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What are the top anime releases this year? Let’s check out the best superb anime you should catch up on over 2021. 

Anime is becoming more and more popular and it’s easy to see why. The massive number of anime genres provide options for any viewer to enjoy and the unique humor and interesting plotlines provide a refreshing mix-up from the television series viewers are used to. Yet, for some, it can be difficult to know what to watch. Even professional anime nerds sometimes get lost and forget that there are new series constantly coming out.

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BEASTARS (SEASON 2)

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Beastars tells the story of a wolf who wants to have sex with a rabbit, but worries he will devour said rabbit. I think it’s a metaphor for puberty. Though it could be a cringey, misguided exploration of race. Maybe it’s holding a magnifying glass to sexual violence on campus. Or perhaps it’s a coming of age story about a generation of young people disconnected from their parents by rapidly changing norms.

FRUITS BASKET: THE FINAL

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Fruits Basket lures viewers in with the promise of a cute story about a family that turns into animals when they’re hugged, then absolutely disarms with boatloads of generational trauma. In the last season, all of this starts to culminate, as plucky orphan Tohru Honda tries to break the curse binding the Sohma family to domineering family head Akito. But because this is Fruits Basket, everyone has their own share of trauma, Akito included. The emotional final season of Fruits Basket reveals that all is not what it seems when it comes to Akito. When the big moment happens, it’s a sweeping emotional catharsis for everyone. Have tissues on hand. —Petrana Radulovic

HORIMIYA

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Horimiya, a show whose namesake comes from combining the names of its two central love interests, Kyouko Hori and Izumi Miyamura, is about as darling as you’d expect a show named after its two lovers to be.

The show follows Hori, a responsible big sister and confident student with friends, and her budding romance with Miyamura, a shy and quiet loner with a secret edgy look outside of highschool. (We learn he has tattoos and piercings!) In other shojo, it’s not uncommon for a story to take entire seasons for the love interests to hold hands, and might not even show a kiss.

JUJUTSU KAISEN

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Jujutsu Kaisen was the breakout anime success of 2020 and continued strong in 2021. The story follows the young Yuji Itadori, a good-hearted school boy who one day eats an actual finger, which served as a vessel for a powerful demon called Sukuna. After consuming the finger, Itadori gets taken in by the questionable, but powerful mentor Gojo Satoru, who assembles a Naruto-like cast of three central characters who work together to defeat the monsters known as curses in their world.

Jujutsu Kaisen is a show that plays with the tropes of shonen anime. Whereas other shows like it tend to focus on super-human protagonists who magically power up just when the going gets rough, Jujutsu Kaisen starts with Itadori’s own weakness and him begging for the demon inside to save him.

MY HERO ACADEMIA (SEASON 5)

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Studio Bones’ breakout superhero action drama returned for its fifth season as the students of UA High school were thrust into ever more precarious danger with greater stakes. My Hero Academia season 5 deals heavily in Endeavor’s recovery following his confrontation with the super-powered Nomu at the end of last season, the hero Hawks working undercover to take down the League of Villains from the inside, and Deku manifesting a new aspect of his quirk One for All as he delves deeper into the history of his predecessors and their connection to the villainous All for One. —TE

SK8 THE INFINITY

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The hard-working skateboarder Reki loves the S races — secret skateboarding races that take place at night. These races are filled with danger, and some of the most iconic underground skateboarders settle their beef (yes, that’s the term the anime uses) in S. Canadian transfer student Langa is more into snowboarding, but with the help of Reki, he starts skating and participating in S. Conflict arises as the creator of S is more devilish than he seems, and Langa begins to outperform Reki.

TOKYO REVENGERS

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Takemichi is 26 and always getting picked on and he is constantly apologizing to his younger boss at work. A train is about to end his life when he has a flashback to the past where he attempts to save his middle school girlfriend from being murdered in the future. But, when he flashes back to real life, he isn’t dead and the future has been rewritten!

What else can Takemichi affect and are there deeper designs than he realizes surrounding the murder of his former girlfriend?

That’s all for our list of hottest anime of 2021 so far. If you have your own list and want to share us, please don’t hesitate to comment on the section below. 

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