Mid-Summer 2021 Anime Ranking

We have a very light watch-load this season. It’s probably a good thing there wasn’t much we were super keen on, as our real-life workload and demands have been heavy as of late and keeping up with even these few titles is sometimes a challenge.


01. My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X (Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta… X) (Ep. 1-11) – Season 2 brings more characters into the fold, including the introduction of Geordo and Alan’s older brothers. Prince Jeffrey turns out to be quite different from what you’d expect from a first prince, which is nice. To that end, of course Geordo is pretty unexpected too, with how he is bothered not one bit that his fiancée is completely unsuited for life as royalty. It seems his vast patience for Catarina’s cluelessness and growing harem is finally reaching its limit now.

The past 3 episodes, featuring the kidnapping of a Claes family member for the second time this season, are the darkest material of the series so far.
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


02. IDOLiSH7: Third BEAT! (Ep. 1-10) – The drama and animation quality of IDOLiSH7 is on a whole different level from most other male idol shows. During the first season, which premiered back in 2017, I remember complaining that the series didn’t bring anything new to the (already crowded) table; but by now, IDOLiSH7 is absolutely leaving the pack behind.

Because it was teased at the end of season 2, I was expecting ŹOOĻ to play a big role here, but so far that has not really come to pass. Instead, there’s been some good development for Re:vale. It’s only now that I’m finally getting a grasp on Yuki’s character. However, I have to call BS on the Re:vale backstory. No self-respecting musician, let alone one who bristles at being admired for his looks rather than his music, would choose to put down his instrument, and sing and dance on stage instead. So it’s not as if the plot points never come across as contrived, but regardless, there’s undeniably a much more ambitious story here compared to your run-of-the-mill idol show.
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


03. RE-MAIN (Ep. 1-9) – I went in expecting this water polo show to be a standard friendship/teamwork/let’s-go-to-Nationals sports anime. Well, it is that, but the pointedly angsty ED serves as a hint that there was going to be a twist. Anyway, the guys on the team are pretty amusing, and I really like that Minato has a good relationship with his sister and parents.
(streaming at Funimation)


04. Kageki Shoujo!! (Ep. 1-11) – The esteemed Kouka School of Musical and Theatrical Arts trains talented young ladies to be performers in a Takarazuka Revue-like acting troupe. While Kageki Shoujo!! mostly follows the trials and friendship of the 2 main girls, it does cover some serious topics, such as childhood sexual abuse and eating disorders.

Incidentally, we dropped The Case Study of Vanitas after its third episode because it had a similar instance of sexual abuse as in Kageki Shoujo!! ep.3, but with much less awareness.
(streaming at Funimation)


05. NIGHT HEAD 2041 (Ep. 1-9) – This had a great start. Urban dystopia sci-fi is kinda my thing; plus I like sibling stories too. I’m even cool with the CG animation. Unfortunately, the story is getting harder and harder to understand, and it just isn’t hooking me like it did at first.
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


06. TOKYO REVENGERS (Ep. 13-23) – Luckily Takemichi is bright enough to explain Baji’s intentions to the rest of the dumb gang; otherwise, his sacrifice might have been for nothing.
(streaming at Crunchyroll)

Also watching:

Fena: PIRATE PRINCESS (Kaizoku Oujo) (Ep. 1-6), which started airing late in the season
(streaming at Crunchyroll)

TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION 2 (Ep. 1-6), but ep. 9 and onward will be delayed until next season due to COVID difficulties.

Mid-Spring 2021 Anime Ranking


01. The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent (Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou Desu) (ep. 1-9) – Seeing as this is a thematically ‘ordinary’ almost-slice-of-life isekai, I hesitated to give it my No. 1 spot. At the end of the day though, it’s probably the one I like the most, because it’s such a feel-good anime to watch. Pretty much all the characters in this show are likeable and funny and attractive.

I really do admire Sei’s work ethic and her modesty. Even though she would prefer to live and work freely outside of the spotlight, she also refuses to shirk the responsibilities that come with the great power she has unwittingly obtained. She’s a true hero.
(streaming at Funimation)


02. ODDTAXI (ep. 1-9) – ODDTAXI, featuring a large ensemble cast of animal characters and interconnected stories, is a truly novel presentation. The writing is exemplary – and dark. This is no kids’ show. Gradually, it’s also becoming clear how this quietly suspenseful story is uniquely suited for the animated format.

