With 2020 being a rather passive year, I'd say I'm quite happy with how 2021 turned out for my continued venture deep into the 2D realm.
To tell the truth I still have a few more series on my backlog that I wish to finish before the end of the year but I learn my hard lesson last year that procrastination is unavoidable no matter how hard I tried to adhere to the predesigned plan so I decided not to bother with any major work till 2022 arrives.
While the amount of series I that managed to finish this year is quite modest, I did really stumble upon a few outstanding 2D creations that I never expected to tread over especially given the fact that I'm practically "retired" from the big game and can't care less what is going on with the social media or latest trending or stuff like that.
But to get back on track, while visual novel remains dominant in all of the mediums, I was totally pleased to know, nay, to witness it with my own eyes that anime itself is still going strong as it has been in the past. For real, all of the mumble-jumble about "golden era" and crap is just getting very sickening to hear of. It doesn't matter what time or era you're in, you're never late to embrace greatness, that itself is pure fact.
Before diving into the main part, do keep in mind, however, that this is not a list for stuff that necessarily came out in 2021, but more so about my "discovery" that occurred in the same year (so yeah there ought to be some old schkool classic got mixed up in the midst of the flow but you get the point).
A gimmicky continuation of the SSSS. franchise. The whole third act was far from being chewable mostly thanks to the wonky plot structure, yet from a technical standpoint, the build-up AND the atmosphere were really well handled.
Lyrical Nanoha A
Behold what seems to be a match for the likes of Madoka Magica had it been released in the same era as the latter.
Proceed with caution, for the testosterone and manly energy exerted from this anime might be too overwhelming for those who have long delved into the degenerate path.
Vivy Flourite Eye's Song
Truly a bomb for 2021, all the things you ever know about AI and robots and shit, wrapped up in one nice package laced with the combined might of stellar soundtracks and eye-popping cinematography.
Key's very first work and sadly there are quite a considerable number of problems in terms of plot and characters. Still managed to muster up a little bit of gloomy atmosphere anyhow.
A whimsical mix of slice-of-life, mild fantasy, internal conflict, and well-sorted-out drama on top of having a respectable amount of OST backing up is quite a lot to offer for something of this relatively small scale work (can't help that the build-up and transgression in-between was quite intolerable though)
Soukou Akki Muramasa
Little introduction is required for this blockbuster of the Visual Novel medium. It has basically everything one can demand when it comes to "heavy metal" stuff, yet personally, I find the resolution for the endgame lacking in satisfying the many ideas and premises raised in the early game. Was a dang terrific ride anyhow.
In the beginning, I never took this VN seriously enough thanks to the ludicrous amount of juveniles it has in store. However, the more I got involved with this franchise the more it grew on me. Of course, the plot itself failed to clear away some distinguished holes (a toll all time-travel series must pay), but I think they did a job well done regardless by leveraging that foundation to bring forth something rather daring, poignant, and wholesome without compromising the main theme of the story. Apart from that, another reason why I hold this series in high regard is due to the existence of Futaki Kanata, she is just simply out of this world.
As a bike rider myself, I should be able to relate myself to this anime, and while that was true for the most part, they sort of "strayed off" from their original path wayyyyy too much as the story hits the 2nd half, which is quite a shame.
Yuru Camp Season 2
Winter can't get any cozier by watching this lukewarm anime filled with a very fun cast and tons of Japan's culture references which is neat because I get to be entertained and learn something new at the same time (I think).
Think you have had enough of war drama stuff? Think again, 86 is here to revalidate this worn-out topic and bring forth a breath of fresh air that keeps your mind occupied and be in awe of cool elements such as a nicely assembled cast, intriguing world-building, and A LOT of banger OSTs.
Extra: Memorable OST
Innocent Starter (Lyrical Nanoha)
Ensemble For Polaris (Vivy Flourite )
Haruka Kanata (Little Busters!)
Sing My Pleasure (Vivy Flourite)
Little Busters! - Jump Ver (Little Busters!)
Hard to decide between the last two, I must admit that Lia's voice in Tori no Uta simply overwhelmed that of Rita in Little Busters but the latter had managed to capture the heart of LB with her cheerful vibe mixing a mild sense of determination, not to mention that fading guitar solo was soooooo unreal that got me addicted real bad.