We’ve entered Winter 2021 with an exciting lineup of anime awaiting us! If you’re wondering what to watch or don’t know where to start, check out our AniBitez to see what our staff think of the airing anime!
The Winter 2021 Anibitez will be split into two parts. Check out the Winter 2021 Anibitez Part 1!
Dr. Ramune -Mysterious Disease Specialist-: A comedic yet sobering take on life
Dr. Ramune follows the titular Ramune and his poker-faced assistant Kuro as they solve various cases caused by “mysterious diseases,” or when something “strange” enters their hearts. These diseases aren’t medical afflictions but psychological and emotional ones that are often solved in a supernatural way. The premise may not sound exciting, but I enjoyed the equally comedic and sobering experience of watching Dr Ramune and Kuro figure out the root cause of someone’s pain. This tonal difference between comedy and seriousness is often hard to balance yet this anime pulls it off smoothly.
What I really like is the anime’s overall message: “There are no shortcuts in life, and have courage in resolving your issues.” The first episode’s patient provides a prime example: she nearly dies from all the emotions bottled inside her. It is only resolved when the patient says what she really feels, and her mother finds the courage to make amends. By embedding the message within life lessons and by repackaging it as a “mysterious disease,” these sensitive issues become easier to discuss and resolve.
Despite the deep message, the simplistic format of resolving each issue might not work for people who want something more substantial or deep. The anime is meant to be more comedic while imparting the lesson of courage. Still, I’m really looking forward to more episodes, because I want to see how Ramune and Kuro deal with their future cases, even if it requires some rough treatment.
Dr. STONE: STONE WARS: Episode II: Attack of the Stones
We only had to wait a year for Dr. STONE’s return, but my anticipation combined with what 2020 did to my perception of time has made that year feel more like three. Now at long last, the Stone Wars have begun!
The first thing I want to mention is the brilliant diegetic recap of season 1’s events facilitated by Gen telling a story to the young children. It’s even played for laughs when Senku calls him out for shirking his work, and Gen immediately continues the story anyway. With that so quickly taken care of, the story continues naturally from the end of season 1. Spring draws near, and the Kingdom of Science is preparing for a confrontation with the Tsukasa Empire — the dawn of the titular Stone Wars.
As always, Dr. STONE deviates from other shounen by substituting most of the action for science experiments. This storytelling has been mastered down to a science in and of itself, as I continue to be enthralled by Senku merely explaining an invention as it’s being built. This formula provides a unique sense of satisfaction that can only come from witnessing realistic hard work culminate to tangible results at a believable pace. It’s very possible that this season will contain more traditional action and thrilling suspense, but I’m optimistic that Dr. STONE will continue to fill its one-of-a-kind niche as the most exciting educational show out there.
Horimiya: The romcom that everyone has been waiting for
Horimiya follows two high school students who find out about the other’s well-guarded secret and start an unlikely friendship. The manga — and its anime adaptation — focus on the relationship of Hori Kyoko and Miyamura Izumi and how they navigate their friendships and school life.
As someone who read the manga, I noticed that the anime pushed forward some development, which sometimes didn’t make sense to me. For example, Miyamura readily shows his tattoos to Toru in the first episode, despite them barely knowing each other. However, in the manga, Miyamura shows Toru the tattoos after they have a more established friendship. It seemed odd to me that Miyamura showed his tattoos to Toru so soon, since tattoos in Japan are perceived negatively due to their connection with the yakuza.
Other than the oddity, though, I liked how Horimiya was adapted. I found myself laughing too at a red-faced Hori hitting Miyamura on the cheek with a cup of iced barley after the latter praised her. The various scenes of them taking care of Hori’s younger brother together and the candid interactions between them made me ship them just as hard as I did in the manga. I’m excited to see how the anime develops their relationship further and am looking forward to seeing more goofiness with their friends.
Log Horizon Destruction of the Round Table: Glasses-flashes are back
While most anime series will provide a recap between sequel seasons, Log Horizon Destruction of the Round Table will require you to review the previous material. The viewer is thrown straight back into the complex geopolitics centering around the world of Elder Tale. So far, the adventurer guilds have formed a steady alliance known as the Round Table to manage the Yamato server and its NPCs, but cracks have begun to take root.
