The end of the year is here and it’s time for the 16th Annual Reader’s Choice poll. Do you have a favorite series you’d like to see win? Are you just curious to see what everyone else enjoyed this year? There’s no electoral college here. The anime with the most votes wins!

As per the usual, there will be two polls for you to vote on this year – one for regularly broadcast TV series, and another for OVA/movies. We’re asking you for your top 5 picks in each poll, which should stop the results from being heavily skewed towards the mega-popular shows. This year we have ~170 TV series and ~60 OVA/movies for you to choose from. Keep in mind that like all entertainment, anime is subjective. There is no one size fits all here. Please respect the opinions of others, even if you may disagree with them.

Criteria-wise, the following is what was used to decide what shows did (or did not) make it onto these lists:

  • For a regular broadcast TV series to be considered, it has to have finished airing in 2021 and fit in the general criteria for receiving a preview. Series with another season coming but a clear stopping point in the one we’ve already seen are included. At the same time, shows generally aired for all ages/kids were not included. Exceptions were also made for series such as 86 where a couple outstanding episodes are airing the following season, but enough of the show has premiered to form a final opinion.
  • For OVA/movies, it has to have been released on Blu-ray/DVD in 2021 to qualify, ensuring that viewers outside of Japan have had a chance to watch it. This mostly pertains to theatrical offerings. The difference from TV series is that they don’t necessarily have to be complete to be included, since it can take several years for an OVA series to finish.

As far as we’re aware, the anime series list is complete, barring a handful of shows that are animated but unlike “typical” anime. The OVA/movie list is less so, but this is by design; there are lot of really niche OVAs that aren’t really worth considering and there is a tendency for series in this category to be delayed or released at different dates, so accuracy will vary greatly. If you feel there’s something that deserves consideration, isn’t listed, or is listed but shouldn’t be, please leave a comment or send Pancakes/Zephyr an email or tweet Zephyr via @ZephyrRC and we’ll add it in as soon as possible. Please note that the first comment in this post will keep a list of shows added, so keep an eye on that before voting.

With that said, vote away!

Note: To give viewers more time to vote, the polls will close this year at 9:00 AM PST on January 5th, giving you the most time possible before the Best of Anime post comes out with the results. This means the 9:00 AM in the afternoon in PST or 3:00 PM GMT on the 5th.

Other Note: And before it’s brought up, yes, there will be a Best of Anime 2021 post coming this year. And maybe 2020 too, who knows what the new year shall bring!


  1. Odd taxi all the way. It had a great beginning and a memorable ending. It also represents why we need more original anime and less adaptations of shonen, boring light Novels and isekai crap.

  2. I feel like Shadows House, Vivy, and Kageki Shoujo won’t get the attention that they deserve. Probably the more generally appealing shows will end up getting more votes. Don’t mean that as an insult to those (I enjoyed my hero and Re zero and Mushoku as well), just that I feel like these were underrated and underwatched (though maybe Vivy not as much) and will go more unnoticed.

  3. I always look forward to the poll and the results to see what anime I might have slept on. Although this year I’m quite aware to have slept on Odd Taxi, so I’ll be picking that up in the new year.

    As for this year, there were quite a few better shows compared to last year, making the choices somewhat more difficult. Nonetheless I’ve compiled my list. As always I mostly decide my list on overall enjoyment of a series.

    1. Mushoku Tensei (I love the slow pace, worldbuilding, and its characters; this show was a real highlight for me.)
    2. Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
    3. Fruit’s Basket: The Final (The final season also makes my top five as did the first two seasons.)
    4. Heike Monogatari (I had the pleasure of not knowing the full story of the Taira clan yet. As such I thought the spin it was given was an interesting one. And at same time it gave me the joy of new history to learn about. Also, the visuals were simply stunning.)
    5. Zombieland Saga: Revenge (While I could have given this spot to Shingeki no Kyojin or 86, both of which were very good watches, I can’t deny Zombieland saga the spot. It’s the only idol show I watch, but oh so enjoyable. From characters to music, everything lines up imo.)

