According to the criteria of
The time came at the time of the rankings, to choose the best of the year, what we saw and made us feel that we spent our time well in an era where series new, and complete, appear every week. As for animated series, this 2021 they have offered us remarkable things. You’ll find a list of things to consider later in this article, but I’d like to talk a bit about context first.
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What anime fans knew before years ago is already a norm in the West: animation is not necessarily a genre for children. They depend on how their strengths are used to tell their stories to reach the public, be it a general or a specific audience.
If the era of streaming has done something with animation, that is to expand the offer. Any industry leader? It is difficult to know, since the studios and platforms have had a fairly fair distribution of exclusive content. Netflix stands out on the one hand, having so many productions that some must necessarily be good, such as “Arcane”, by far the best animated series of the year and based on the video game “League of Legends”.
There are also the efforts of Amazon Prime Video and Disney +. The first offered us “Invincible”, a stark story that was inspired by the superhero comic by Robert Kirkman, creator of “The Walking Dead.” The second awarded two “Star Wars” series, and also “What If …?”, The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first foray into animation. From Japan, he highlighted the first part of “Attack on Titan” season 4, whose plot made us rethink issues such as revenge and who is really the bad guy and the good guy in a war. Also from that country came the tender “Ranking of Kings” and the exciting “Tokyo Revengers”.
The heart of the industry
But talking about animation does not only mean mentioning notable titles, but describing an industry with underlying problems. At the end of this year negotiations began between the animation creators union and the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP) to bridging the gap between animation creators and live-action series salaries. Why should they earn less? Is the work they do not that important or require specific knowledge or talent, or are they less costly?
In Japan the situation is no better, where unless you are a director with extensive experience, you earn very little and are overexploited. In fact, it is considered that Japanese animators could have better conditions if they worked for other markets, such as Korea, to which Japan has outsourced animation for many years and where talent of global stature has been forged. Something like this happens with China, which this year premiered “Spare Me, Great Lord!”, Whose opening sequence was directed by the Japanese Hiromatsu Shu and which impresses with its quality. For the animation fan, the world is the limit.
Opening de “Spare me, Great Lord!”
The list of the must-sees of 2021 in animated series
“Ranking of Kings” (Funimation)
Prince Bojji aspires to be the strongest king in the world, but others do not believe that he will achieve it because he is deaf and mute. Bojji, with the help of his friend Kage, a shadow-like supernatural being, will show them how wrong they are.
“Tokyo Revengers” (Crunchyroll)
Takemichi Hanagaki is an underemployed who acquires the ability to travel through time. But he can only come and go from his teens, when he was a somewhat successful gang member. He will focus on doing everything possible to change the past and thus save the life of his former girlfriend.
“Attack on Titan” (Crunchyroll)
Now that he knows the origin of his misfortunes, Private Eren Yaeger plans his revenge against the Marley nation. To do this he will use the power of the Attack Titan, no matter how many innocents have to die in the process.
“Star Wars: Visions” (Disney+)
Different Japanese animation studios interpret the famous franchise created by George Lucas. Each episode tells a different story, of a very varied quality, but still there is something for everyone.
“Masters of the Universe: Revelation” (Netflix)
The “He-Man” series returns with a sequel that, in turn, reinterprets its story for a new generation without belittling the past. Surprises, highly developed characters and quality animation are his trump cards.
“Invincible” (Amazon Prime Video)
Mark Grayson is the son of Omni-man, the greatest superhero, and he wants to imitate his footsteps. But his father is secretly the agent of a galactic colonizing force that wants to take over Earth.
“What If…?” (Disney+)
Alternate realities of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) show unknown sides of the classic heroes. What if Peggy Carter got the serum from the super soldier? What if T’Challa became Star-Lord? This is how the multiverse expands.
The final season of the Netflix anime says goodbye in style with action and an agile script, but loaded with heart. In addition, it is a love letter to video games like never seen before.
“Rick and Morty” (HBO Max)
The follies continue with the series created by Dan Harmon where an elderly scientist and a good-for-nothing teenager, united by that coincidence called family, travel the universe in search of adventure.
The best animated series of the year in every way. With an unprecedented graphic style, as well as a musical selection and praiseworthy performances, they show the struggle of an oppressed people against a privileged society. But nothing is as simple as it seems.
Extra: “Inside Job”
This is how colleague Juan Carlos Fangacio describes it: “Inside Job” appeals to the absurd and unhinged tone to tell the story of a government organization, Cognito Inc., which is dedicated to hiding all the conspiracy theories in the world, because it turns out that these are real. That’s right: as a way to agree with the usual “conspiranoids”, “Incognito work” resorts to quite acid humor and at times downright surreal: It stars the scientist Reagan Ridley (voiced by Lizzy Kaplan) and her father Rand Ridley (Christian Slater), an alcoholic and somewhat thunderous guy, who begins to air the dark truths of the world, although he is seen as one more altered “. (Read more here.)