I initially watched the first episode of the new season to see how accessible it was since I hadn’t revisited this story at all. Unfortunately, it was not easy to get back into the plot because season 3 never recaps any of the plot points and events. It’s almost as if they expect you to remember the various conflicts between the adventurers and NPC factions. However, there are still many elements that I enjoyed, such as the complex relations between the guilds of the Round Table themselves. Because each guild’s interests conflicted with one another and progress stagnated, the Round Table’s purpose of maintaining order in Akiba began to dissolve. For instance, the guild Honesty couldn’t figure out how to restore “Fairy Rings,” the original teleporting system and became discouraged to remain in the Round Table. Because of this, the balance of power between the guilds of the Round Table could change at any moment and threaten to dissolve the alliance and order of Akiba.
After six years, I’m interested in seeing how the Log Horizon will continue to navigate this dynamic political structure.
SK8 The Infinity: Okinawa Skateboard Drifters
In the secret underworld of “S,” skateboarders race downhill to see who is the fastest. These heated one-on-one matchups, called “beefs,” attract skater enthusiasts from all over Japan, including high school sophomore Reki, who heavily incorporates skateboarding into his daily life. He participates in skate battles, works at a skateboard shop, and even connects with the new transfer student Langa to teach him how to skate.
SK8 feels like a mash-up of Banana Fish and The Fast and the Furious, only with skateboards instead. While Langa looks like a blue-haired version of Ash Lynx, Reki is your typical red-haired hothead whose love for skateboarding is admirable and contagious. I enjoy watching the small moments the boys take to train Langa on a skateboard, but what I love even more are the over-the-top animation, eccentric characters, and vibrant stylistic designs that the anime brings to life. “Dangerous downhill” battles involving wheels or cars isn’t entirely a newfound concept, so I hope SK8 has additional goals other than focusing on skateboard drift battles. It’s been lighthearted and fun thus far, and I definitely want to see how the other skaters that have been hinted at will dazzle our eyes with their boards on the road.
Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town: The charming but dull isekai
Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town is yet another installation in the slew of isekai anime this season. However, what makes it slightly unique is its sheer charm and wholesomeness. The anime follows Lloyd Belladonna, a young boy from the village of Kunlun, which is famously known for its location near the last dungeon adventurers visit. As a result, it’s revealed that he’s a severely overpowered individual that’s able to fling giant monsters miles away without breaking a sweat, despite being the weakest member of his village.
Regardless, Lloyd is a sweet kid, and like many other isekai protagonists, has his own share of girls fawning over him. There’s Alka, the “loli-grandma witch” who serves as his protector, Marie, apprentice to said grandma witch and Lloyd’s new roommate, and Selen, a former curse victim known as “Belt Princess” until she meets Lloyd who accidentally breaks her curse and subsequently goes yandere for him.
So far, the anime’s gimmick has been the characters’ reactions to Lloyd being comically overpowered. In terms of production quality, the animation is quite decent and sports simple yet cute character designs. All in all, while the anime is filled with wholesome comedic moments, I personally don’t think it’s done enough to differentiate itself from other titles in the genre so far. Nevertheless, the anime is at least worth a try for those who prefer a little more charm with their isekai.
That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2: Reincarnated for a Second Season
Rimuru and his entourage have returned! It’s been a solid two years since Slime last aired, so you may be wondering if it’s as good as you remembered. My answer to that is a resounding yes.
Should you need a refresher, season 2 begins with an “episode 0” of sorts to get you back up to speed. This abridged retelling also provides more background on Shizu and teases some new characters, so I recommend the watch for both new and old viewers. Thanks to this dedicated extra episode, the proper “episode 1” jumps back in right where season 1 left off, as Rimuru bids farewell to his young students and returns to Tempest. I had already forgotten just how huge this monster nation has grown (when you factor in all of the goblins, kijins, orcs, and lizardmen, to name a few), and that’s by far my favorite thing about Slime. Nearly every character introduced in the story sticks around in some manner, and the writing is extremely considerate to keep them all involved.
I’ve seen my fair share of fantasy worlds, but this one goes the extra mile to continuously expand upon itself while staying consistent in its established lore. The story generally remains lighthearted while still taking itself seriously, and the resulting atmosphere is one I can only describe as charming. Season 2’s story is already moving at a steady pace, and I’m eager to see the continuation of the first season’s groundwork.
That is all for AniBitez: Winter 2021 Part 2! Check out the Anibitez: Winter 2021 Part 1 here!