Filtering Through the 2021 Spring Season – with special guest Lauren

Filtering Through the 2021 Spring Season – with special guest Lauren

Anilist displays a whopping 89 titles airing this Spring 2021 season. Now, some of these titles are in Netflix Purgatory™ or simply not airing outside of Japan, but even culling them out still leaves us with 47 shows now airing on US streaming services. For an employed or care-taking fan, there realistically isn’t enough time in the day to sit and watch every new show that is available. However I am neither of those, and that means that I do have the time to sit and watch every airing anime we have this season. Out of all 47 shows, there are only sixteen I haven’t watched yet, which is split between shows I know I’m not interested in and those I am just going to binge towards the end of the season. From those 31 shows left, I’ve already dropped six, which brings me down to 25 shows…. God. 

From my suffering, I have brought to you my list of essentials to watch this season. (Un)Fortunately there happens to be a lot of good anime this season, originals and returning series alike. The huge returners: My Hero Academia, Zombie Land Saga Revenge, and Fruits Basket The Final Season, surely will be on a lot of ‘ones to watch’ lists, so I’ll go ahead and say now that they have my stamp of approval. If you have not seen any of these series (especially underdog of the bunch Zombie Land Saga), I highly recommend taking the time to go back and catch up to now. I’ll spend the rest of this article talking about lesser known/original series that deserve your time.

To start off, let’s dive into the least popular show on my list, ODDTAXI. I think Geoff Thew of Mother’s Basement put it best when he said ODDTAXI was the middle slice of a venn diagram of Aggretsuko and BEASTARS, and I also agree that that wildly undersells this show still. Odokawa is a forty-something walrus who works as a taxi driver in the greater Tokyo area. He has no family and only a handful of people that could be seen as “‘friends”, so most of his interactions with others come from driving customers back and forth each night. There are layers of mystery embedded in the plot of this show, with the overarching one involving a missing girl who may or may not have been one of Odokawa’s customers. Everyone in this series has a secret they are hiding, or are implied to be hiding something. With each new episode comes more questions, more puzzle pieces slowly linking together, and more reasons to watch this series. 

One very cool thing about ODDTAXI (besides their official tiktok) is that the director and scriptwriter are relatively new talents in the business. Director Baku Kinoshita is making his anime debut with ODDTAXI, having done a few projects with OLM, Inc. subsidiary P.I.C.S and what might be some videos of his on a youtube page under his name. Scriptwriter for both the anime and accompanying manga, Kazuya Konomoto, has only had two other manga projects: Setoutsumi, a manga about two high school boys and their banter, and Crows Respect, an anthology manga dedicated to 90’s series Crows. Kazuya also wrote the script for both the live action film and tv series adaptations of Setoutsumi. So far I’m very impressed with both of their work on the show and my fingers are crossed that it all comes together for a spectacular ending.

My next recommendation is another underrated show, The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent (Omnipotent). Salary woman Sei Takanashi gets isekai’d to the Kingdom of Salutania as part of a ritual to summon a “Saint”, tasked with helping keep at bay a deadly miasma surrounding the kingdom. Sei wasn’t the only Saint summoned though, as another girl appears next to her on the summoning circle. The prince of Salutania throws open the chamber doors, strides in, bows down, and gestures to…. only this other girl as the Saint. With no way to go home and her Saint duties essentially shirked, Sei tries to find purpose and meaning in this new life. 

This show is undoubtedly a romance, with at least one confirmed romantic interest as of episode 3 and more teased. Many have said this show gives them Snow White With the Red Hair (Snow White) vibes and I suppose I agree. Both Shirayuki and Sei make their names as apothecaries and are capable and confident in their abilities. As for now Omnipotent is a bit more romance driven than the start of Snow White’s story, but I think it’s just nice to have male romantic interests who are sincere in their affections (and not age gapped as fuck). If you also feel unfulfilled with Crunchyroll’s romance offerings this season, please head over to Funimation to check out Omnipotent.

My next recommendation is my anime of the season as it stands, melded from the minds of Re:ZERO’s author Tappei Nagatsuki and scriptwriter for ChaoS:Child, Eiji Umehara. Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song (V:FES) is the story of Diva, an AI entertainer at NiaLand theme park whose sole purpose is to “bring happiness to everyone through song”. After collapsing right before a performance, she enters the collective consciousness of all AI named the Archive where she encounters Matsumoto, an AI from 100 years in the future. Matsumoto warns Diva about an upcoming war between AI and humanity in his future and says she is the only one capable of thwarting it. When Matsumoto’s prediction of a nearby terrorist attack comes true, Diva accepts his prophecy and her new purpose. Led by Matsumoto, the newly monikered Vivy is sent on missions to change pivotal events in the future that lead up to the war-torn future.

This show is gorgeous, done absolutely right in the hands of Wit Studio with Hanebado! director Shinpei Ezaki lending those talents and gorgeous character designs by loundraw who also designed the characters of I Want to Eat Your Pancreas and Tsukigakirei. The songs featured in the show are already up and catalogued by the fam over at Aniplaylist and I can attest that the music is another amazing byproduct of this series, created by Satoru Kosaki who has done music for blockbusters like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the Monogatari series, and most recently both seasons of BEASTARS. I hope this series ends just as strongly as it has started because it has all the makings to be an international hit.

There are too many series this season that have my recommendation , but writing about them all would take way too long, so here’s a list of more shows I think really deserve your time this season:

Tokyo Revengers

86 Eighty-Six

Those Snow White Notes

Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagataro

Combatants Will Be Dispatched

The Slime Diaries

Welcome to Demon School Iruma-kun! S2

Super Cub

Kiyo In Kyoto: From the Maiko House

My only hope is that whatever you decide to watch this season, you enjoy it wholeheartedly. There truly are just so many good shows this season, and I hope that if you check out any of my recommendations you like them just as much as I do. Please let me know if you watch any of these and what you think! Are there any shows I didn’t list that you love this season? Please let me know in the comments. As always you can find me on twitter @Necara where I’d love to talk anime with you! Please take care and have a wonderful day!


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