Here we are ready to lament the worst anime 2021 gave us.
While we all hoped 2021 would be a better year in general after the train wreck that was 2020, most of us ended up disappointed. And as we enter 2022 with the very first cases of Covid finally reaching my little piece of nowhere it seems unlikely that 2022 will be any better realistically. That said, there has been plenty to celebrate and if you want something upbeat, be sure to check out my post celebrating the best 2021 anime had to offer.
This post however is more a reflection on the anime that just crashed and burned or couldn’t live up to expectations – rather like 2021 as a year really.
Keep in mind that the choices below are entirely my own opinion and I am aware that there are other anime I’ve yet to watch. As always I encourage my readers to leave their choices in the comments below.
Why throw stones at the worst anime 2021?
I know you really shouldn’t kick a bad anime when it is down but sometimes something is so bad you just have to say something. The worst anime 2021 had to offer probably isn’t the worst thing ever but some of these anime just hurt. Particularly the number of sequels of part 2’s of seasons that just couldn’t hit the heights of their predecessers.
Still, keep in mind if something was truly unwatchable I probably didn’t get all the way through it and so it won’t appear in this post so really this is just the worst anime I sat through in 2021 rather than the worst all up.
And without any further delay, let’s examine some of the worst anime 2021 vomitted forth.
The Promised Neverland Season 2- The Worst Continuing Anime 2021
It isn’t often that I get the feeling that even the people making the anime have just given up but by midway through season 2 of The Promised Neverland that was exactly how I felt. And the final episode that was barely animated at all, more a poor slide-show with narration, more or less confirmed that no-one was interested in finishing this story properly.
It was such a disappointment after the love and care that seemed to be put into the direction of season one. That and the story just fell apart and made utterly no sense by the end. The manga readers got to sit back and smugly tell anime only viewers to read the source while we just kind of looked on with pained expressions as The Promised Neverland failed to deliver on anything season one had promised.
Although, it seems that in terms of worst anime 2021 definitely went out of its way to tank more than one franchise that had started strongly. The sequel to How Not To Summon a Demonlord kind of fizzled and even My Next Life as a Villainess failed to capture the charm of the original.
Deep Insanity – Worst Anime 2021 Despite Having a Brilliant Promotional Video
Have you ever watched an anime trailer or a movie trailer and been super excited? Even if it seems a bit vague on details you still get a sense that something good is coming your way? Well, Deep Insanity did just that in its Teaser PV and boy did I want to see this anime in the Fall 2021 season.
The video features the harsh snowy setting and sows a character struggling to walk upward in a snow storm and that seemed like an interesting setting and the slow, deliberate pace really built up anticipation before he reaches an edge and the music swells. The character pulls down their hood, removes their goggles to reveal their face and then the camera pans around and we are overlooking a glowing hole in the ice.
It is so cool and mysterious. And the anime utterly failed to capture any of that in its story.
Instead we have bland characters, a plot that makes little sense, and terrible CGI. It’s just not good. I’d actually say it is a strong contender for worst anime 2021 has to offer in almost all categories (though some of the other titles on this list may have it beat).
Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei – Worst Spin-off Anime 2021
Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei, or The Honor Student at Magic High School, isn’t actually terrible so maybe calling it a worst anime 2021 really isn’t justified. It just never quite lived up to the original in terms of entertainment. Largely because we’ve seen most of the events before and Miyuki’s perspective doesn’t add nearly enough to make it feel novel (and a few things it adds actually makes me like her less as a character).
Certainly this is watchable and one or two moments with some of the female cast members are actually kind of charming but honestly this was a spin-off we didn’t really need and my feelings about it are fairly similar to how I ended up feeling about Sword Oratoria for the DanMachi series. I’d much rather get more of the main story than watch the spin-off.
Platinum End – Worst Hyped Anime 2021
I’m sure someone somewhere appreciates Platinum End but for me this was perhaps the most disappointing anime of 2021. And even if it hadn’t been hyped up before the season started with promoters making a big deal of its connections to the likes of Death Note, this anime would still have made a worst anime 2021 list because it just isn’t very good.
One dimensional characters, shocking gore rather than credible plot developments, terribly obvious traps and heroes who repeatedly seem to make stupid decisions have all doomed this anime to fall and fall hard (even if all the characters are gaining angel wings to fly).
While the start was a little shaky it did seem like they might pull together a watchable battle royale from it but unfortunately every step of the way this story has manged to get worse. I’d say it was the worst battle royale anime of 2021 except that Battle Game in 5 Seconds also came out this year.
Tesla Note – Worst CGI Anime 2021
The plot of Tesla Note (when it bothers to focus on it) isn’t actually that bad, however few people are ever going to watch enough of it to know that because visually this one is a disaster. Then again, I didn’t like how the Duke of Death looked and still haven’t gone back to finish that either.
It isn’t just that the characters all move weirdly or that their facial expressions are creepy or even the awful colour scheme applied to a number of characters. Tesla Note is just one of those anime that is really ugly to watch and despite the kind of interesting spy story I probably won’t be able to recommend watching it as it really was the worst anime 2021 threw at me at least in terms of CGI.
On that note, do we think CGI characters will ever not look like gaping fish when they talk?
Full Dive – Worst Anime Viewing Experience 2021
It’s actually hard to describe the terrible experience that is watching Full Dive. It very much has earned its place amongst the worst anime 2021 spewed out over the year and honestly I’m just not sure who is supposed to enjoy it. For those who will defend it by claiming it to be a satire or comedy, maybe they enjoyed aspects of it, but a character knowingly putting themselves in an awful situation and then constantly complaining about it doesn’t do it for me.
Throw in an entire cast of awful people doing awful things and zero stakes at all with the plot because honestly the guy could just stop logging in to the game and it all just becomes a bit hard to take.
Had it provided some kind of commentary on other isekai or trapped in a game anime that wasn’t just obvious ripping off the tropes of the genre then maybe I could see some redeemable qualities, but instead watching this anime was an experience that got worse and worse as the episodes continued to roll along and yes, much like the character in the show could have stopped playing, I could have stopped watching. But there was this voice in the back of my head that just kept asking me to wait to see if there was some point to all of it.
Turns out, there isn’t. Full Dive is just an unpleasant show to watch with unpleasant characters, middling visuals, and no pay-off for sticking around. Yep, I’d happily vote for this one for being the worst anime 2021 gave me.
What are your picks for worst anime in 2021?
So those were my choices for worst anime 2021 for various reasons but I’d love to know what my readers regret watching this year. Be sure to leave a comment sharing you worst anime 2021 experience and why.
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