Looking ahead to next year, the new seasonal anime lists are some of the most exciting we’ve seen in a long time! We’ve got hotly-anticipated sequels like Attack on Titan: The Final Season and the last season of Fruits Basket, as well as new titles that show significant promise. And although hyping up unreleased anime always carries the risk of being disappointed later on (thanks, Gibiate), we’re keeping our hopes high for 2021. Let’s check out five shows from next year that have caught our eye!
5. Kemono Jihen
An occult specialist detective is sent to investigate a mountain village plagued by unusual animal deaths, only to discover that there’s something supernatural behind the whole situation. An outcast boy only known by the nickname Dorotabou becomes the detective’s assistant and they both fall headlong into the underground world of the Kabane, a group of shapeshifting monsters who may hold answers about Dorotabou’s true identity. This dark, violent anime is looking to be similar to Tokyo Ghoul, although hopefully with a less idiotic protagonist and better pacing. And Daisuke Ono (Jotaro Kujo himself) is voicing a character and performing the opening, so we at least have to tune in for that.
4. Hataraku Saibou Black (Cells at Work! Code Black)
Everybody loves Cells at Work, the adorable workplace comedy about anthropomorphized cells in a human body. But what if the body they lived in wasn’t a more-or-less healthy individual, but someone who took horrible care of themselves? Smoking, stress, unsafe sex, and more push the cells to their absolute limit, making this spinoff much bloodier (ahem) than the original anime. It’s also significantly more adult since its source material is drawn by ecchi artists, and judging by the female White Blood Cell’s massive chest in the anime’s promotional material, it looks like that aspect will be prominent in the adaptation as well. Will this be a bleak look at the lives of overworked cells, a gratuitous display of gore and boobies, or some combination of the two? We have no idea, but we’re excited to find out!
3. Fumetsu no Anata e (To Your Eternity)
This contemplative story of discovery comes from the mind of Yoshitoki Ooima, who previously brought us A Silent Voice, and is being brought to life by studio Brain’s Base, well known for their work on anime like Durarara, Baccano, and Spice & Wolf. It follows a mysterious immortal being who has no innate form of its own, but can shapeshift into different objects and living beings based on what it observes in its surroundings. As it gains its own personality and meets new people, it learns more about life and sets out on an epic journey to experience the wonders that the world has to offer. Fumetsu no Anata e seems to be a bit like Mushishi or Somali and the Forest Spirit, both of which were gorgeous and memorable anime that made us appreciate life in a new way, so we’re looking forward to seeing this beautiful spectacle play out before us in Spring 2021.
2. Godzilla: S.P (Godzilla Singular Point)
Since this is an anime original series that’s a full season out from its release date, we don’t know a whole lot about Godzilla Singular Point so far. But what we do know is that it’s an anime about freaking Godzilla that’s been put in the hands of two legendary studios: Bones and Orange. The veteran folks at Bones are best known for Fullmetal Alchemist, Mob Psycho 100, and My Hero Academia, while Orange is a relatively newer studio that specializes in godlike CGI as seen in Land of the Lustrous and BEASTARS. The character designs also come courtesy of Kazue Katou (creator of Blue Exorcist) and look just as vibrant and expressive as they should, so we’re hoping that this anime will take a cue from SSSS.Gridman and be a colorful mixture of nostalgia and new ideas that knocks our socks into the stratosphere. That trademark roar in the PV certainly has us hyped!
1. BEASTARS 2nd Season
Speaking of studio Orange, the second season of BEASTARS is coming out in 2021 and we couldn’t be more excited! This sleeper hit series put a lot of people off at first by being fully animated in CGI, having furry-esque character designs, and exclusively releasing on Netflix in the West (a triple threat if ever there was one), but its surprisingly dark storyline and superb production catapulted it to fame by mid-2020. It started out as a high school drama about the tense interplay between carnivores and herbivores, but by the end of the first season it had morphed into a thriller – complete with mafia shootouts, fugitives, and black markets for herbivore meat. We understand that the plot only gets crazier from here on out, so consider us fully on board this ride all the way to the end!
We’re also excited for Boku no Hero Academia Season 5, Ex-Arm, and of course Attack on Titan and Fruits Basket as well. But what are your most anticipated titles of 2021? Did we miss anything you’re particularly hyped up about? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!