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Anime SZN 2021: Rewind Pt.1

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Diaw
An avid creative whose word plays so much that words say I play too much; a Ki'shon flow. Life is a journey and we're all full of stories.

Safe to say last year wasn’t the most chaotic anime year… 

If you’re an avid Japanese anime fan, then you know the statement holds for itself. Last year, we were deprived of badass anime. Most of the releases were either a continuation of already airing franchises or just weird stuff put together that had a bit of divided opinion.

But we still had a roller coaster of a year, considering how many new franchises debuted on-screen. Many others continued their franchises with a season 2 to either end it or set it up for another season. But there were many moments, both up and down. 

Ex-Arm scenes
A scene from Ex-Arm

The bad eggs 

Best believe there was an anime this year called Wonder Egg priority. But that doesn’t belong here. It was interestingly weird but enjoyable too for those who got into it. But these three, are abominable. Ex-Arm, Seven Deadly Sins, and Promise Never Land Season 2.

Any other thing you want to add to the list is fine, but these 3 set the anime world back at least 400 years. No one should ever have to endure what Ex-Arm put the anime watchers who were unfortunate enough to watch it through. 

It’s interesting because Promise Never Land had a stellar debut. 7 Deadly Sins has been a fan favorite since it aired, bar the main character’s disposition. So God knows what the creators were thinking when they pulled off what they pulled off for these franchises. Promise Never Land immediately lost its appeal when fans realized they skipped a few hundred chapters in the manga, viewed in seconds in the anime.

They lost it. It could not have fallen off any quicker. Elsewhere 7 Deadly Sins decided that it was time to switch up the animation style.

An animation style that the fans enjoyed, to something a lot worse. The memes and the tweets are still fresh, seeing fight scenes reminiscent of the King of Pop doing his moonwalk dance during his live performances. It was atrocious.

And then there was Ex-Arm. To this day, no one truly knows what Ex-Arm was supposed to be, what it is, or what it was attempting to be. The studio had a budget, and we know they were probably trying to think outside of the box. But the box, in this case, never existed. The anime ended after 4 episodes, and the reviews were scathing.

It was so bad that Crunchyroll had to remove the comments because they were damaging. If you’re into anime and you didn’t watch Ex-Arm, count your lucky stars cos you dodged the proverbial bullet. Be vehemently against anyone trying to convince you to watch Ex-Arm. It is a scam. 

Debutants 

As for debutants, we had a host of them in overflow. Thankfully none of them did a number on us. From 2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team, Sk8 the Infinity, Horimiya to Platinum End, Takt Op. Destiny, Tesla Note.

We had proper eye-catchers in anime styles and action sequences. We also had a mixed breed of anime coming through in the production of Star Wars Visions.

Shouts to the production team of Star Wars Visions. It wasn’t the most stellar thing we’ve watched, but the anthology of stories was still a welcome addition with its varying anime style in every episode. 

Pretty sure the top two that dominated headlines were Record of Ragnarok and Yasuke. Record of Ragnarok, much in the mold of Baki, Kengan Ashura & God of Highschool because it is mainly fight based, had a lot of fans on the edge of their seat. Some thought it was alright for a fighting anime. Others thought it just wasn’t worth the hype.

The way season 1 ended means they are gearing up for a season 2 production, or else this is the end of the line. The second heavy hitter was probably Yasuke. Yasuke also flattered to deceive a bit, even though its action sequences were outstanding.

But truth be told, only God knows what punishment is on hold for Netflix for going the way they went with these two anime franchises. Both were, however, quite the trip, to be honest. 


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Heavy Hitters 

The heavy hitters and old Gees did carry the year in the ways they could. One Piece is still ongoing without an end in sight for the foreseeable future.

Demon Slayer, Attack on Titan, and Jujutsu Kaisen did their bit to keep the fire going, especially for the shonen side of things since Boruto is just not working out as much as the creators would have liked. But we’ll get into all that in the next installment. 

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