For many people, the seasons are marked by the change in weather. As the sunlight becomes stronger and the air gets hotter, everyone understands that summer is here, and when temperatures cool and the leaves on the trees begin to change from green to orange and yellow, most people acknowledge that it’s fall.
But for anime fans in Japan, the seasons are marked not by weather, not by school schedules, and not by the holidays that come with them–but by the changing of the anime on TV. Yes, anime broadcasting seasons are the most important evidence of time passing for otaku, and our reporter and resident otaku Seiji Nakazawa is looking past summer, all the way to autumn.
Why? Because this autumn is going to be huge for anime, with five awesome titles either making their triumphant return or making their debut to TV. Which five shows is Seiji most looking forward to? Let’s find out!
1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
"Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" is arguably one of the most popular series of all time, and Seiji, having cut his hair to look like one of the characters from the show, is arguably one of the anime’s biggest fans. After the manga’s great success, it was made into an anime whose first season debuted to massive popularity in 2019. Last year’s movie, "Demon Slayer-Kimetsu no Yaiba-The Movie: Mugen Train," was so incredibly successful that it surpassed Hayao Miyazaki’s "Spirited Away" as the number-one grossing movie of all time in Japan.
Though it’s not been officially announced that "Demon Slayer" will return for fall, it is slated to return to TV before the end of 2021, which, in Seiji’s eyes, means fall. Additionally, according to the special Kimetsu TV segment, which shared special news and information about "Demon Slayer" on July 13, it was announced that the "Mugen Train" movie would be broadcast for the first time on television on Sept 25 at 9 p.m., after which a never-before-seen promotional video for the new season will debut. They’re also expecting to announce the voice cast for the new characters and other info, so if you’re a "Demon Slayer" fan, you should not miss it.
2. Attack on Titan
"Attack on Titan" became a social phenomenon when it first debuted as an anime in 2013, and though it took eight years, it’s finally approaching its thrilling end. Much to fans’ simultaneous joy and despair, it’s been announced that the long-awaited 76th episode, titled “Danzai” or “Judgment”, will air “this winter”, meaning that the show’s finale will soon be upon us.
Now whether that means it’ll come out before the end of the year or in January or February, we can’t say for sure, but since the first episode of the Final Season was aired in December 2020, Seiji feels reasonably confident in saying that the next episode will too. Of course, “winter” doesn’t quite qualify as “fall”, but in Seiji’s mind, December generally falls into the category of fall simply by virtue of still being in the same year, which is why he included it in his list.
However, the anime’s producers took four years to put out season two because they, for whatever reason, decided to make a terrible live-action movie, so Seiji dearly hopes they don’t follow that road again and part two of "The Final Season" releases as scheduled.
3. World Trigger
Originally a manga serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump, this series debuted three years before "Demon Slayer" began, and is now in direct competition with it. The series, which tells the story of two students in a city that is the site of regular battles between monsters and a special force of fighters known as “Border”, is expected to air its third season in October, and Seiji is pretty stoked to see one of his recent favorites come back.
4. Baki the Grappler
This series started as a popular manga series in the 1990s but has continued to delight fans ever since with several manga sequels and anime adaptations. The most recent is a Netflix-directed anime that currently has two seasons, with a third expected for release this fall. Seiji is particularly excited for this one because it’s going to hit one of the story’s major climaxes, and since Netflix has done such a great job on it so far, it’s sure to be awesome.
5. Muv-Luv Alternative
You’ve probably heard of most of the titles above, and they are absolutely worth aniticipating, but Seiji also has a lesser-known franchise that he’s looking forward to: "Muv-Luv Alternative." It’s based on a video game series produced in the early aughts that started as an adult love-adventure and eventually morphed into an alien vs. mecha sci-fi battle story. The games are typically categorized as “gal games” for their focus on pretty girls as the main characters, but players know them to be something far more complex and engaging than that.
The fact that it’s going to be turned into an anime for the first time and broadcast this October has Seiji tentatively excited, though he’s a little bit worried about whether the scope of the story can be addressed within the limits of a typical anime. If they can pull it off, it’s sure to be spectacular, so that’s why Seiji thinks "Muv-Luv Alternative" might be the most must-watch anime of the fall of 2021.
Those are the titles of the fall 2021 anime broadcasting season that Seiji is most looking forward to. Some shows, like the second season of "The Rising of the Shield Hero: The Manga Companion," were originally announced for fall but were postponed, leading to some disappointment, but we still have a lot of big-name titles coming at us fast and hard, and Seiji literally cannot wait.
And who knows? It’s still early in the summer; there could be even more great anime coming our way. What more could an anime fan want?
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