Overall First Impressions + What I’ll Be Watching – Winter 2021 Anime Season

Wow. Can it be? Leth is returning to making those Seasonal Overview posts? It’s a miracle!

Yeah. I’m back to doing these. And yeah, I know. I’m a little late with this one. But I’m doing it again. So here we go!

The first Anime Season of the year has kicked off, and I’ve went ahead and done my usual thing and watched almost every premiere episode for every new show that’s come out. So here’s my overall thoughts on the season so far, and what I intend to be watching when it all wraps up!

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As per usual, I’ll be splitting everything into tiers, which are described below (and these remain the same despite this post being later than usual). I also haven’t had much of a chance to watch as much Anime as I normally do, so the list of “I haven’t watched this” shows will be longer than usual. Sorry.

And no, I’m not really watching anything weekly because I kind of hate doing that.

So without further delay, here are the tiers:

The Tiers:

  • Incredible – Will Most Definitely Watch: Shows listed under this tier will be shows that I’ll most definitely be watching as soon as possible. These are the shows that currently have me the most invested, that keep me glued to my monitor and that will likely have me filled with excitement and suspense from beginning to end, every episode. Shows in here all have the potential to become a member of my favourites (although anything can change over time).
  • Looks Interesting – Will Watch: Shows in this tier will be shows that I’ll be watching at some point because they seem like they could go in interesting directions and I’m looking forward to seeing where they will end up. These are shows that, while they had some issues or didn’t have me fully invested, are still engaging enough to warrant further watching.
  • Decent – Will Carry On With It: Shows that had a lot of issues or didn’t really grab me will be under this tier. I’ll be watching these and enjoying them, but there’s a high chance I’ll be stopping and starting these frequently and taking my time with them.
  • Meh – Will Watch Begrudgingly: Shows that are just pretty darn terrible but I feel I should watch for whatever insane or ridiculous reason will be listed here. Watching these shows will no doubt be painful, but I need to persevere for whatever excuse that I’ll no doubt forget upon reaching the halfway point. Of course, things can improve over time. Maybe these will?
  • Not Feeling It – Will Stall For Now: I never drop shows permanently, because my goal is to watch every Anime ever. I’ll never manage to do that in my lifetime, but I’d love to get as close to doing so as possible. However, these shows made me feel nothing, were completely yawn inducing or just had nothing going for me so I’ve put them to the side for god knows how long. I may pick them up again, but it’ll be unlikely to be any time soon.
  • I have Little To Say – The Rest: This is mostly reserved for stuff I generally have no comment on, shows I didn’t check out or second seasons to shows I haven’t seen/have yet to finish.

So let’s break these shows down!

Incredible – Will Most Definitely Watch:

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Attack on Titan: Final Season – It’s probably no surprise to anyone who’s followed this blog since the early days but… I love Attack on Titan. It’s a truly excellent series with some of the best writing I’ve seen from the medium, and while it has had it’s missteps here and there (looking at you Season 2!), it’s a series I really can’t fault in any way.

And this supposed final season is truly something else. Who’d have thought that 8 years ago, when the first season was airing, that this is where the story would end up? The twists and turns this narrative has taken over the last near decade are nothing short of impressive and the most recent episodes are continuing to still find ways to throw a wrench into the works and keep things engaging and surprising.

This is the one show I’m watching weekly this season, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where this wild ride will conclude and how things will turn out. Simply incredible.

Oh yeah. And ignore all those people who keep saying that the show is “fascist propaganda”. My theory is that these people either didn’t watch the show at all or if they did, they purposefully misread its intentions and decided to run with it, as people often do when trying to paint something they dislike as “problematic”.

Seriously, I don’t understand how someone can come to this conclusion if they actually watched the show. It baffles me. And it puts a huge blight on any discussion surrounding this phenomenal series.

That Time I Was Reincarnated As a Slime Season 2 – Season 1 of this show was absolutely incredible and was a very unique isekai that focused a lot more on our protagonist building a society within the isekai world than it did on them saving the world from an evil force. And yeah, Season 2 has been great so far, continuing right where the first season left off and looks like it’s going to deliver some more awesome moments.

