Top 10 Anime of 2021
Top 10 Anime of 2021

Top 10 Anime of 2021

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
These are the anime superstars of the year! Join Ashley as we count down the best of the anime scene to come out in 2021, including the likes of "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean", "Odd Taxi", "Ranking of Kings", and more!

Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

Top 10 Anime of 2021

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime of 2021.

That’s right people, it’s the big one. We’re going over the anime series and films that dazzled us with their narrative swag and visual flare all year long. As per usual, new properties and sequel seasons are all up for consideration. Did we gloss over your absolute favourite? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean” (2021)

Seeing out the year with a festive helping of Ora Ora Ora, we have the long-awaited next chapter in the Joestar bloodlines’ increasingly crazy exploits. Taking her father’s place in the spotlight, Jolyne Cujoh not only stands tall as the first female JoJo, but kicked off her solo series in style. Falsely accused and imprisoned, it falls to Jolyne and her new band of prison buddies to break out and bring the conspiracy behind her incarceration to light. Between all the new Stands and ever-increasing list of waifus, we can’t wait to see what heights Jolyne and Stone Free will reach next.

#9: “To Your Eternity” (2021)

A meditation on the various aspects of humanity, set in a fantasy world ripe with danger and ugliness, penned by the author of A Silent Voice. Is It any wonder this made so many weep in the first episode alone? Fushi’s journey from sentient orb to wolf to boy made for an enchanting viewing experience, if a heart-breaking one. Not only did he have to contend with the grossness of the Nokkers as they endeavoured to steal away his power, but also come to grips with the frailty of mortality, as each of his newfound friends and loved ones enter and exit his immortal life.

#8: “Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song” (2021)

Blending tense sci-fi shenanigans with the intrinsic nature of music, Vivy’s mission to avoid a future where mankind is wiped out by an onslaught of corrupted A.I was a thrill-ride from start to finish, one that didn’t only offer banging songs but some unexpectedly frantic and fluid action. Even if some elements of the Singularity Project plotline can come across a little off-key, the bond and banter between Vivy and Matsumoto was so delightful that it's worth watching just to see how their companionship evolves!

#7: “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” Season Two (2021)

Cementing itself among the upper echelons of the isekai genre, Rimuru’s continuing adventures not only brought us plenty more explosive fights, but also dared to venture into darker territory. The sequel season explores that even as a borderline unstoppable slime monster, Rimuru isn’t above consequences, and propping up a nation full of monsters in a world where prejudice and human greed is king, certainly lends itself to some dire consequences. Though it might have been worth it when you consider the amazing clashes that sprung from their conflict. Or in Shogo’s case – a complete thrashing.

#6: “Megalo Box 2: Nomad” (2021)

This sequel had no right to be as good as it was! While it had a solid foundation and served as a worthy successor to Tomorrow’s Joe, the original Megalo Box unfortunately flopped during its all-important final punch out. And then along came Nomad, and demolished out expectations. Going from champion to tormented junkie, Joe’s fall from grace had so much weight and nuance to it, that watching him slowly rise up to reclaim his dignity and passion for boxing was a true spectacle. That, and we couldn’t get enough of Chief.

#5: “Odd Taxi” (2021)

Where did this anthropomorphic gem come from?! You’ve got the silky wordplay of a Tarantino movie combined with one of the tightest written mysteries to ever appear in an anime, all saturated in a cornucopia of exquisitely realised characters, who just happen to appear as animal hybrids. This is certainly one that needs to be watched with untainted eyes given the abundance of twists, but let's just say…being a walrus and a taxi driver in this town isn’t easy. Especially when the key players attached to a missing person’s case happen to drift in and out of your inner circle.

#4: “Ranking of Kings” (2021)

Wit Studio just doesn’t miss! With an aesthetic straight out of a Ghibli production, this fantasy romp is an utter delight to watch. As the son of a mighty king, the young prince Boji eagerly seeks to live up to the legacy of his father…the only problem being that he’s deaf and has no strength to speak of. Not only does he have to overcome the adversity of his weaker body, but also save his kingdom when dark forces threaten to overrun it. By taking classic tropes of the genre and injecting it with an unabashed amount of charm, Wit have created something truly special with this.

#3: “Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation” (2021)

There’s something poetic about the original isekai taking back its crown, all thanks to an adaptation that absolutely dominates over its contemporaries. After biting the dust via Truck-kun, a middle-aged loser is reborn in a world filled with magic. As flawed as he is, Rudeus’ second chance at life has nonetheless unravelled into an epic, sprawling tale, filled with all the action and character introspection we could have wanted. The flawless animation combined with the worldbuilding, and saga potential has well and truly raised the bar.

#2: “Attack on Titan: The Final Season” (2021)

Just when you thought it was impossible to top the roller-coaster that was Season Three, MAPPA delivered onto us the first part of this modern anime masterpiece’s closing chapter. Delving deep into the lore and dropping bombshells with each new episode, the war between Paradis and Marley was more than we could have ever expected. And right at the centre of it all we’ve got Eren, who by this point has completed his transformation from bratty rebel all the way to chad with an untold number of layers. Needless to say, we can’t wait for Part 2.

Before we reveal our number pick, here’s a colossal amount of honourable mentions you need to check out!

“Laid Back Camp” Season Two (2021)

“Dr Stone: Stone Wars” (2021)

“Tokyo Revengers” (2021)

“Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S” (2021)

“Komi Can't Communicate” (2021)

“Sk8 the Infinity” (2021)

#1: “Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon a Time” (2021)

Holy shit, it exists, an actual ending to the Evangelion franchise! Not only is it confounding that we actually got to the point…but that the final product turned out to be pretty damn spectacular. Serving as the conclusion to the Rebuild-verse as well as the series in general, Anno’s vision is perfectly realised here, with Shinji and the rest trying to bring an end to the threat of the Angels once and for all. While we’re sure there were many who were stung due to who actually won the waifu wars, it’s still very much the good ending fans had been pinning for. At long last, Shinji got in the robot.