In-Depth: Best of Spring 2021 Anime Awards

The hard work of Fruits Basket fans finally pays off as the series wins the Anime of the Season title at the Spring 2021 Anime Awards. This is the anime’s third attempt to be votes as the season’s top anime and fifth attempt overall for a major Anime Trending title — and third time’s the charm. It was the highest-ranked returning nominee from last year’s Anime of the Year nominees, as it finished second place behind Akudama Drive. Fruits Basket had a hard time qualifying as a nominee for last year’s AOTY title, as the series needed to battle through the wildcard rounds and face off against critically acclaimed titles, such as Great Pretender. Fruits Basket’s win this season marks the first time a shoujo anime has won a major title — and also marks the return of Slice-of-Life/Romance anime dominating the community’s interest. 

Just like the anime they star in, Kyou Souma and Tohru Honda dominated the Spring 2021 Couple-Ship charts, winning 8 out of 9 weeks. The pair secured an easy win this season after losing out to other ships during previous seasons. However, neither Kyou nor Tohru could secure the Favorite Male and Female Character awards, which went to Yoshida and Sayu Ogiwara, the leads from HIGEHIRO: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway. Additionally, their win makes HIGEHIRO one of only two anime in Anime Trending awards history to win both the Best Boy and Girl awards in a single season. HIGEHIRO also caught Fruits Basket fans by surprise by securing the Best Drama award.

Fruits Basket still secured more awards than HIGEHIRO, as it won five awards this season, including Favorite Supporting Male Character for Momiji Souma and Favorite Romance Anime. HIGEHIRO finished third place overall, but its fans can still be proud of the anime’s performance, as it became one of the few anime that topped the Anime Trending charts for three consecutive weeks. 

Re:ZERO’s author, Tappei Nagatsuki, would have clinched a back-to-back win if Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song- won the Anime of the Season title, but it finished second place overall and instead secured the Best New Anime of the Season title. Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- won Anime of the Season during Winter 2021. Despite finishing as the runner-up, Vivy still impressed with a strong finish, especially as an original anime production considered a “side project” by WIT Studio. Its titular character, Vivy, almost won the Favorite Female Character award for this season but was short 624 votes against Ogiwara. Vivy also placed second for Favorite Sci-Fi or Mecha and third for Favorite Action or Adventure but lost to 86: EIGHTY-SIX in both categories. Tokyo Revengers, which placed fifth overall, placed second in Favorite Action or Adventure. 

For the first time ever, the winners of the theme song awards did not come from any Anime of the Season contenders. “Cry Baby” by Official HIGE DANdism won the Favorite Opening Theme Song award for Tokyo Revengers. The song currently is the most played anime theme song on Spotify and is Higedan’s first song for a TV anime. Their first song for an anime production was for HELLO WORLD, which placed third for the Anime Movie of the Year title in the 7th Anime Trending Awards and lost to KonoSuba: Legend of the Crimson.


Meanwhile, ReoNa won her first-ever Anime Trending theme song award by clinching the Favorite Ending Theme Song award for “Nai Nai,” the ending theme for Shadows House. Shadows House won a total of three awards, including Favorite Supernatural and Favorite Mystery or Psychological, beating AOTS contender, Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-, in the process. ReoNa is known for the songs “Forget-me-not” and “ANIMA” featured in Sword Art Online: Alicization. “ANIMA” placed second for the Favorite Ending Theme Song award during Summer 2020 and was a nominee for the same title during the 7th Anime Trending Awards. She is also known as the singing voice of Elsa Kanzaki, a character from SAO’s side story series, Gun Gale Online.

Nominations for the 8th Anime Trending Awards

Zombie Land Saga’s Koutarou Tatsumi will be the first former Man of the Year winner who misses out on another nomination for the title in their first attempt after winning. He was Man of the Year in the 5th Anime Trending Awards, but this season, he did not even break into the Top 10 Male Characters of Spring 2021. The anime that he stars in, Zombie Land Saga, has at least secured 3 nominations

Despite not winning anything this season, Koikimo has scored the third-most number of nominations by securing a nomination for each of the character awards and four more in the other categories, for a total of nine nominations. Even though it lost  the AOTS title, Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song- outscored Fruits Basket in the number of nominations. 

Here are all the anime that have at least one nomination in the upcoming 8th Anime Trending Awards:

  •         Vivy: -Fluorite Eye’s Song- 11 nominations
  •         Fruits Basket: The Final Season 10 nominations
  •         Koikimo 9 nominations
  •         86: EIGHTY-SIX 8 nominations      
  •         Tokyo Revengers 6 nominations    
  •         Shadows House 5 nominations         
  •         HIGEHIRO 4 nominations           
  •         Zombie Land Saga Revenge 3 nominations           
  •         Don’t Toy with me, Miss Nagatoro    2 nominations              
  •         To Your Eternity 2 nominations   
  •         Megalo Box: Nomad 2 nominations         
  •         ODDTAXI 2 nominations     
  •         The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent 1 nomination    
  •         Super Cub 1 nomination              
  •         Backflip!! 1 nomination    
  •         SSSS.Dynazenon 1 nomination   

The awards that each of these anime were nominated for are available on the 8th Anime Trending Awards Nomination Portal.

See the full list of winners on the Spring 2021 Winners Portal

See the full rankings per each category on the Spring 2021 Results Portal

The Summer 2021 Weekly Anime Polls have started. To vote, visit the Top Anime Polling Page

See our other articles from our past seasonal and annual awards here!

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