Fall 2021 SF Anime Preview

If you think we’ve had some overloaded seasons recently, you haven’t seen anything yet!

It’s time for yet another new anime season, and holy crap is this one packed with sfnal shows. So let’s just get right to it!


Banished From the Heroes’ Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside

The premise: After falling out with his party, an adventurer decides to run a pharmacy, until a former comrade insists on moving in with him.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: This clears the bar for a potentially decent show, although for light novel adaptations these days the bar is “not actively offensive”.

Premiere: October 6

Build Divide -#00000 (Code Black)-

The premise: In a future where the hierarchy is determined by one’s skill at a card game, people enter a tournament to unseat the King.

Derivative factor: Co-release with collectible card game

The buzz: Could be the next big collectible card game, but if you aren’t into CCGs then there’s probably nothing here for you.

Premiere: October 9

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child

The premise: An explorer travels to an newly discovered underground Antarctic world full of weird creatures and the source of a madness slowly taking over all humanity.

Derivative factor: Original multimedia project including game and manga

The buzz: It sure looks interesting, but the question is how well it stands on its own.

Premiere: October 12

Deji Meets Girl

The premise: A girl working part-time at her family’s hotel in Okinawa meets a boy from Tokyo who has peculiar things happening around him all the time.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: As a series with super-short episodes, this will probably languish in obscurity, but it looks like fun for the few people who will check it out.

Premiere: October 1

The Faraway Paladin

The premise: Three undead band together to raise a boy who will become a paladin.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: There’s a lot of love for the source material, but very little confidence in the studio leading the adaptation.

Premiere: October 9

The Fruit of Evolution: Before I Knew It, My Life Had it Made

The premise: When his class is transported to a fantasy world, an ugly boy eats a fruit that makes him awesome, and agrees to marry a gorilla.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: This could be a fun goofball comedy take on portal fantasies, but expectations are not high.

Premiere: October 4

Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut

The premise: On an alternate Earth, a space program uses a vampire as a test subject.

Derivative factor: Light novel adaptation

The buzz: Everyone desperately wants this to be good, because what a waste it would be if a premise this interesting wasn’t done well.

Premiere: October 3

Kyōkai Senki (Border War)

The premise: In 2061, Japan is occupied by four different entities, and two teenagers join the Japanese resistance to pilot giant robots.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: A great one for the mecha fans. Unfortunately there are a lot of mecha shows to choose from this season.

Premiere: October 4

Megaton-kyū Musashi

The premise: A utopian society is really the last holdout of humanity, and only the chosen few get to know the truth as they pilot giant robots to hold off humanity’s enemies.

Derivative factor: Original multimedia project including game

The buzz: Conflicting signals here; it looks dark but the creator is best known for working on children’s games. Either way, more mecha for the mecha fans.

Premiere: October 1

Mieruko-chan

The premise: A girl starts seeing horrifying supernatural creatures and does her best to ignore them. Hilarity ensues.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Feelings vary about how well the manga handled the balance of horror and comedy.

Premiere: October 3

Muteking the Dancing Hero

The premise: A hero and his DJ sidekick sing, dance, and defeat monsters in retro-futuristic San Francisco.

Derivative factor: Remake of classic series

The buzz: Probably no masterpiece, but looks like an enjoyable little piece of nostalgia.

Premiere: October 2

Muv-Luv Alternative

The premise: A mecha pilot who helped with a plan to evacuate part of the human race to another planet to escape a disastrous war wakes up three years in the past and tries to change the outcome.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: The source material is considered one of the best visual novels of all time, but there’s a lot of anxiety among fans about not being able to do the full story justice.

Premiere: October 6

The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window

The premise: A bookstore owner who starts seeing odd things through a window of his store works with an exorcist to investigate supernatural happenings.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: The manga is reportedly good for people who are fans of either the supernatural or of gay romances.

Premiere: October 3

Platinum End

The premise: A boy who has just graduated from junior high is one of 13 people selected for a battle royale to select a ruler of the world.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Not much enthusiasm for the premise itself, but plenty of people are going to give it a look on the basis of being from the creators of Death Note.

Premiere: October 7

Ranking of Kings

The premise: A deaf crown prince who is mocked by his family and populace alike makes his first friend, a talking shadow.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Descriptions of the manga are unanimous about its terrible art and the utter charm of its story. Expectations are very high.

Premiere: October 14

Rumble Garanndoll

The premise: After Japan is conquered by an alternate militaristic version of itself, fandom survives as an underground culture.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: There are interesting aspects to the premise but it might just collapse in a heap of otaku pandering.

Premiere: October 11

Sakugan

The premise: In a world where humans live in underground cities, a father and daughter set out to be explorers.

Derivative factor: Based to some degree on a novel

The buzz: This show has been hyped for over two years now, but unfortunately arrives at a time where it has a lot of competition. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the most anticipated shows of the season.

Premiere: October 7

Shikizakura

The premise: A high school student pilots a magic giant robot to fight demons.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: Of all the mecha shows this season, this looks and sounds the most generic.

Premiere: October 9

takt op. Destiny

The premise: Invading monsters which can only be destroyed by music are fought with the aid of young women who are famous compositions in humanoid form.

Derivative factor: Video game adaptation

The buzz: The story doesn’t sound like much, but the music should be good.

Premiere: October 5

Tesla Note

The premise: A ninja spy and his partner battle other spies to retrieve a magic crystal left behind by Nikola Tesla.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: Very little excitement about this one.

Premiere: October 3

The Vampire Dies in No Time

The premise: A vampire hunter discovers that his quarry is easily terrified and incredibly weak, and then somehow the two of them end up working together against mundane problems.

Derivative factor: Manga adaptation

The buzz: It’s an amusing premise but also sounds like it has exactly one joke.

Premiere: October 4

Visual Prison

The premise: A young man is caught up in a musical battle between vampire pop bands.

Derivative factor: Original

The buzz: If nothing else this will be incredibly stylish.

Premiere: October 8

Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter

The premise: A group of magical girls faces a new challenge.

Derivative factor: Sequel

The buzz: This is a happy surprise for fans of the franchise, as the story seemed to be all wrapped up at the conclusion of the previous series four years ago.

Premiere: October 1


And in continuing adaptations:


Phew! It looks like there will be a lot to like this season. My most solid-looking picks would be Sakugan and Deji Meets Girl. I also have high hopes for Ranking of Kings and Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut, and I’d really like The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window, Muteking, and Rumble Garanndoll to all turn out well. What are you looking forward to?

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