While 2020 was not a good year, the decade that followed it started with a bang. Bringing us not only top action anime but originals that blew the mind away. We also got to see anime that thrived on their plot while using artwork that can only be described as “for children”. Odd Taxi and Ranking of the Kings were two of the best anime that season. Ranking of the kings was a contender for one of the top five action anime in 2021 but the competition was tough. If you were to make a list on that, the above two would be at the top. But the ones that made it to the top five action anime of 2021 aren’t any less deserving of it. The show that could have made it to the top five but didn’t are most likely mentioned in the honorable.
Top five Action Anime in 2021
When it comes to Isekai parody no name resonates more than Konosuba. But Then we got Tsukimichi last year, and it quickly became one of the best parodies of Isekai, becoming one of the top action anime of 2021 as well. Tsukimichi has a unique premise where the protagonist’s parents are the ones who got Isekai into the real world and live normal lives. When the time came to pick chosen, he ( Makoto) was picked as per his parent’s contract with the Isekai Goddess. But the Goddess turned out to be Narcissist who would rather have her beauty standards fulfilled rather than uphold a promise. She threw him out on the outer edge of the world. But the Moon goddess from his world informs him of his latent abilities. He also gave him and told him to live as he wished.
Yankees have died out of fashion in anime as they are hardly seen even in support. So what if you could travel back in time and go back to that age? And what if a gang that was made during that period became the Yakuza in your present? And what if they are responsible for the death of the person you used to love? All these are part of Tokyo Revengers Takemichi travels to past and present to avoid his ex-girlfriend’s death. The series follows a simple cause-and-effect mechanic where the event of the past greatly affects the present. The show easily became one of the top action anime in 2021 and its second season has been greenlit well.
Light novel Isekai pretty much took over the anime industry. As a result, Mecha fall out of favor with public opinion and was no longer the genre to go with. However, 2021 saw a lot of good mechas that might bring the genre back from the dead. And among them, Eighty-Six is the one that makes it to the top action anime of 2021. The show has a lot going on, and the more you watch the more you will sink into it. Every episode gives you something but keeps a vital piece that makes you wanna come back for it. And in an attempt to figure out what it is, you will already be at the last episode of the season. The music is composed by legendary Sawano Hiroyuki, making the rewatch even more exciting.
Ever wondere what started Isekai? In reality, the idea came from Alice in Wonderland with her falling into the rabbit hole. The Japanese anime industry followed suit by giving us Isekai, where a female protagonist is transported to another world. But Musoku Tensie changed that forever. All the tropes that you see originated from that. And the interesting thing is that you will don’t find it generic when the series uses it. The series is not a power fantasy unlike most of its successors. It is a journey toward living a better life and getting over the mistakes of the past. And the action that took place in this world of sword and sorcery earned it high praise. Mushoku has all the right to be in the second stop of the top five action anime of 2021.
1)Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
Best animes often tend to be the most unaccepted ones. Vivy‘s premise was a weird one, and the series was an original with not much information beforehand. But as the days went by and episodes started rolling, it was clear the show was something else. And then we learn the story is written by none other Re: Zero’s author. An A.I. on a mission to save the world from an AI onslaught that will take place a hundred years in the future. Vivy and her partner have interesting and likable chemistry with an ending that makes your heart melt. The action is top-notch and a testament to Wit studio’s greatness. This is the best action anime of 2021, you can not go wrong with picking or recommending it.
Also Read: Top 10 Shounen Anime Of All Time
As I said, the year was jam-packed with great shows. So below are some that didn’t make the cut but deserve to be named.
The underrated gem of the year but it was not unexpected. 2021 had a lot of great shows (not just in the action category), so it’s not surprising that it went under many people’s radar. Those that did watch it are wishing for the second season. And given how good the first season was, it might make it to another year.
Idaten Deities Know Only Peace
The show is another example of don’t judge a book by its animation. 2021 was full of these. The seemingly innocuous show has all the elements of a great show. Mappa is one of the studios that have shown quality animes, and Chainsaw is also under their name. Idaten might not have earned a spot in the top five anime of 2021. Though, if you like Mappa as a studio, you will love it.
Case Study of Vanitas
Vampire lovers are gonna drool over this. It had all it needed to be in the top five action anime of 2021, but the competition was fierce. Vanitas is about a duo going on a journey to heal sick vampires. They come in contact with forces that are enraging vampires to further their own goals. The show is a good mix of the journey, suspense, and adventure. Hopefully, it gets a season two in the future.