Spring 2021 Anime: This Season is Actually Good?

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DocHaus

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Seriously, I'm just floored by how many anime from this season I decided to check out and legitimately like for different reasons. I'll try to sum them up best I can here for the uninitiated.

Odd Taxi

Beastars meets Durarara!! and that depends on the truth of a fan theory floating around that the animal-people in this show are a part of the main character's delusions. Seriously, if you just made all the characters human but kept everything else the same, virtually nothing would change, and so far it's great. There are multiple storylines floating around this version of Tokyo: a melancholy middle-aged cab driver who might be connected to a schoolgirl in a missing persons case. A new idol group struggling to make it big while one of the members attracts a well-meaning but obsessive superfan, and another is dating the cabbie's drinking buddy. A gangster baboon with a gun trying to stay ahead of his competition. An alpaca who may or may not be selling drugs on the side. A game dev who is one bad day away from snapping into a serial killer. A bunch of seemingly disparate plotlines all woven around a, well, Odd Taxi driver. If you don't mind the simplistic art style, you'll love this show.

Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song

There's no way an idol show should be this good, but it is. The artwork alone is amazing, the soundtrack is glorious, but then you throw in the sci-fi story with time-travel and AI progressing to the point where they become self-aware and possibly murder their creators, and it becomes something seriously special. Hey it worked for Macross, that was an idol show that hid behind a sci-fi show of a small colony worth of people on a giant space-faring transforming robot fortress, and they just had 1980's art techniques to work with. Vivy may not be as wide-ranging as Macross, but our heroine has 100 years to supposedly fix singularity points as guided by a AI teddy bear who might have its own agenda, and this show already jumped ahead 20 of them over the first 5 episodes. Can't wait to see how this plays out.

86

It's surprising how much we here in the States just completely forgot that we're engaged in multiple wars around the globe, even where we say we aren't. We just put the idea out of sight, out of mind, because hey it's not our asses on the line right now. Similar things happened here, where the supposed "smart war" done by non-human combatants is actually because all the non-silver haired people aren't considered human to the Republic of San Magnolia, which claims there are only 85 Districts. The 86th? That's where all the unpersons from different races/ethnicities/haircolors live, trying to make the most of the time they have left as their Handlers in the Republic basically throw them into near-suicidal missions against an enemy that may or may not be robots. It's brutal, sad, and also a reminder that even a "good" officer who treats their subordinates well is still benefiting from the system that allows them to treat the war like a video game, while the actual units have to die in their place just to maintain a stalemate, not even an actual victory. Don't get too attached to the Spearhead Squadron, folks, as not everyone is going to have a happy ending.

To Your Eternity

An alien decides to observe humanity by sending down a shapeshifting orb that turns into a rock, then a wolf, then a human boy. Maybe the alien should've just stayed away from this planet if he knew how much we would fuck things up. Jokes aside, this is another great one in seeing how different people react to this weird creature observing not-Earth in its own way. The first episode alone is a hell of a tearjerker, watching the unnamed boy try and keep his spirits up even as various factors slowly eat away at his psyche while he tries to reconnect with his missing tribe. Or how the girl feeds a feral boy fruits as it hasn't learned to be quite human yet. This show is great. You should watch it.

Nomad: Megalo Box 2

Joe returns, sort of. After events that happened offscreen between the end of Megalobox and the start of this one, Joe drifts around like his new namesake, Nomad, to different underground boxing rings, trying to feed his painkiller addiction and chase away the ghost of his old trainer who haunts him. A chance meeting with some Hispanic immigrants who were inspired by his own tournament run might be the spark he needs to get back into the ring for real. Only been able to watch the first couple episodes so far, but if you loved the first Megalo Box, you'll probably like this one, with the pseudo-1990s style downscaled artwork and the heavy punches that feel impactful through it.

