The new year is officially here and the winter 2021 anime lineup had so many amazing series to offer to satiate our otaku hearts. In fact, this season I am trying to surpass my limit and I ended up preparing to watch 40 anime series this time and upon writing this first impression review, I have already watched over 30 titles that premiered this year.
So, I’ll share my thoughts on some of the anime premieres from the winter 2021 lineup that I had seen so far, albeit there might be some tendencies that I’ll drop some of these series along the way. However, this season had been one of the strongest anime lineups to ever premiere. There are so many sequels from big anime titles this season and they’re great. Even the new series, is surprisingly good and some could even compete against the major sequels this season.
I have actually rated almost all of these series, but I have separated the leftovers for now as my basis for this were not on the same level as those that premiered this season.
Alright, here let me share my thoughts first on the ongoing series which was leftovers from the fall 2020 anime lineup. We have pretty big titles here, in fact, an immediate anime of the year contenders already.
Attack on Titan: The Final Season
This is just the beginning of the climax. We had only just begun and there’s more to come. I really believed that MAPPA is doing great in its adaptation of Attack on Titan: The Final Season and seeing few episodes already simply shows how solid this season of AOT is. With that being said, I put Attack on Titan: The Final Season on top of this entire list for now. If only the anime aired a bit earlier, this can be a potential best anime of the year for 2020.
Another work from studio MAPPA is next on our list. It is keeping the same pace as the previous season, it is engaging and interesting with tons of promises and real great animation. Oh, we are also entering an even more exciting part of the story this time is that will have more action and fun much to the delight of every shounen fan out there.
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon
The sequel of Inuyasha seems to upscale its story this 2021 as it finally gives us a hint of what actually happened to the original gang. We still have their children as the main characters but we as viewers also need to find out what truly transpires through all these years that brought to the current situation of the story. That is what we will have this season from Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, so I am quite expecting some good development from here on.
Higurashi: When They Cry GOU
The second half of Higurashi: When They Cry GOU, promises to be bloodier, suspenseful, and exciting as we finally get closer to the truth or that’s what we can all assumed. The focus of the story also shifted from Keiichi to Rika who is the actual protagonist of the game where the anime was based off.
Kasel and his company continued their journey in search of unsealing the Holy Sword while the revival of the Demon King is approaching. The story is getting intense too as the darkness engulfs the land and people are still in chaos. Although King’s Raid seems like a generic anime, I think it has a decent development so far, albeit the Dark Elves seems to have an even more interesting story to tell than Kasel himself.
Best Premiere of the Season
Here, I have the best anime premieres from the winter 2021 lineup and these series are all fantastic and surprising. I just hope that it will be consistent until the end.
We’ve been waiting for ages for this very moment. Horimiya anime adaptation had one of the best premieres ever from any romance series I had seen. It’s solid and well-written with catchy music. Although, Horimiya thrives in the characters’ interaction and fun dialogues between them that truly feel genuine and relatable. Plus, Hori and Miyamura’s chemistry is undeniably one of the best. Even now that the year is far from over, I think Horimiya has a stronghold on getting the best romance anime of 2021.
Wonder Egg Priority
Here’s another work from CloverWorks this season, Wonder Egg Priority seems like the dark horse this time. It has so much quality and I hope that people should start learning about how awesome and deep this anime is. The graphics and animation are awesome, plus the pacing reminds me a bit of psychological movies like Paprika, The Millennium Actress, and Perfect Blue from Satoshi Kon. Wonder Egg Priority has so many underlying meanings and watching it feels like peeking to another mind, someone else’s world.
Here comes the Demon Slayer feels, but Kemono Jihen is a shounen anime this season that surprised me quite a bit and made me a bit emotional. This is one of the anime this year that made me crave for more and it feels nostalgic because it brings back a lot of similar emotions that any shounen fans will feel.
Dr. Stone Season 2
Senku and his Kingdom of Science are back and this time, it is them who take the initiative to plan an attack on Tsukasa’s Empire. However, we are still in the preparation stage as their plan eventually brought hilarious and weird ideas to the surface again. The anime is still consistent in giving beautiful graphics and eye-catching character designs, plus it’s just over a year but it feels nostalgic to see them back again.
Cells at Work 2
The fun and hilarious look at how the body cells do their daily living is also back this 2021 with Cells at Work Season 2. The anime opened with an inspiring yet obnoxious story. It sure is great to see the old gang of the cells that we had followed from 2018 again especially White Blood Cells who didn’t change at all and the adorable platelets.
To many light novel readers, Jobless Reincarnation is the grandfather of isekai-cliche, and this time it is one of the isekai anime that holds some promise. As the story that popularized Truck-kun as the catalyst of going to an isekai alternate world, Jobless Reincarnation simply did it well. Aside from the considerable amount of fanservice and humor, this anime sure hold some darker drama that may have been used in other anime. However, it seems that the story execution is well-done here and I am looking forward to what it has to offer. Plus points, the visuals in this anime is gorgeous.
