After a season rich in novelties, our Japanese animation specialists, Clément Cusseau, Manon Maroufi and Vincent Formica, each deliver their Top 5 of the year 2021.
THE TOP OF VINCENT FORMICA
Arcane is the real sensation of the end of the year in the world of animation. The little baby from studio Fortiche pleasantly surprised everyone with his teeming universe taken from the League of Legends video game.
The series can boast of having an original artistic direction, a poignant story, dantesque action scenes and strong and deep characters, all forming a masterpiece of the genre. In addition, the dubbing is perfect, especially in French, with the voices of Alice Taurand (Vi), Adeline Chetail (Jinx), Bernard Gabay (Silco) or Boris Rehlinger (Vander).
Available on Netflix.
2-STOP HEATING, NAGATORO
Attention, little nugget animated approach! Don’t be fooled by its wacky title and indulge yourself in this absolutely uplifting, tender and hilarious anime. What immediately strikes you when you start this series is obviously its heroine, Nagatoro! The latter, annoying little bitch at first, will prove to be much more complex than that. His relationship with Naoto, alias “Senpai”, is more and more touching over the episodes!
She, who mocked her eldest child badly with her girlfriends, will gradually become attached to him, to the point of being very jealous if other girls approach her “painkiller”. Between romantic comedy and slice of life, Stop heating me up, Nagatoro is a real nugget, sublimated by brilliant dubbing actors. Special mention to Sumire Uesaka, who lends his voice to Nagatoro. She manages to offer him a strong incarnation, doing justice to the heroine’s mocking side.
Available on DNA / Crunchyroll.
3-JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: GOLDEN WIND
Released this year in French, season 4 of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure saga, called Golden Wind, is quite simply a masterpiece. With 39 breathtaking episodes, the series presents a gallery of charismatic and colorful characters, including the hero, Giorno Giovanna.
Deemed to be unsuitable, Hirohiko Araki’s manga is sublimated on the screen thanks to the titanic work of the David Production studio. The French dubbing, led by artistic director Alan Aubert-Carlin, brings a touch of madness to an anime that surprises with each episode, raising the tension until an absolutely titanic finale.
Available on DNA.
Tokyo Revengers is one of the best animated series of 2021, along with Jujutsu Kaisen last year. From the first episode, the universe is extremely catchy, in particular thanks to its narrative system made of jumps in time.
The characters are thus very well constructed, especially psychologically, benefiting from a rather remarkable depth. Plus, the animation thinks outside the box, especially the character design, which makes the anime quite one of a kind. A potential hit not to be missed!
Available on Crunchyroll.
First of all, it should be noted that Platinum End is not just any manga adaptation. The anime is based on the work of Tsugumi Ohba (script) and Takeshi Obata (design), the legendary duo of Death Note and Bakuman. The series is directed by Hideya Takahashi (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Golden Wind) and Kazuchika Kise (Ghost in the Shell Arise), both big names in the industry.
If the Platinum End manga is not as powerful as Death Note, it has its darkness and violence, as well as its subversive dimension. By tackling delicate themes such as depression and suicide in adolescents, he allows himself to throw a pavement in the pond by pointing the finger at problems often overlooked and which can lead to terrible tragedies.
The anime adaptation faithfully embraces Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s narrative, brilliantly transposing the darkened aspect of a story that obviously eyeing Death Note. The hero, Mirai, inherits the power to kill whoever he wants with a single arrow, just as Light could murder anyone by writing his name on his death notebook.
From there, the authors make us reflect on our own existence and our free will. What would we do in the hero’s place? Finally, Mirai, a depressed and dark hero, discovers new sides and awakens in a spectacular way. We can all identify with his melancholy and naivety in the face of a dark and brutal world.
Available on DNA / Wakanim / Crunchyroll.
CLEMENT CUSSEAU TOP
Nobody expected him, and the surprise was therefore even greater. A major feat of having succeeded in both making a series derived from the League universe …