To think I could have easily passed on this, as I rarely watch anthropomorphic anime!
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


03. MORIARTY THE PATRIOT (Yuukoku no Moriarty) (ep. 12-20) – Still excellent, but not as good as the first cour. William and Sherlock have had limited screen time, especially together, and their absence is felt.
(streaming at Funimation)


04. VIVY: Fluorite Eye’s Song (ep. 1-11) – This is a sci-fi anime about a couple of AI trying to change the past, to save humanity from being destroyed by an apocalypse of its own creation. The time-travel narrative makes me think of Terminator and Touken Ranbu. The story and art are excellent, and the action sequences are particularly impressive.
(streaming at Funimation)


05. Thunderbolt Fantasy: Touri-ken Yuuki 3 (ep. 1-10) – Considering this is a series starring dolls, I shouldn’t have been surprised at the sudden appearance of a Nendoroid. But that’s just the kind of simple genius that’s typical of Thunderbolt Fantasy’s brilliant and ironic storytelling style.

By this point, I don’t even question Lin’s intentions anymore. It’s plainly obvious he is more hero than villain. Could it be he has really been outdone by the demon sisters though?
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


06. 86 EIGHTY-SIX (ep. 1-9)
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


07. Those Snow White Notes (Mashiro no Oto) (ep. 1-10) – The actual plot and character motivations are a little weak, or maybe just not that riveting to me, but seriously, the beautiful shamisen music and highly detailed performance animation are enough to make this worth watching.

As an aside, long bangs on anime characters have never really bothered me before, I might even say I generally like the aesthetic, but this show is testing me. So many of the guys and girls here are in dire need of a haircut! Or at the very least, someone please introduce them to styling products to get that unruly hair out of their eyes!
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


08. Jouran: The PRINCESS OF SNOW AND BLOOD (ep. 1-10) – It’s hard to get a grasp on what’s going on when there are so many double-crosses and plot twists in just the first 3 episodes! The art and the period setting of this revenge story are appealing and evocative. The theme songs by RAISE A SUILEN, featuring traditional and modern instrumentation, are very fitting too.
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


09. SHADOWS HOUSE (ep. 1-9) – At the beginning, it’s just the 2 main characters in one room, and SHADOWS HOUSE seems a little claustrophobic. But things get interesting, and the mysteries intensify, when Emilico starts hanging out with the other dolls in the house.
(streaming at Funimation)


10. Backflip!! (Bakuten!!) (ep. 1-9) – They have done a great job with the gymnastics routines! Some viewers might not like all the CGI, but it looks pretty amazing to my eyes.
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


11. MARS RED (ep. 1-9) – Certainly artful, you often have to read deep between the lines to fully understand this vampire period drama. But there is such a thing as being too obtuse. Just personally, I find it hard to get really invested when I feel so much like I’m guessing at what’s going on.
(streaming at Funimation)


12. TOKYO REVENGERS (ep. 1-9) – Another time-travel story, but on a smaller scale. Takemichi suddenly acquires the ability to go 12 years back in time, with the possibility of changing the events that ultimately lead to the death of a girl he cares about. While he does some things right, it’s kind of frustrating that he isn’t very strong or smart, and doesn’t seem to have much of a plan either.
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


13. Burning Kabbadi (Shakunetsu Kabaddi) (ep. 1-10)
(streaming at Crunchyroll)


14. Fruits Basket: The Final (Season 3) (ep. 1-9) – As always, I have my issues with Fruits Basket. It isn’t all bad, but the dialogue lines are often redundant, the (too many) romantic pairings are still kind of unconvincing, and just when I’m finally ready to maybe give Akito a second chance, yet another unforgivable thing happens.
(streaming at Crunchyroll and Funimation)


15. The World Ends with You (Subarashiki Kono Sekai) The Animation (ep. 1-9) – I really love the art of this show! The dark outlines and vibrant colours are very pleasing to the eye. And the setting is like a love letter to Shibuya.

For how beautiful it is, it’s a shame there isn’t much more to the story than fighting digital monsters in a game.
(streaming at Funimation)

Also watching/watched:

NOMAD: Megalo Box 2 (ep. 1-6)
(streaming at Funimation)

The Way of the Househusband (Gokushufudou) (5 short episodes)
(streaming at Netflix)