I’m just glad to see Rimuru again. I love that guy so much.

Re:Zero Season 2 Part 2 – Fucking hell, we’re getting a lot of second seasons on this part of the list aren’t we?

Well… What is there to really say? It’s Re:Zero! The first season was one of the best Anime of the last decade and the first part of this second season that aired last year was well worth the lengthy wait and managed to deliver a continuation that wasn’t just as good as the first season, but that also managed to be better.

And this second part is shaping up nicely, continuing to take the story in really interesting directions and further developing Subaru as a character, in some ways that took me completely by surprise. And from what I’ve been told, this section of the arc that’s being adapted is arguably the best part of Re:Zero’s story so… I’m incredibly hyped!

Mushoku Tensei – Yet another controversial show that’s made my top category, Mushoku Tensei is an incredible isekai series with a very unique premise that everyone is focusing on for all the wrong reasons.

And this time it isn’t that everyone is pissing and moaning about how it’s “another generic isekai”, but rather that the show is paedophilia because the main character is reincarnated as a baby and… Steals one of the girls underwear…

He’s… A baby…?

Seriously, the discussion surrounding this whole thing is absolutely ridiculous and drowns out what’s actually important: The story, the characters and the incredibly unique and interesting world that the series takes place in. This is a very unique story, even by isekai standards, and the art direction of the show is also absolutely breathtaking.

This is easily one of the best shows of the season for me, and it’s a shame everyone is writing it off because of a completely innocuous and harmless Ecchi joke that’s honestly not even that far removed from what’s typical of most modern Anime.

Oh, and my best friend Talentless Banana did a short video on this show. You should go watch it.

Redo of Healer – Oh no. What’s he doing? Is he really putting Redo of Healer in the top category?

Yes. Yes he is. Because honestly, I think everyone who is going around morally judging this show and the people who like it are far more insufferable and insulting than anything that’s portrayed in its story. Which I will remind everyone is fictional and should be separated completely from reality.

I’ve seen “professional reviewers” refer to this series as “literal rape porn”, despite the fact that, even when uncensored, this show could barely be considered softcore hentai, let alone full blown pornographic material. I’ve had a friend of mine literally harassed by an incredibly toxic Anime YouTuber for days simply for liking the series. I’ve seen so much toxicity and negativity about this one little show, and yet I’ve yet to see any of these negative critics actually attempt to discuss what matters: The story. The characters. The animation. The fucking show itself, which has a lot more to it than “the main character is a bad man who revenge rapes people”.

Redo of Healer is a revenge story in its darkest and purest form. It’s the story of a man who was wronged and torn up so badly, both inside and out, tortured physically and emotionally, that when given the chance to redo it all, he decides to enact a revenge plot that’s so unforgivably gruesome and immoral that it can’t be justified. No matter how badly he was treated.

And that’s the point. The Anime doesn’t portray Kail in a positive light nor are his horrible actions glorified in any way, shape or form. I can completely understand why someone would be turned off by a show like this. The subject matter is incredibly sensitive and the series having Kail go down the darkest, most irredeemable route possible is something that isn’t going to go down well with a lot of people.

But if you’re upset by this sort of thing, I offer you a simple solution: Don’t watch it. Turn it off. Drop it. Ignore it. Feel free to express your negative opinion of the show and its themes if you feel inclined to do so. It’s within your right, after all.

But at the same time, it is within my rights, and those of everyone else who enjoys the show, to express our positive opinions and have a good time doing so. Morally judging someone’s character because they like an Anime is just… Not okay. This is a fictional story and it should be treated as such.

No one is forcing you to watch Redo of Healer. If the show upsets or disgusts you, simply stop watching, express your opinion without attacking anyone, and be done with it.

As for my opinion? Well, of course I like it. It’s a raw, brutal revenge story with an interesting premise and a main character that’s interesting solely because he’s irredeemable. My only complaints are that the production values could be a bit better (although they’re not as bad as many had led me to believe) and that, if you’re going to watch it, watch the uncensored version because… The one that’s on the legal streaming platforms is censored so badly that actual story content and context behind what is going on has been removed completely, making for a really weird and downright confusing viewing experience.