Jouran: Princess of Snow and Blood

In a tale heavily inspired by the Japanese film Lady Snowblood, a girl who can partially transform into an albino crow tries to get revenge on a snake guy while operating in an alt-history Japan where the Meiji era and the Tokugawa Shogunate didn't end, stretching to the 1930s after Japan discovered some phlebotinum that allowed them to dramatically increase their tech progress. Of course, the society is slowly coming apart at the seams after news of various unrest happening on the outskirts, plus everyone in the show has a chronic backstabbing disorder and is trying to take revenge on everyone else. Feels like this would've been better as a 4-part OVA, as the main revenge plotline seems to wrap up frighteningly quickly, but there's still 8 episodes to go. Having said that, if you're looking for an alt-historical action piece with some interesting cel-shaded artwork (especially during Sawa's fight scenes) then you'll love it.

Farewell, My Dear Cramer

A surprisingly good story about multiple budding girls' soccer players and their coach trying to take a bad school team to bigger and better things. The artwork might be a little janky but they do a pretty good job of explaining soccer concepts and formations to an otherwise casual fan (like myself). Just wish they could pull the camera back instead of teleporting it into different players' faces during the soccer action, but despite that, these are cool girls you hope to see succeed, especially as the show opens on a fictional player from the real life Japan Nadeshiko team that one the women's World Cup ten years ago crying because she feared for the future of women's soccer in Japan if their team lost. Might check out a local NWSL match if I have the time and distance.

Honorable mentions to Combatants Will Be Dispatched! (literally just proto-Konosuba by the same author) and SSSS.Dynazenon (sequel to SSSS.Gridman which I haven't really started yet). Check them all out if you have the time.

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Bollard

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Thanks for the heads up on this, Vivy looks really intriguing.

I had my eye on "To Your Eternity" as well, but I like to wait for things to finish airing before starting them (waiting on Fruits Basket: The Final for the same reason!)

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This is my list. For some reason this season, I lose interest in completing the anime series I sampled. It's better for me to binge it when it's completed.

Will WatchedBinge when completeDroppedHaven't SampleWon't watch
  • Combatants Will Be Dispatched
  • Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro
  • Dragon Goes House-Hunting
  • Fruits Basket the Final
  • Full Dive
  • Hetalia: World Stars
  • How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Ω
  • Higehiro
  • Koikimo
  • I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
  • Joran The Princess of Snow and Blood
  • MARS RED
  • MEGALOBOX 2: NOMAD
  • My Hero Academia
  • Odd Taxi
  • Osamake
  • The Slime Diaries
  • The World Ends with You
  • Tokyo Revengers
  • To Your Eternity
  • ZOMBIE LAND SAGA REVENGE
  • Let's Make a Mug Too
  • Super Cub
  • Seven Knights Revolution: The Hero's Successor
  • The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent
  • Bakuten!!
  • Battle Athletes Victory ReSTART
  • Bishounen Tanteidan
  • Blue Reflection Ray
  • Cestvs: The Roman Fighter
  • Eden
  • EDENS ZERO
  • 86--EIGHTY-SIX
  • Burning Kabaddi
  • Fairy Ranmaru
  • Farewell Cramer
  • Mashiro no Oto
  • Moriarty the Patriot (didn't finish season 1)
  • Record of Ragnarok
  • Shadows House
  • Shaman King
  • The Way of the Househusband
  • Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song-
  • Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun Season 2
  • Yasuke
  • Bakugan: Geogan Rising
  • Beyblade Burst Dynamite Battle
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard: overDress
  • Dinosaur Biyori
  • Duel Masters King!
  • GLOOMY The Naughty Grizzly
  • Godzilla Singular Point
  • Mazica Party
  • Oshiete Hokusai! THE ANIMATION
  • Shikaru Neko
  • Shinkasen Henkei Robo Shinkalion Z
  • SSSS.Dynazenon

So far, my favorite Spring 2021 shows are Zombie Land, Odd Taxi, My Hero Academia, OsaMake, Koikimo, Higehiro, Full Dive, MegaloBox, and To Your Eternity.

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I'm currently obsessed with Super Cub