The Fall 2021 season was full of exciting and memorable moments from all different genres of anime—we had sweet romantic connections, tough dramatic breakdowns, and exciting action scenes as far as the eye could see. But which moments will we as a community still be thinking about long after the season is over? Here are five of our favorites that we think will stand the test of time!
Heavy Spoilers Ahead!
5. Miko Saves Zen-Sensei from Mieruko-chan
This anime seems to be setting up the reclusive teacher Zen-sensei as a sort of Yoshikage Kira esque serial killer in plain sight, except that his victims are supposedly cats. However, in episode 11, we find out that he’s actually trying to save endangered felines and the real problem is the ghost of his controlling mother who still haunts him long after her death. Miko normally tries to ignore ghosts so they don’t hurt her, but she puts herself in harm’s way to directly call out Zen’s mother and force her to stop tormenting her son. It’s not only an emotionally powerful scene, but also a visually stunning one since the shrine spirits protecting Miko make absolute mincemeat out of the ghost. Of course, that was the last time the spirits were obligated to help her, so she’s on her own from here on out... was it truly worth it?
4. Komi and Tadano’s Blackboard Conversation from Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. (Komi Can’t Communicate)
Komi and Tadano’s first real conversation, communicated through writing on the blackboard during lunch, is a scene that manga fans have been dying to see animated for years. We’re completely enamored with how episode 1 of the anime renders this pivotal moment in their relationship, with a slowly developing musical score that goes from hesitant to confident in sync with Komi’s feelings and creative cinematography that shows the conversation from many different perspectives. There’s not much actual dialogue here, but it still says all it needs to just through Komi and Tadano’s actions.
3. Yuka Hits Rock Bottom from Blue Period
Even though they don’t actually get a whole lot of screentime, Yuka is a vitally important character in Blue Period because of how their character arc and Yatora’s intertwine. Their struggle to be accepted for who they are as an artist and a person drives them to near-suicidal depression, culminating in episode 10 when they lean dangerously close to a speeding train and Yatora has to do some real soul-searching with them to figure out who exactly both of them are to each other and what direction they want their lives to go. Anyone who has felt that rock bottom of depression before can immediately recognize what Yuka is going through and that hopeless look in their eyes as they wordlessly plea for help from their friend. It’s chilling...
2. Kage and Bojji Become Friends from Ousama Ranking (Ranking of Kings)
Episode 2 of Ranking of Kings is one of the most heartbreaking anime episodes we’ve seen in ages, and that’s because both Kage and Prince Bojji have been treated like dirt for their whole lives by those who should’ve been looking out for their best interests. Beaten, broken, and traumatized beyond repair, these two underdogs pick themselves up and vow to always be there for each other even if nobody else will. It’s such a powerful scene that it got us to root for Bojji and Kage with all of our heart, despite not knowing them for very long at that point. After all, how could we doubt them when they’re just so earnest and brave?
1. Paul and Rudeus’ Reunion from Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu Part 2 (Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation)
Speaking of anime scenes that make grown adults cry, Rudeus’ bittersweet reunion with his father Paul from episodes 16 and 17 of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is one for the record books. The explosive fight between a haggard father and what he sees as an irresponsible son eventually turns into a tearful apology that reveals how both of them were just terrified that they’d lose each other. It’s an excellent teardown of the standard “ecchi isekai” plot, while also being a genuine moment between two people who have a complicated but loving relationship. It hits such a heartbreaking emotional chord that anyone would get choked up watching it.
What did you think of our list? Were there any memorable moments we left out? Which were your favorites? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!