    Honourable mentions go to:
    Shingeki no Kyojin: The final season, 86, Re:Zero, Maid Dragon, Sonny Boy and Fumetsu no Anata e.

    As for Movies/OVA’s, having only watched 6 of the entire list, it’s easy pickings.
    1. Kimetsu no Yaiba – Mugen Resha (Let’s be real, this is going to win)
    2. Violet Evergarden Movie
    3. Wotakoi OVA
    4. SHIROBAKO Movie (Although not as good as the series, still a pleasant bit of nostalgia)
    5. Tonikaku Kawaii OVA
    6. (no vote) Mahoutsukai no Yome: Nishi no Shonen to Seiran no Kishi (since the story of this OVA will likely be wrapped up in OVA2 & 3, I wouldn’t sit right to vote for it…)

    1. Additional note on the movies, I probably would have voted for Girls und Panzer – Das finale part 3. But since the DVD has only been out for 5 days, I haven’t found any subtitles yet ;_;

      1. Girls und Panzer Das Finale should’ve, in all honesty, been a part of the 2022 awards. With how close the DVD/BD releases were to the end of the year, and the fact that travelling to Japan to watch it isn’t exactly the best idea in the world right now, there’s been no chance for many of the people who want to see it, to have seen it yet.

        With this being said, someone was able to watch it and do a pretty good write-up on things with lots of screencaps, so if you’re still looking to get an idea of whether or not Das Finale is worth your vote, this is a pretty helpful resource.

          1. That’s fair, although some have joked that Half-Life 3 or similar would have come out by the time this series finishes! Are there any plans here to write about it, by any chance? It’s always nice to read what different people have to say about it, but on that token, it’s always disappointing that only a small number of people are talking about the series.

    2. Almost as per tradition, I forgot about an entire series: Jujutsu Kaisen. It’s fall 2020 start, must have made me overlook it. It likely would have taken my #4 or #5 spot, instead of Heike monogatari.

  4. I know the likes of SnK and Mushoku Tensei will steamroll the poll, but that’s sad given that we had some very special shows this year.

    1. Odd Taxi (Nothing comes close)
    2. Fumetsu no Anata e (Ousama Ranking would be here but it does not Qualify)
    3. Heion Sedai
    4. Heiki Monogatari (It had its flaws but it was a beautiful show)
    5. Wonder Egg Priority (Again, some flaws but still good, plus not many other options)

  5. Should Muv-Luv Alternative be in the list? The latest episode doesn’t really feel like a finale. No real start and no real end is an interesting situation. Looks like the next part will air next year too.

  6. For better or worse I’d already narrowed down my top 5 before this so it was easy voting.

    2) Yuru Camp△ S2
    3) Kobayashi-san Chi no Maidragon S
    4) Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu
    5) Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 2nd Season

    Honestly a pretty good year overall.

  7. I voted for the following top 3 in no particular order:

    Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season
    I’m still sad about the studio change and that MAPPA couldn’t give Shingeki the same lovely treatment that Jujutsu Kaisen received. I also disliked the opening and the heavy use of CG. Still, it’s Shingeki and I don’t think there were any bad episodes. Very much looking forward to part 2.

    Best original anime of 2021. Wit Studio continues to produce top notch stuff (hopefully also Vinland Saga S2) and this was no exception. Loved the sakuga coupled with some great music. Matsumoto best sidekick!

    Very faithful adaptation of the hit LN. Banger Sawano soundtrack and good CG. And while Lena’s naiveté early on was annoying, she more than made up for it later on. Episode 9 was one of the best anime episodes of the year.

    Re:Zero 2nd season, part 2:
    Not as strong as part 1, but for me probably still the best isekai out there. White Fox went the extra mile of adding several minutes to the episodes in order to cover as much LN material as possible.

    Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 2nd Season
    The pacing hurt it though. Took long to get going, but every anime that manages to make me feel emotional/sad (e.g. Shion), usually is good stuff.

    Movies/OVAs: Voted for HF 3, Violet Evergarden, Demon Slayer, Kaguya-sama special and Gundam Hathaway


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