The 2022 Crunchyroll Awards are just around the corner and the classic Best Boy category is disputed. Shoyo Hinata, Tanjiro Kamado, and Izuku Midoriya have won this category in the past. However, they have such a large fan base that potential new Best Boys don’t stand much of a chance. To fix it, here are nine new Best Boys from series that first aired in 2021, so these newcomers can really shine.
Izumi Miyamura –Horimiya
Soft-spoken and reserved, no one guessed that Izumi’s long hair concealed multiple piercings and her insistence on wearing long sleeves was to cover up tattoos. Izumi’s true personality only started to show in Horimiya when he met Kyoko Hori outside of school by helping his little brother get home when he had hurt himself. The two struck up a strange relationship in which they felt comfortable with their true selves. Instead of pushing people away with an introvert, Izumi felt free to laugh and let go. He let Kyoko and her entire family into her life. Although Izumi continues to struggle with self-esteem issues, he is devoted and considerate. He has spent the entire series learning how to let people in so he can give back a little of himself.
Horimiya can be seen streaming on Funimation.
Tokyo Revengers: Takemichi FINALLY faces his tormentor
The Revelers of Time: Key Traits Shared by Takemichi from Tokyo Revengers and Subaru from Re: Zero
Fushi – Until eternity
Who would have imagined that an orb would cause so many tears? Although Fushi can shapeshift, his most common form is that of the unnamed boy from episode 1 of To Your Eternity; a tribute to the first person who taught Fushi love and devotion. Fushi’s constant evolution, not only in his physical form, but in his growth as an emotional and compassionate creature, speaks volumes about human connection and the power memories have over people. Fushi is a living and constant memory of those he once knew, but he is also a symbol of the future with its continual change and the need to move on with each life that begins. Fushi’s compassionate yet protective nature speaks to the cruelty he has seen and endured.
To Your Eternity can be seen streaming on Crunchyroll.
Reki Kyan – Sk8 the Infinite
Reki is exuberant, excitable and personable, especially when it comes to skating. He also has many other unexpected traits, such as the patience he showed in teaching Langa Hasegawa to skate and the maturity with which he held a job to fund his hobby at Sk8 the Infinity. Also not to be overlooked is his skill with the art and construction of the Langa board to suit his style of snowboarding. Although Reki remains impulsive, competitive, and headstrong – and definitely a bit of a boastful – he finds it easy to fit into any company and cares a lot about people and maintaining important relationships. Naturally, Reki is twice the best boy when Langa is by his side.
Sk8 the Infinity can be seen streaming on Funimation.
Shinei Nouzen – 86 Eighty-Six
Shin Nouzen carried a heavy load on 86 eighty-six. Known as “The Undertaker” by the Spearhead Squad in this war drama, Shin was surrounded by death on all sides and constantly remembered those losses; determined to remember those he could not save. It took him a long time to get a smile, and much longer to open up to someone. Despite everything, Shin has a kind heart and takes the blame for all conflicts. He sacrifices everything for his companions and endures immense amounts of pain without saying a word, preserving the softer parts of humanity in the midst of war.
86 Eighty-Six it can be streamed on Crunchyroll.
He may be a hooligan, but Takemichi Hanagaki is a guy truly dedicated to saving the life of his middle school girlfriend. He relived his younger years over and over again, despite the amount of beatings he received in Tokyo Revengers. As the series continued, Takemichi’s goals expanded to not only save his girlfriend, but also to save the members of the Kanto Manji Gang, especially Mikey Sano, who seemed to be going down a darker path with each rewind. No matter how many tears I shed, Takemichi is determined to move on, dedicated to these guys in the band whom he never even met in his previous life, but for whom he now takes responsibility with his own hands.
Tokyo Revengers can be seen streaming on Crunchyroll and HBO Max.
Prince Bojji – Kings Ranking
Prince Bojji is underrated, underrated and underrated in Ranking of Kings, things that made his life infinitely more difficult, but that forged him into the strongest sword there can be. Born completely deaf and nearly mute, Bojji is the son of King Bosse, who traded his son’s power for strength. However, Bojji substituted strength for agility and fortitude for kindness, winning others to his side thanks to his genuine care and compassion for their lives, feelings and efforts. Although facing all difficulties, Bojji continues to fight forward with determination and a smile for those by his side, a true Best Boy for 2021.
Ranking of Kings can be seen streaming on Funimation.
Noé Archiviste – The Vanitas Case
Nóe is the narrator of The case of Vanitas, recording your side of the story and guessing what you don’t know as well as possible. Nóe is naive, as he has spent most of his life locked up in a mansion, and is constantly in awe of the world. His naivety sometimes leads him to act impulsively, without common sense, and his sense of trust in people has led him astray. However, you will always stand up for someone you think is in danger, and you yearn to understand what you don’t understand, leading to friendships and alliances that you might otherwise have lost. Nóe is a gentle advocate with the enthusiasm of a child.
His fellow sufferer, on the other hand, does things a little differently.
Vanity — El caso of Vanity
The enigmatic doctor, Vanitas, does what he wants, which is not always exactly moral. Seen through Nóe’s eyes, Vanitas may look like a human monster, but Nóe hardly ever has the whole picture, as Vanitas never wants to share it. He keeps the secrets of his past very well, such as the way he came to the Book of Vanitas. As Vanitas’ story unfolds, it tells the story of someone who has gone through a lot of suffering to come out on the other side determined to heal curse-bearing vampires. With volatile emotions, especially when it comes to his loved ones, Vanitas is unpredictable and moody, but he cares underneath all that swagger.
The case of Vanitas can be seen streaming on Funimation.
Yatora Yuguchi – Periodo Azul
Even if Blue Period has an excellent roster of characters, Yatora is the main protagonist and, as his career of self-improvement as an artist and as a person has shown, he deserves a nomination for Best Boy. Yatora is an inspiration for the realistic way she pursued a new dream, relying on passion to move on. Through art, Yatora came to better understand the people around her, using her creative space to contemplate. Through the sketches, she realized how hard her mother works each day. By using different shades of red, he understood how much his friend Ryuji Ayukawa suffers. The way Yatora is willing to change her mind as she embraces new experiences is a sign of a truly good person.
Blue Period can be seen weekly on Netflix.
It remains to be seen how these Best Boys of 2021 rank in the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, but without a doubt each of them have earned their place on this particular list, be it because of their art or shapeshifting or their ultimate skating. To vote for the best boy of the year, head over to the Crunchyroll polls, which open on January 18. The awards ceremony will be on February 9. Hopefully some of these Best Boys will make an appearance.