OG’s Top 10 Favorite Anime of 2021

2021 was something of a topsy turvy year for yuri anime, both in adaptations and original series. A high-low if you will. Early in the year showed potential to kick it off with a bang, only for it to be a lukewarm start. Later seasons fared a bit better with Fall being the standout this year to me. As always these are MY picks of anime I enjoyed watching most, not ones internet critics would deem the creme de la creme.

Yuri Empire Header 2

 

Honorable mentions:

  • Bakarina 2
  • Zombieland 2
  • Non Non Biyori 3
  • D4DJ: First Mix
  • Otherside Picnic
  • 300 Years Killing Slimes
  • Show By Rock!! Stars!!
  • Yuru Camp 2
  • Battle Athletes ReSTART!
  • Kageki Shoujo!!
  • Shadows House
  • Mieruko-chan
  • Higurashi 4 and 5
  • Inuyasha Jr
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean
  • Aquatope of White Sand

Special shout out:

Magia Record Season 2 CoverMagia Record Part 2: Better than Part 1 only because it was time for the plot to kick into high gear, meaning of course it would be. Only reason I did not add it to the Top 10 was because there is still Part 3 in Spring 2022. Once the story is finished I will be able to properly rank it.

Now we can begin!

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S#10: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid 2

More of what made the first season beloved with the side characters getting extra shine this time around. Though our main duo were as excellent as ever some felt the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the show gave the side-characters too much time in the spotlight over Tohru and Miss Kobayashi. I was okay with it as only a small few I did not much care for, especially the new guy. The personal highlight was new dragon Ilulu. I was warned of her polarizing status among manga readers but as usual I judged her myself, leading to her being one of my favorite characters of the show. The finale was lovely and a good sign of things to come. Hopefully in a 3rd season or grand finale movie.

Mug-Cup Gang last scene#9: Yakunara Mug-Cup mo

Cute pottery girls sculpting cool things. One of my favorite chill anime of the year. The show was split into two seasons, one at the start of the year and the other near the end. The main heroines were fun to watch and learn more about as we followed main girl Himeno trying to live up to her legendary mother and potentially carving her own path. The side-characters were fun too. Special shout out to Ximena, a rare Latin American in Japanese media. Naturally the main quartet are split into two couples, both very sweet. One gets to shine brighter in the first season and vice-versa.

 

High-Rise Invasion#8: High-Rise Invasion

My “popcorn flick” anime of the year. The story that knows exactly what it is and is not ashamed to let loose. A Rated R action show about people trapped in a twisted world with twisted rules where the only “safe” places are on top of buildings ala the 2000 Spider-Man video game. The bottoms might as well be like an instant death bottomless pit. Alongside the cast of quirky characters, some likable and others intentionally detestable, we had our excellent and pleasing to look at main duo of Yuri and Mayuko. Two sexy and goofy badasses who over time grow closer. It starts as a strong one-sided crush but soon becomes mutual. Hopefully there is more in the future.

Blue Reflection Ray Cover#7: Blue Reflection Ray

A most intriguing magical girl moepocalypse from how it tackles human emotions, its animation that some may not like but quickly grew on me, its solid presentation and of course the blossoming yuri between girls. Not for everyone but those whose attention is kept are promised a fascinating journey.

SELECTION PROJECT Cover#6: Selection Project

The surprise hit of the year. Did not expect to enjoy this one as much as I did. Suzune and Rena’s journey and developing relationship were so good I eventually coped with the loss of SeiZu. The other 7 girls are excellent too with personal favorites being Ao and Nodoka, aka Fit X Thicc as I lovingly call the pair. It was pretty cool to watch the girls do their best to succeed in the titular Big Brother-esque reality show. The performances and soundtrack are excellent with the OP, Glorious Days, being my favorite of the year. Plus a bonus surprise I only realized after going back to look up screen grabs for the review.

Top 5 time!

Love Live! Superstar!!#5: Love Live! Superstar!!

Longtime fans know by now Love Live! is and always will be my jam. I love Generations 1-3 who all have their own special sauce. Gen 4 here are no different. After Aquours’ mission to carve their own identity and Nijigasaki’s focus on individualism Liella went back to basics in the world of school idols while adding their own spin to the classic formula and coming out better for it. With 5 members over the usual 9 (13 as of Season 2 for Nijigasaki) there was more time given to flesh out each girl and create potential relationships among them. As always the performances were top notch. While some questions are yet to be answered, mainly related to Keke, that is what the upcoming second season is for. So ready for it!

Jahy-Sama Will not be Defeated#4: The Great Jahy Will not be Defeated

My favorite comedy of the year. It is one of the better “Super Bum” anime I have watched alongside Machikado Mazoku. Like all comedies the humor is subjective but what I appreciated is it took gags that often upset me in other Super Bum shows and made them work because at no point did it feel like the suffering or misfortune was undeserved or random. Jahy’s quest to restore the Dark/Demon realm and growth as a character are fun to watch as she goes from a selfish former mega powerful gorgeous spoiled badass to a down on her luck smol version of herself who can still transform into her gorgeous true form but of course is nowhere near as strong or worshiped. Through much pain, suffering and humiliation she eventually finds her true destiny, all while gathering a well deserved yuri harem. Though not all the girls openly crave her they all love being with her and any of them would make a great wife for the Demon/Dark Realm’s #2.

