The Spring season of anime for 2021 has already started, but there are quite a few shows that still have yet to air. And, the ones that have already begun still have a good number of episodes before they’re over. It’s a long season, full of a lot of shows people have been waiting for expectedly, so let’s take a look at some of the most popular examples.
Keep in mind, this ranking is based on just how wide the property’s general appeal is, the estimated quality of the show based on the reputation of the animation studio, as well as the background behind its development.
10 The World Ends With You, The Animation
The World Ends With You was a sleeper hit released way back in 2007 for the Nintendo DS. It was a title that didn’t get nearly the amount of groundswell it deserved. For one, TWEWY is the brainchild of Tetsuya Nomura, the same man behind the Kingdom Hearts series. And, the game takes a lot of inspiration from one KH title, in particular, Chain of Memories, which is the KH game with the most polarizing reception from the fanbase. Well, a similar situation happened with TWEWY, as 99% of the people who fell off of this game did so because of the core gameplay loop. But, this is why this upcoming, well-deserved, anime adaptation is so highly anticipated. An anime adaptation gives people the absurd yet lovable characters and convoluted plot that we’ve all come to expect from Nomura without any of the gameplay hiccups.
9 Zombie Land Saga Revenge
There are quite a few continuation series on here, and Zombie Land Saga is the first. For those who don’t know the show, it’s about a mad scientist named Kotaro Tatsumi who collects the dead bodies of a bunch of different up-and-coming idol stars from recent history who sadly died and revives them as zombies. That may sound morbid, and it is, but the show is actually a comedy and a pretty successful one at that. Fans of the show have been desperately waiting for its second season, and ironically enough this sequel season was announced during an idol concert, in particular the Zombie Land Live event held last year in Japan.
8 So I’m A Spider, So What?
Next up is the CGI adaptation of another isekai light novel/manga, “So I’m A Spider, So What?” from Millapensee, the same studio that made the trainwreck that was the Berserk adaptation. That sounds bad, but, unlike Berserk, the CGI in this Spider Reincarnation anime is only there maybe 50-60% of the time and it’s of a higher quality than anything from Berserk. Good thing too, because this is one of the more unique Isekai out there, and it would be a shame if its adaptation was ruined by some shoddy CGI. Basically, it revolves around a schoolgirl who was reincarnated not as a human, but as a weak spider at the bottom of a dungeon. There’s a lot of sarcasm, comedy, and brutal violence in this show, making it the perfect anime for those who are into dungeon-crawler games such as Torchlight II or Darkest Dungeon.
7 To Your Eternity
Moving on to the niche adaptation of the season, it’s an anime titled To Your Eternity. Unlike most of the other series on here, To Your Eternity is an anime adaptation of a manga that started all the way back in 2016, and is still releasing today. Sadly, this anime was supposed to start airing in October of 2020, but because of a certain worldwide pandemic, this season was pushed back a bit.
Now, talking about the concept too much would be spoiler territory, but in general, this show questions what humanity is, how people are remembered after they die, what exactly forms our identity as humans, as well as plenty of other difficult concepts. Quite honestly, it has some of the saddest moments we can remember in recent animated history, and we’re looking forward to it!
6 Edens Zero
Eden’s Zero is basically Fairy Tail in space, there, someone said it. But, that would make sense, considering it’s a manga made by Hiro Mashima, the author of Fairy Tail. In any case, everyone loved Fairy Tail and it’s no doubt that plenty of people love Edens Zero as well. There’s a lot that Eden’s Zero does different from Fairy Tail, but at the end of the day, their foundational concepts are very similar. It’s hard to argue that they aren’t, considering Happy is a part of the main cast in both series. Though, in Eden’s Zero, he’s put into the adorable sci-fi robot role, well, an adorable robot that turns into guns. Despite all that, the story is really solid on its own, and the adaptation should garner around the same popularity as Fairy Tail, if not more depending on how it continues.
5 Nomad: Megalo Box 2
Megalo Box is like if someone took that mediocre Hugh Jackman film, Real Steel, and combined it with Hajime No Ippo/Ashita No Joe. It follows the story of Junk Dog, a no-name nobody boxer who wants to get to the top, even it if means getting in the ring without cybernetic arm enhancements known as “Gear”. Megalo Box is sadly hidden deep with Netflix’s Anime section, but it still did well numbers-wise, which makes sense considering it was created as a 50th-anniversary celebration of the classic Ashita No Joe series. But, it sort of grew out of that role and garnered an audience all on its own, so fans are excited to see how much more it diverges in season 2.
4 That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Season 2
Another continuation series, the second batch of That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime has released a good portion of its episodes now so we can confidently say that the quality is mostly the same, which is very high. Rimuru is a fantastic main character, the cast of notable Tempest citizens keeps growing, and the story is starting to build towards something very ominous. And, this show is just going to keep going all the way into the spring season, which is just great news.
3 Kingdom Third Season
Kingdom is such a fantastic story, there’s no doubt about it. It takes figures from history, expands upon them, fantasizes them, and elevates their legacy and stories to all new heights. Basically, Kingdom is like the perfect Anime for fans of stuff like Ghost of Tsushima, Dynasty Warriors, or Fire Emblem.
And, the third season of it started airing pretty early into 2020, but, sadly, like everything else, the pandemic caused the animation studio to delay the rest of the season from episode four onward. Finally, in April, Kingdom’s third season will be restarting and fans couldn’t be more excited. Though who knows how many battles the third season will actually get through, considering some of the conquests/battles in this show are like DBZ-levels of long.
2 Shaman King (2021)
This one has been a long time coming, and it finally seems like things are lining up for Shaman King to get another anime adaptation. For people unaware of this IP, Shaman King is a manga series that ran from 1998 to 2004 and people still remember it quite fondly as one of their favorite Shonen Series. There was also another anime adaptation made in 2001, but because it ran parallel to the manga releases, so they had to start coming up with their own story material about halfway into it. In any case, this new adaptation looks like it’ll be something great.
1 My Hero Academia’s Fifth Season
Of course, this was going to be at the top of the list, My Hero Academia is still insanely popular and Studio Bones has done a fantastic job with the anime as well. So, of course, the upcoming Season 5 is highly sought after by all manner of fans. Season 4 ended with an insanely hyped-up battle between the Nomu “High-End” and the new #1 Hero, Endeavor (with some backup from Hawks). But, the aftermath of said confrontation and the mini-arc that follows a different group of characters is what manga-readers have been waiting to see.