Azusa lead her laid-back life as best she can. Never mind the dragons, slimes, elves, demons, ghosts and other such things that keep cropping up. But hey, we do get a wholesome family out of all that.
Runners-up: The Shadows’ servants (SHADOWS HOUSE); The zombies’ revenge (ZOMBIE LAND SAGA REVENGE)

Best Protagonist

Azusa, the Witch of the HighlandsAn office lady reincarnated as an immortal witch into a fantasy world, Azusa just wants to lead a quiet life. She does that for around 300 years, and then suddenly she finds herself gaining a family. Also, Azusa easily has the best reactions to the absurd situations she often finds herself in.
Runners-up: Emilico (SHADOWS HOUSE); Koguma (Super Cub)

Best Antagonist
Sho Minamimoto
Sho MinamimotoOut of all the antagonists in The World Ends With You, Sho Minamimoto is arguably the fan favourite. For good reason, too; he has so many quotable lines. I’m a little sad about certain lines of his not making it into the anime adaptation (“drop the freaking moon”, for example), but hey, at least fans of the game got to see him again.

Best Female Character
FlatorteSo tempted to put Azusa here again, but instead, I’ll go with a member of her harem family. If it had been based on the light novels alone, I would have given it to Laika, but seeing Flatorte animated has made me reconsider a bit. I love both Laika and Flatorte, but anime Flatorte just edges it out.
Runners-up: Reiko (Super Cub); Shiki Misaki (The World Ends With You The Animation)

Best Male Character
Neku Sakuraba
Neku SakurabaSomeone who initially shut themselves off from everyone, using headphones to lose themselves in their own world. Hmm, I definitely don’t know anybody like that… ha ha…
But, he has an experience unlike any other that teaches him the value of opening up, and gains some close friends because of it. I have to be honest, Sho and Neku’s inclusion in these awards are probably more to do with the original The World Ends With You game than the anime. But, hey, the anime did air this season, so I guess they still count.
Runners-up: Naruto Uzumaki (BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS); Izuku Midoriya (My Hero Academia Season 5)

Best Cast of Characters
The Witch of the Highland’s Family
Azusa & familyIt started out as just a lone witch slaying slimes for 300 years, but quickly grew into a large family that includes slime spirits, dragons, a ghost and an elf. Azusa is blessed to be surrounded by such a loving family, and that’s not even taking into account other family members that don’t necessarily stay at the House of the Highlands. I adore this cast of characters.
Runners-up: Franchouchou (ZOMBIE LAND SAGA); Cub enthusiasts (Super Cub)

Cutest Character
Falfa & Shalsha
Shalsha & FalfaI guess in this case it should be “cutest characters“, because you just can’t have Falfa without Shalsha and vice versa. Azusa’s adorable slime daughters join the family shortly after Laika, and after working out some differences, they became an indispensable part of Azusa’s life.
Runners-up: Kanna (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S Short Animation Series); Emilico (SHADOWS HOUSE)

Most Badass Character
Azusa enters a martial arts tournamentAzusa may not normally be all that enthusiastic about fighting, but when she does, she goes all out. After all, it is often for the sake of her beloved family that she gets into these fights in the first place, and she is no slouch when it comes to combat. Dragons, demons, even the demon king have all felt Azusa’s wrath. Never threaten Azusa’s family.
Runners-up: Reiko (Super Cub); Naruto Uzumaki (BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS)

Best Couple
Azusa & Laika
Laika and AzusaAzusa’s really popular with the ladies in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, and definitely could consider a harem option. As a light novel reader, I personally lean towards Azusa x Laika. I will say the anime seemed to lean harder into Azusa x Beelzebub, which is an equally acceptable choice.
Runners-up: Koguma and Reiko (Super Cub); Ruka Hanari & Hiori Hirahara (Blue Reflection Ray)

Best Battle
Azusa vs. Beelzebub

There’s been some impressive fight scenes in the shonen anime of this season, but the fight scene that I will remember most is the one between Azusa and Beelzebub in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. It’s actually a rematch, with no barriers involved this time. Honestly, all the fight scenes in this show are pretty good.
Runners-up: Worst Generation pirates vs. Animal Pirates (One Piece); Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha vs. Jigen (BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS)

Best Soundtrack
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level

OK, the zombie idol show does have a killer soundtrack, but I just cannot resist the allure of bagpipes and Irish violins. They are used throughout I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level as incidental music. Those particular instruments fit the tone of the show incredibly well. Oh, and there’s that episode with Kuku where most of the cast get to show off. The video embedded above is just one example of the bagpipes being used.

Best Finale
Witch’s House Café
Witch's House CaféAs impressive as a certain zombie idol concert was, I’m gonna have to give this one to Azusa’s maid café. It was such a fun way to cap off an excellent adaptation of the light novels, and bring back every character that Azusa had met up to that point.
Runners-up: Charity concert (ZOMBIE LAND SAGA REVENGE); Just three Cub enthusiasts doing their thing (Super Cub)

Best Ending Theme
“Viewtiful Days!” by Azumi Waki

No ifs or buts with the ending theme: “Viewtiful Days!” by Azumi Waki is easily my favourite ending theme of the season. From I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, it’s another fun tune that fits perfectly with the tone of the anime.
Runners-up: “Nai Nai” by ReoNa (SHADOWS HOUSE); “Saishin” by ACCAMER (Blue Reflection Ray)

Best Anime
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My LevelI had high hopes for this show when it was announced that the light novel was getting adapted, and I’m happy to say it delivered. It did such a great job of conveying the tone and fun of the light novels in animated form. Add a fantastic cast, excellent soundtrack and a sense of humour right in my strike zone, I’m so happy I got to watch this.
Runners-up: Super Cub; SHADOWS HOUSE

I’m not sure if this was communicated clearly in this post, but I really loved I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. It’s definitely making a very strong argument to be my favourite anime this year – helped a lot by the fact that I am very into the light novels. The only negative is no information about a second season – at the time of writing.
There were also some not great shows, and some high quality shows this season – a little bit of everything. Still, I enjoyed what we got from the spring.

See you at the end of the summer season, when Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S will probably dominate the awards.

About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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