I’m loving Redo of Healer. And I’m not ashamed to say it.

World Trigger 2nd Season – I’m probably the only person in the world (no pun intended) who actually cares about this series, but… This is honestly the Anime of the Season for me, if not the entire year.

World Trigger is probably my favourite Anime of all-time. Or at least, it’s one of them. And when the first season ended at 73 episodes back in 2016, I honestly thought we’d never get a second season.

But here we are. We’ve got a second season. And we’ve got a third season coming after this one too, which is insane to me!

And yeah, the second season has been simply amazing so far. Not only does World Trigger continue to be one of the best fighting Shounen series ever made, but the animation of this second season is such an improvement over what we were given in the first season, which was always my one issue with the show (even if it was never particularly bad in my opinion).

So yeah. Anime of the Season. Anime of the Year. And probably one of the best Anime of the decade to come. I can’t wait to see how this adaptation goes and look forward to Season 3 as well!

Looks Interesting – Will Watch:

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The Promised Neverland 2nd Season – I’ve seen a lot of fans of the Manga rather upset by this second season of The Promised Neverland, claiming that some content has been skipped and that the Anime seems to be going down the Anime original route but… I haven’t read the Manga beyond the first arc, and I probably won’t any time soon, so I’m just going to judge the Anime on its own merits.

And when doing so, it’s not bad at all. I’m not sure how much it’s diverged from the Manga, but it’s my understanding that the general story has been the same but with certain characters omitted and some events told in a different order. And honestly, that’s fine with me. Even if that wasn’t the case, the story we’ve been presented with in this second season has been enjoyable and feels like a suitable continuation of the story that ended in Season 1.

I just want a good story. And I’m getting that here. So sue me. This show is good.

Dr Stone: Stone Wars – Another second season! Winter sure is full of sequels, huh?

I really enjoyed the first season of Dr. Stone. It was a really interesting story that did a lot of new and interesting things, and watching the heroes try to rebuild society through rediscovering science and reinventing lost technology from scratch is honestly really cool. Even if it does tread the line into unrealistic, nonsensical territory sometimes.

And this new season focuses on the main conflict between the heroes and villains as science battles nature, and it’s honestly looking like it’s going to be really exciting. My biggest concern however, is that the Anime is only scheduled for 11 episodes, and given the length of this arc in the Manga, I’m a little worried that things are going to be rushed.

I hope that isn’t the case and that we get another season afterwards to adapt more of the Manga. But aside from that, this is looking really nice and is proving to be a good time.

So I’m a Spider, So What? – Just when you thought isekai Anime couldn’t get any weirder, here we have an isekai where the protagonist is reincarnated as… A spider…

It sounds utterly ridiculous, but it actually works really well and makes for a really entertaining, if not goofy, story about a spider in a fantasy setting.

It’s really fun, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in how much out of place CGI was used throughout the two episodes I watched. It isn’t a deal breaker or anything, and it doesn’t really ruin the show for me at all, but it is a little disappointing.

Still, the show is very good and highly entertaining and amusing. I look forward to finishing it!

Tomozaki-kun – This is yet another show that seems to have drummed up controversy for literally the most stupid of reasons, with a handful of “professional reviewers” (lol) going out of their way to say that the show is “offensive to geek culture”…? Whatever the fuck that means. I’m not even sure what these people are on about, because as a self-proclaimed “nerdy guy” (nerdier than most) I found this show really entertaining and funny.

It’s a romantic comedy about a gamer otaku who meets a gamer girl that’s just as big of a nerd as he is, but who also has her life together and follows him as he hangs out with her and, assumedly, grows into a better person because of her.

If that’s offensive then I guess all stories with characters who grow into better people are offensive now. Good job AnimeNewsNetwork!

…This show is good. Watch it.

Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shounen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu Youna Monogatari – That’s certainly a title, isn’t it…?