Sk8 the Infinity
I am not expecting too much but I got surprised splendidly. The animation is good and the backgrounds are visually stunning; it gives off the punky ambiance. It looks like the usual shounen but with sports elements and this time it is skateboarding. Oh dear, it feels refreshing to see a sports anime other than basketball and volleyball. It promises some inspiring story, hilarious comedy, and a good pack of action with dazzling character designs. It’s just started but I already shipping Joe and Cherry too. They just got me seriously.
Laid-back Camp 2
If you simply want to relax, then Laid-back Camp Season 2 is the first option for you from the winter 2021 anime lineup. It’s back with the usual antics it has – gorgeous scenery, casual and relatable dialogues, soothing narrative, and a whole lot of camping stuff. For a slice of life anime, Laid-back Camp 2 has plenty to offer in this season filled with so many shounen anime.
Re:Zero Season 2 Part 2
The second part of Re:Zero Season 2 is here and it started where its previous installment from last year ended. It went deeper into drama this time as Emilia had to confront her weakness and Subaru must push her to the limit to overcome it. It really seems complicated though, and it is up to Subaru how will he fix the peril that is about to come. Plus, Otto just keeps on surprising us in many ways. Have to give him the credit for being one of the best supporting anime characters in recent years.
2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team
Here’s another sports anime on our list and while it uses volleyball as an element to connect the characters, it goes beyond that. It seems that this anime will revolve more around the relationship of the characters, thus we can expect some intense drama and development to happen soon. I just wish that it will be done properly, or it might have been another disaster. Nonetheless, I am getting Haikyuu!! plus Hoshiai no Sora vibes from this one.
The Quintessential Quintuplets 2
One of the best harem anime in recent years is also back for its second season this year. The Quintessential Quintuplets still have their usual appeal filled with drama and humor. However, this season promises a deeper look at the siblings’ delicate relationship and as Futaro himself gets entangle with them. We will also delve into the sisters’ past and Futarou’s involvement with them before the start of the story. Now, this makes me excited even more, manga readers must have known what will happen next, but for anime-only fans, we are excited for this. Albeit I got spoiled already. ^^
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime 2
Rimuru Tempest is back people! The anime immediately gives us some fantastic fights in its first episode and we couldn’t be happier to see Rimuru and his gang once again. The quest for nation-building continues. Definitely one of the better isekai and feel-good anime that we should add to our watchlist this year.
One of my favorite anime from 2019, Beastars is back for its second season this 2021 and it is great to see Legolas changed a lot. He is not the same lone wolf that we had from the previous season. Albeit, the same couldn’t be said to Louis. He also changed and I believe that something bigger is about to happen in the story soon. So, we better watch out for that. Oh, the opening theme is absolutely pretty.
The Promised Neverland 2
Here’s another sequel in our list, it’s The Promised Neverland Season 2 which has been my best anime of 2019. This season brought us outside of the farm and follows the journey of Emma and the gang in the outside world. It’s nerve-wracking and suspenseful while at the same time breathtaking as the scenery is absolutely beautiful. Now, how this story will develop will be an interesting ride as Emma’s group will keep on searching for the truth and their survival.
Log Horizon Season 3
After 5 long years of waiting, Log Horizon is back. As one of the better isekai anime out there, many fans had been waiting for this. It feels nostalgic to see them back again. On my end, I felt clueless a bit since my memory failed at some point as I had already forgotten what happened from the previous season. Nevertheless, Shiroe and his guild together with the various characters that had missed for so long will spice up this season.
World Trigger 2
A personal favorite of mine, World Trigger is also back and I couldn’t be more grateful to see this anime once again as its manga had been one of the series that I’ve been following and invested a lot of time and emotions into. The series returns with an action-packed episode as it has shown us the agents of Border defend their base against the neighbors that plans to destroy their ship that they will use to infiltrate Aftokrator. Now, this promises a lot of action and fun. On my end, I am simply happy to see my favorite characters from the series especially the members of the Tamakoma Branch.
I also have here the anime that aired this season which surprised me quite a bit. Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki is fun, while So I’m a Spider, So What? is another isekai anime with a hilarious narrative and interesting main character to follow. It somehow gives off a bit of Arifureta vibes on my end.
- Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki
- Skate-Leading Stars
- So I’m a Spider, So What?
Average / Normal / Decent Start
Here is the series that started decently for me. Although, I felt like I still need to see some more episodes before I could finally get into its story and get its vibe.
- Cells at Work Black
- Wave!! Let’s Go Surf
- Non Non Biyori 3
- Seven Deadly Sins Season 4
- Scard Project: Praeter no Kizu
- Otherside Picnic
- Dr. Ramune – Mysterious Disease Specialist-
- Heaven’s Design Team
- Hortensia Saga
- Wixoss Diva (A) Live
To view all the airing anime from the winter 2021 lineup, you may check the schedule listing of LiveChart.
This is where I shall end my first impression review for the winter 2021 anime lineup. Please let me know your current favorites from this season and which anime do you think have the potential to be the best anime of the year? Let us know by leaving your comment below.
Code name: Yu Alexius is an ambiguous entity who loves to talk about anime and Chinese animation in general. An insatiable soul from the Pearl of the Orient, a frustrated writer and a Houtarou Oreki wanna-be. He is a piece of a lunatic and everything crazy.