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7 Anime Gems from Fall 2021

Written by: Nicole Castro

Published on: January 3, 2022 at 13:37 PHT (GMT+8)

Happy 2022! At this point, anime fans are already anticipating the many upcoming series that will begin airing this early January.

But for the binge watchers, this is their time to shine. No more waiting every week for the next episode. We need a good time, big time.

Without further ado, here are seven anime series from Fall 2021 (in no particular order) that are worth watching.

Disclaimer: This list does not include sequels that aired in Fall 2021 such as "86―Eighty Six―" and "Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation." Those deserve their own articles because we have too many feelings).

1. Mieruko-chan
Episodes: 12
Mieruko-chan | ⒸPassione

Recommended For: People who want to be surprised by an anime they didn't expect.

Plot: Miko Yotsuya (CV: Sora Amamiya) and her typical high school life get turned upside down when she realizes one day that she can see spirits...very vividly. Without any idea as to why she can suddenly see them now, she vows to protect her normal life (as well as her friends') as much as pretending not to see them!

Short Review: This series is something both anime-only fans and those who've read the original manga prior can agree is an anime well done. Comedy-horror is a fairly uncommon combination, with most series either slightly leaning towards more than one genre than the other. But Mieruko-chan stands out for being an amazing balance of both. The horror is seen in the detailed illustrations of the spirits that look like they could give the curses of Jujutsu Kaisen a run for their money. There's also great pacing per episode with a proper buildup of tension that will really make you feel like you're Miko at the edge of her sanity as she TRIES. NOT. TO. FREAK. OUT. Then, the comedy comes out with Miko getting more and more creative with her "I don't see anything" coping mechanisms.

But what really won fans' hearts is that this show had unexpected depth. We did not expect comedy-horror with a healthy dose of fanservice to make us happy-cry for Miko and the cast achieving character growth with a little bit of paranormal closure. It's like Natsume's Book of Friends but with a few cleverly placed panty shots.

2. Blue Period
Episodes: 12
Blue Period | ⒸSeven Arcs

Recommended For: People who are struggling with convincing their parents about their chosen college path and need inspiration.

Plot: Blue Period is an anime about high school students pursuing art as their career path (and the struggles that come with such a choice). Protagonist Yatora Yaguchi (CV: Hiromu Mineta) is a typical high school student who gets good grades and listens to his parents about making logical choices. But one day, he comes across the painting of an upperclassman who sparks his interest in art. He joins the art club and is mind blown by the skills of its members. Since his family is not wealthy, his only viable option is to apply for the Tokyo University of the Arts. But since it's the only affordable art school out there, he's in for the toughest competition of his life so far.

Short Review: The first reaction we had to Blue Period was "Finally! Anime is giving a detailed, highly realistic voice to the struggles of pursuing art!" Episode 1 does not mince words on how art as a career is not valued by society because it doesn't pay much. Both Yaguchi and the art club members are immensely aware that they won't survive on passion alone (see Ryuji "Yuka" Ayukawa's own story within the series). But also, Blue Period is honest that a life built solely on logical, economically practical choices is a life of not knowing yourself and instead knowing only the rules (which are made to be broken anyway). This series is labeled as part of the coming-of-age genre, and we say it did a great job making the struggles of modern high schoolers feel so real and seen.

3. Ranking of Kings
Episodes: 11 for part 1; part 2 airs on Jan. 6, 2022
Ranking of Kings | ⒸWit Studio

Recommended For: People who want a lot of FEELS.

Plot: Ranking of Kings is a coming-of-age story featuring Bojji (CV: Minami Hinata), the first prince of the Kingdom of Bosse. However, many people think he's unfit to be the next king because he is small, deaf, and lacking in sword skills. But one day, he meets Kage (CV: Ayumu Murase), the last surviving member of the shadow clan known for their assassination skills. Together, they set out on a journey to train Bojji to develop his own unique fighting style.

Short Review: This show is drawn like a children's fairytale but has the plot complexity, political intrigue, and violence for more mature audiences (i.e. teens and up). Episode 1 pleasantly deceives you with the cute first encounter between Bojji and Kage, making you think this is like the anime equivalent of a Disney movie featuring a boy protagonist who goes on a journey to prove himself worthy of