No one seems to be talking about this one much, but it’s really fun. It’s basically your usual overpowered protagonist in a fantasy setting story, with the added twist that the main character thinks he’s a weakling despite being insanely overpowered. Which makes for some incredibly hilarious, and awesome, moments.

I don’t have much else to say about it, honestly. It’s just really fun.

Yami Shibai 8 – Hey lookie there. It’s more Yami Shibai and as someone who’s watched all 7 of the previous seasons, I’m glad we’ve got more genuinely creepy, horror goodness to watch with this 8th season.

Not much else to say about it other than if you like horror stuff, you need to watch all of these. It’s a great horror anthology series.

Cells At Work: Black – I never watched the original Cells At Work Anime. It’s been on my plan to watch list since forever. But the central gimmick of the show really interested me, so I decided to check out the premiere for this spin-off and it was excellent.

It focuses on the cells within bodies that have been exposed to bacteria, illness or other health issues due to poor lifestyle choices or simply poor health, and it makes for a really interesting, almost informative series.

I definitely need to go back and watch the original show now. Especially since this and the second season of the original are airing this season.

Decent – Will Carry On With It:

Horimiya – This one’s a pretty average, Slice of Life, Romantic Comedy about two polar opposites, and while it’s not terrible, it’s just… Not really anything new.

I enjoyed what I watched, but I’d like to think it breaks the mould a little as it goes on. Hey though, the character designs are lovely.

SK∞ – It’s a pretty decent, high octane sports series that could potentially become really good if it keeps doing what it’s doing, but I’m not sure if it’ll be something that’ll fully grab me during it’s whole run. We’ll see.

Ex-Arm – Unlike most people, I don’t hate this show or anything. The story here is really interesting, and I enjoyed what I watched.

But… The visuals… Just kind of put a downer on it all. I don’t even think they’re anywhere near as bad as people are making them out to be. There are some really stupid and downright hilarious cuts in Ex-Arm, but there are also some pretty decent looking scenes as well that a lot of people just seem to be outright ignoring in order to make the show their next punching bag.

Visuals are one aspect of a show, and while they are important, they also aren’t everything. Ex-Arm isn’t the best looking show, but its story is fine. Good even. And I also think it’s important to keep in mind that this is this particular studios very first Anime. Cut them some slack.

I dunno. I think people are dunking on this one a little too hard. It’s decent.

Bungou Stray Dogs Wan! – I kind of just want a fourth season of Bungou Stray Dogs, but I’ll take a Slice of Life, Comedy spin-off too.

As a fan of the series, this is pretty fun. Not much else to say about it.

Project Scard – It’s the latest show from GoHands, one of my favourite studios, and it’s kind of their usual fare. Gorgeous, ambitious visuals, and a story that’s interesting, but still a bit messy because we’re in the early stages.

This could go anywhere really. It could become amazing, or it could fall apart. With GoHands, anything can happen. Excited to see where this goes.

WIXOSS Diva(A)Live – I’m really not sure what to make of this one based on the first episode. I love WIXOSS. It’s one of my favourite Anime franchises. But honestly, the tone of the first episode was just so… Different.

Rather than the usual dark and twisted take on the card game formula, Diva(A)Live seems to be a completely different kind of show. It’s basically a happy, colourful idol show, and so far doesn’t really seem to be representative of the past WIXOSS series at all.

I enjoyed it, but it isn’t WIXOSS. …Yet.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this new entry in the franchise is going to take a dramatic turn and really surprise us later on into its run. At least I hope so. A dark, more twisted take on idol shows would certainly be interesting.

…Or it could just be a happy idol show shamefully using the WIXOSS name and nothing more.

God damn, I hope the former is true. We’ll need to wait and see!

Urasekai Picnic It’s a half decent mystery series that could honestly go anywhere. I don’t have much else to say about it.

Meh – Will Watch Begrudgingly:

Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki Sansatsume – I watched the first two seasons of this show to completion. And while I found them decent, I think this series has run its course for me. It’s gotten old now.

