I don’t think I need to say this because it’s obvious, but this season has been insanely good. Even the just ok shows are much more then watchable and have a lot at least some entertainment to them. I also think that there is some sleeper hits here that need some attention as well. There is some good manga adaptations, continuations from works a while ago, original works that may fall flat on their face sometime soon or not depending on execution, and some manga works that are drifting far from their source material to an affect we don’t know about. It’s busy.
That’s what is exciting about Winter 2021 right now. It’s busy, it’s alive, it’s moving, and it’s making us question how works are going to conclude after saying what they are. Or possibly, it is making us think whether or not a work is going to be able to say what it wants to say in the end and that is an excitement that has its own value. For the past couple seasons, we’ve had some great anime to watch, but it didn’t feel the same without so many different things going on at once. So much good value right here as well.
I hope that this is a sign that healthy covid production practices have allowed good anime to be made and that there is more to come. With that, its time to look at the shows that we are presented with.
A Handy Guide for how I feel about shows:
Solid: Seasonal Favorites, Highly Recommend.
Good: Maybe not as high quality as the first category, but still pretty enjoyable.
Ok: What it says on the tin. Maybe preferable for those who are into the genre the show is from.
Bad: I’m not even sure why I am still watching it besides maybe learning something from it.
SK8: The Infinity
Man, this show. I knew that something special was happening in the background just when I looked at it. This show is a skating anime based around an underground skate boarding racing like most others areas would focus on underground drifting and IT RULES. There is a formulaic nature to it, but there is lots of fun and good characters, excellent skate board choreography, and so much passion and energy to it. I can’t help but feel absorbed in whatever it throws at me. It’s beautiful, colorful, and exciting. What else needs to be said? I don’t know. Watch this. You won’t regret it.
Laid-back Camp Season 2
This show is the almost perfect follow up to the already fantastic first season of Laid-back camp. It takes a lot of the things from the first season, like Rin joining with others for the big Christmas camp. Rin still goes on her solo camps, but the other girls have started their own camping trips and have learned how experienced people like Rin and others learn to know what they are doing in dangerous situations. Rin has inspired people to do their own camping trips and I think that’s good. Rin has run into her own troubles with winter camping and snow as well, so there is a bit more consequences here if only a little bit. I think that is what makes this season a little more worth while besides seeing characters again.
This second cour has been almost nonstop shonen fun in a lot of ways and I find the way this season is handling that aspect really well. As of now, it’s mostly been the Kyoto Branch of Jujutsu Tech with an urge to kill Itadori, somewhat, vs the Tokyo Branch and we’ve been getting a lot of good things off of that. Great action moments, good and simple character moments, story lines that are basic but executed exceptionally. It helps when every other episode has been an animator showcase of some kind, so the presentation has been exceptional. I really dig this show much more then I did before hand.
Wonder Egg Priority
This is this season’s creative anime and it focuses on four girls facing their own traumas of not fitting in while they are sleeping fighting against the demons that haunt other girls that come in eggs in hopes of waking up someone dear to them that died due to suicide. So yeah, it’s playing with a lot of things with exceptional animation, and with great characters. The past five episodes have been good set up episodes focusing on who these girls are and what their traumas are. I wonder where it will go from here other than scary places. Very curious about this fact. But other then that it’s been good.
Log Horizon Season 3
This season has just politics and elections, but that is where Log Horizon is at its best. Especially since it makes sense considering some of the fall out from season 2. Akihabara isn’t in the best place, so something needed to change it happened. The round table vs Eins election arc was very well executed and very calm because everyone wanted a change and the people were just voting how to do it. Also, it’s nice that everyone leaving the situation doesn’t hate each other. I wonder if this season was supposed to appear around election season in the United States last season, but I am glad it didn’t.
This show being here is a victim of having too many good shows to watch. It’s a very good romantic comedy show. Maybe it’s a little too fast, but it’s very well directed and very human. I don’t like a lot of romantic comedy shows because they separate the “drama” of characters dating each other from the characters being actual characters. Horimiya does not do that. The romance and character things are connected to each other and it works wonderfully with everything. There is also a lot of thoughtfulness and softness in this show as well that I can’t help but appreciate. It’s amazing.
Attack on Titan Final Season
I am enjoying this season, but I haven’t enjoyed it as much as everyone else that hypes it up I think. There is just a little too many complicated things going on along with some controversy and a lot of questionable things as well like holocaust imagery and such. But there is a lot of good content too. Crazy good fights, some complicated emotional stakes centered on whether or not Erin choosing to take the fight to Marley given that Marley was going to attack them right now, and lots of complicated things.
I think that is where the value comes from. It’s very gundam like in that way. That cycle of hatred and complicated things going on. I am very worried about. I also don’t think hinging conflict on a girl’s last words being about food is actually a good place to center emotional stakes on. Especially when she was less interesting with those words compared to previous seasons where she actually had an arc. It’s a little forced.
This is one of the most hidden shows this season considering that it follows a very cartoony Saturday morning adventure sort of scenario. You know, despite all sorts of things like two kingdoms fighting over relics that appear from beyond the wall, mecha action, and lots and lots of oppression. Its been very day to day adventures now, but there are very clear signs that the scenario at play could change for the worse any moment now. All exceedingly obvious considering what is going on. I really like it for what it is now and what I can see happening in it later. I know the people who wrote and direct this anime, so I feel like I know what is going to happen.
Cells at Work!!
Until recently, this season has just been ok and not that much of a follow up to the original Cells at Work! Season. It was kind of all over the place, but since the bacteria arc made its appearance and the reappearance of everyone’s favorite bishonen, cancer, it has stepped up with its education and its examples. I don’t think it’s as interesting or strong, but maybe it will get there by the end.
Cells at Work! Code Black
I am enjoying Code Black, so the darker edition of this story, but it’s very on and off for me. Some episodes are better then others, there is an inherent unsettling tone and nature in this story that it nails, but the body keeps going with so many awful things going on in the body itself. I know bodies are like this in real life, but how long can things get worse until they are really the most awful things possible. Even with bodies like this in general, its really had to see all of this drama at once episode after episode and wonder if it will all end. I suppose this is an uncertain one in seeing where it goes and how it ends.
Promised Neverland Season 2
This has been an ok season, but something smells very off about it. It’s not just ignoring all kinds of source material and characters, but there have been a lot of episodes full of montages to speed through different situations and a very disjointed nature that throws me off a bit. Emma and the kids have survived for a full year in 5 episodes. With the way the show is put together, it really doesn’t feel like that in any substantive way. We didn’t see any passing of seasons, we just skipped to another time a year later. So what? I don’t see how this is all supposed to work? I am interested in what is happening, but not as interested as I saw when I first started this season.
And that’s the conclusion. I think a lot of these are the victim of “I can’t put too many series in this category, people would think I am a little too biased”, “this long-awaited season I’ve wanted for a long time is here, I am really happy”, with “this is an original ambitious work and I want to see where it goes” all on top of each other. Then again, this blog is mine and these are all of my own opinions and I think this all that matters. Other then stating some opinions, I don’t think I have to write any sort of justifications other then that. Still, this season has been fun. I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit and I can’t wait to dig into more of it. Especially when nothing is bad.