So here’s a list of ten anime I really enjoyed in the year of 2021. I won’t be ranking them in any arbitrary order, just sharing ten shows that I loved. No honourable mentions or anything like that, just a list of ten anime series. Let’s dive right in.
The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! had a reasonably enjoyable start, and only got better and better as it continued. I guess running over the course of two cours also helped it cement a place in my mind, but it done so with plenty of quality entertainment. Jahy may be a brat at first, but she definitely grows into a relatively respectable character, thanks to the influence of the people she meets. Then you have the whole thing with the Magical Girl, which catapulted this show to one of my favourites of the year.
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My LevelI absolutely adore the I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level light novels, and to see them brought to life on screen was a dream come true. The anime may not be a perfect 1:1 adaptation of said light novels, but it certainly captures the charm that I love. All the characters are great, and there’s just something so comfy about Azusa living a peaceful life out on the highlands. talking of comfy…
Laid-Back Camp Season 2I’ve been keeping up with the English release of the Laid-Back Camp manga, so of course I was looking forward to seeing the continued adventures of Rin, Nadeshiko and their friends being adapted. Of course, the show delivered on all fronts. We got some solo camping, birthday celebrations and plenty of fantastic landscapes and delicious food. Secret Society BLANKET continues to be as strong as ever.
Love Live! Superstar!In terms of idol shows that aired this year, I was struggling to pick between SELECTION PROJECT and Love Live! Superstar!! to put on this list. As you can see, I ultimately went with Love Live! Superstar!!. It was a fun addition to the Love Live! franchise, and there were some excellent interactions between the characters – I’m particularly fond of Keke & Sumire. It also took me a while to appreciate Ren, but she got there in the end.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid SI’ve also been keeping up with the release of the English language manga of this show as well, and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S continues to be pretty enjoyable. I’ll hold my hands up to not really being an Ilulu fan, but whilst she is prominent towards the beginning of the season, it feels like her role gets smaller and smaller as the show goes on. Besides, it is Tohru and Elma who really steal the show in this second season; their interactions alone make this a worthy addition for my Top Ten Anime of 2021. The other dragons have their moments, too, but it is the interactions between the two aforementioned dragons that will always stay at the forefront of my mind when it comes to the second season of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
Non Non Biyori NonstopAnother laid-back show, the third season of Non Non Biyori is quite simply about the lives of girls living out in the countryside. Nonstop brought us more wholesome interactions, and some new characters joining the cast. Most notable are the interactions between Renge and Shiori; just thinking about them warms my heart.
Show By Rock!! Stars!!I love me an anime about girls who play guitars, and Show By Rock!! certainly has plenty of them to go around. In fact, Stars!! brings together the bands from the all the previous seasons of Show By Rock!!. Mashumairesh!! finally meets Plasmagica, and we get plenty of music to enjoy. I do love me a good music anime.
Super CubHere we have yet another laid-back show, this time this one is about the joy of Super Cubs. Seeing Koguma’s world gradually open up as she experienced with her Super Cub was certainly a joy. Although I call it laid-back, we did get some intense scenes here and there. A really fun show.
Tropical-Rouge! PreCureTropical-Rouge! PreCure may not have finished airing at the time of writing, but I feel confident in saying that it is one of the stronger entries in the Pretty Cure franchise. I absolutely adore the interactions between Manatsu and Laura, the other girls all get their fair share of the spotlight, and there’s a darkness within the mermaid’s home of Gran Ocean that has become more apparent recently. Sprinkle in some strong side characters and a genuinely close-knit group of antagonists, and this season of PreCure is certainly shaping up to be among my favourites.
Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai ChapterThe third season of Yuki Yuna is a Hero actually surprised me by not focusing on the current Hero Club, but rather a group know as the Sentinels, and the very first Hero Club. The present Hero Club do have their role to play, but it feels minimal at best. Still, it was interesting to see how the different groups approached their fights.
Whether it’s the Sentinels, the first Hero Club, or the present Hero Club, this season does have quite some interesting things to offer. A lot of emotions riding high between the various groups here, and that certainly makes for some very intriguing viewing.
Plenty of great shows to choose from this year, and narrowing it down to just ten was a little tough. I enjoyed all the shows listed above. 2022 certainly has some interesting prospects in terms of anime, and I look forward to seeing what other surprises it may bring.