Super Cub#3: Super Cub

There were some pretty good chill anime this year such as the aforementioned Mug-Cup but none came as close to filling my heart with as much weekly bliss as Super Cub. The simple and dreary at first glance presentation that brilliantly showed its true power in the premiere episode, its excellently timed musical score that knows when to kick in as the show is for the most part devoid of music by design. All this to help tell the tale of a girl who had “nothing” until the day she bought a used Super Cub scooter. Her growth from meek to less meek but very expressive was so brilliantly done. The same can be said for potential future wife and Best Girl Reiko along with the third girl whose story and how Koguma feels/reacts toward must be experienced. Like most of the shows on this list I reviewed them but truly as proud as I am of it it cannot do the greatness of this show justice. Surely some fellow fans of chill shows who saw it can relate.

Togo taking photos for her Yuna collection#2: Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 3: The Great Mankai Chapter

I said this a couple of times. While many have the original Madoka Magica, I have Yuki Yuna is a Hero. It is my all-time favorite Moepocalypse series with the first season being peak magnificence. The second and now third seasons have their hiccups, yes, but they still capture the glory of the franchise. Season 3 is a set after the end of S1 and during S2 where it is like a Director’s Cut of S2 that features side-stories akin to Wasshio Sumi is a Hero. Though they are more abridged due to being two side-stories instead of one both still got the point across and made the featured teams look good along with the vintage hard hitting action scenes against the Vertex or other warriors with the hope of newcomers looking up the Light Novels for the full story/scenes that unfortunately were not animated, mainly moments featuring the teammates. The main couples of each team all got their time to shine. The climax is an extended cut with additional scenes adding extra context to the final battle and then there is the epilogue that had me feeling all warm and fuzzy in my tum tum (Thank you Simon Miller). Not perfect by any means but Yuki Yuna 3 once again reminded me why I love this series so much.

Uma Musume S2No “…” buildup for this one. My #1 anime of 2021 is:

Uma Musume 2

It took everything good about the first season and amplified it by a hundred. Better main story, side-characters, more intense races, drama and of course gay horsie goodness. Even the idol stuff did not feel tacked on, though thankfully it was still tertiary. I had my doubts about Tokai Teio and Mejiro McQueen, two side-horses from last season, getting the main roles this time after the wonderful performances by Special Week and Silence Suzuka but over time their journey and budding relationship won me over. Like Selection Project I eventually embraced this new relationship after the loss of an old one I held dear. Not to mention many man tears were shed and most of the races my face was nearly glued to the front of my 65 inch screen with my blood pumping as hard as watching a Symphogear or Yuki Yuna battle. Who knew a series about mostly lesbian horse girl racing could be this amazing?

There you have it. 2021 is in the books. 2022 looks quite promising from what I have seen so here is to more coolness and “Yuriness” next year!

 

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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17 Responses to OG’s Top 10 Favorite Anime of 2021

  1. Nick says:

    Nice list of Top 10 yuri shows!

    Haven’t watched everything on the list but I did watch a fair number of them. Personally didn’t think this year was super strong compared to the past couple, but we still got some excellent anime to enjoy and I’m happy about that.

    As always looking forward to what next year brings in terms of yuri anime and I’ll be sure to keep it locked here for all things yuri related!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Error says:

    I don’t remember exactly, a lot of things happend with me in this year, but if i’m right, i don’t saw any girl-girl kiss (or even peck) in 2021, in the anime round. (exept the VNs of course) Am i right, or i’m going to crazy sir? :DD

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yuriweeb says:

    I really need to watch both seasons of Uma Musume. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Definitely a solid list! I agree that this year wasn’t as strong of a year for yuri compared to others, but it still had a few highlights. I’ve seen about half of your top ten, and still need to try and catch up on the other half. If I had to choose a personal fav for Yuri this year, I think it’d go to Dragon Maid S2. I’m hoping 2022 will bring us back to Yuri prime, and that we’ll get more explicit relationships in at least one or two titles. As always, I continue to appreciate all the work you do and the care you put into your weekly coverage and reviews. Cheers to another good year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      I meant shows that looked like they’d promise some excellent yuri either failed or didn’t go the extra mile compared to other shows that didn’t need to hype up their yuri power and delivered better than those that did, such as most of the ones on this list. You know, Gekidol, Wonder Egg, Aquatope (though this one barely gets a pass).

      2022 shows strong potential. Let’s hope for the best and of course we’ll continue sharing thoughts here and there.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice list.

    The only one I watched is Blue Reflection Ray, thanks to your blog. I also played the first game. I really enjoyed both, even if the ratings are low for the anime. I’m happy some people seems to enjoy it here.

    I’m looking forward to watch The Executioner and Her Way of Life and Young Ladies Don’t Play Fighting Games. Not sure how much it will be yuri and when it will air….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rory says:

    Plenty of excellent shows to choose from this year, and this is a solid list. A few of the shows you’ve listed have made it into my top ten, too.
    With Blue Reflection Ray being on your list, I just want to say that playing Blue Reflection: Second Light was such a treat.
    Haven’t gotten around to watching High-Rise Invasion just yet, but it does interest me. Hopefully I’ll find some time for it sooner rather than later.
    Very much looking forward to seeing what anime 2022 will bring us.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Kotori_Sonoda says:

    Uma Musume is godly

    Still can’t play the mobile game but I love it so much

    I do like your picks, they’re all solid!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. yurimylove says:

    a great year-end roundup! also like to add that we were blessed with several cute foreign anime chicks again this year, like Seira from Selection Project, Keke from Love Live, Ximena from Mug, and Maya Walker from Pride of Orange.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. chikorita157 says:

    Yes. there are a lot of good shows this year that I couldn’t put them on the top 10, but there are a good amount I watched. Hopefully 2022 will be a good year for anime as always.

    Like

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