Not Feeling It – Will Stall For Now:

Tenchi Souzou Design-bu – I’ve seen quite a lot of hype behind this one, but it honestly didn’t grab my attention too much. Maybe it’ll get better as it goes on, but the premiere just didn’t do anything for me.

I Have Little To Say – The Rest:

5-toubun no Hanayome ∬ – I didn’t watch the first season of this show.

Beastars 2nd Season – I didn’t watch the first season of CGI Furry Murder/Mystery Porn. I should. It looks good.

Cells At Work S2 – I didn’t watch season 1.

The Seven Deadly Sins: Dragon’s Judgement – Unlike everyone else, I love The Seven Deadly Sins. But I also haven’t seen anything beyond the first season so… I can’t comment on this yet.

Glad it’s getting fully adapted though.

Log Horizon S3 – I haven’t seen season 2 yet.

Wonder Egg Priority – I didn’t watch this one yet. I heard it’s good. Maybe it’s good.

Kemono Jihen – I’m super interested in this, but despite that I forgot to watch it.

Yuru Camp Season 2 – I haven’t seen the first season, and I probably won’t bother.

2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu – Cute boys playing cute volleyball.

Non Non Biyori Nonstop – It seems this Non Non Biyori shit is nonstop because we just keep getting new seasons of it. And I will probably never watch them.

Hortensia Saga – Is this like a Vinland Saga knockoff? I’m joking. I didn’t watch it. Looks cool though.

Vlad Love – Cute vampire destroys the cute blood bank.

Back Arrow – IS Mecha Dead?! Apparently not, because this Anime is a Mecha Anime. It is airing right now. I didn’t watch it, but I’m just here to let everyone know that, no. Mecha is not dead.

Skate-Leading☆Stars – Cute students doing cute figure skating.

Azur Lane: Bisoku Zenshin! – Didn’t Azur Lane have an Anime before? Or am I making this up? Fuck knows.

Jimihen!!: Jimiko wo Kaechau Jun Isei Kouyuu!! – It’s porn. I’ll watch it.

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby (TV) Season 2 – I didn’t watch Season 1.

Majutsushi Orphen Hagure Tabi: Kimluck-hen – I didn’t watch Season 1.

Wave!!: Surfing Yappe!! – Cute boys doing cute surfing.

Idoly Pride – Idol show of the season that isn’t WIXOSS.

Gekidol – I will watch this because someone in my Discord server posted a screencap of Yuri kissing and my interest has now been peaked.

I★Chu: Halfway Through the Idol – Another idol show.

Show by Rock!! Stars!! – I didn’t watch the previous seasons.

World Witches Hasshin Shimasu! – Looks cute.

Shin Chuuka Ichiban! 2nd Season – “The sequel t-” I’ve never even heard of this.

Idolls – Motion capture Anime about idols or something. Neat.

Tropical-Rouge! Precure – It’s like the 10274473884th season of Precure. Take a guess if I’ve seen the previous seasons.

Abciee Shuugyou Nikki – That poster scares me.

D4DJ Petit Mix – Apparently these aired during an Anime I’ve never heard of.

Kindan Joshi – No synopsis. Lovely.

Okashi na Sabaku no Suna to Manu – Cats. Meowwwwwww.

Annnnnd that’s a wrap! Whew.

If I missed anything, feel free to flag it up, because I probably did.

As always, I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts. It’s nice to be doing this again.

Overall, this season is an incredibly strong start to the new year. We’ve got a ton of fantastic sequels and just as many top tier new series to sink our teeth into. There’s almost too much to watch. Even the mediocre shows have potential to become something great if given the time. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out in the end!

What are your impressions of the season so far and what shows are you currently watching? Let me know!

4 thoughts on “Overall First Impressions + What I’ll Be Watching – Winter 2021 Anime Season

  1. While I didn’t enjoy Redo of Healer personally because of visual reasons, I definitely have not seen a lot of people that dislike it complain about it with normal review elements. I mean the show is labelled as a explicit from the start and the whole point of it is to capture that dark, raging atmosphere… I think it’s a pretty accurate portrayal of someone who has been so destroyed with others. I don’t know I think people are just too sensitive nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

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