2021 has been a great year for fantasy anime. Not only have a load of popular titles returned for new seasons, but several new shows with really unique ideas have also hit screens, showing how powerful and versatile the fantasy genre remains. Perhaps no place displays this better than Funimation, as the popular streaming platform is currently home to numerous stunning fantasy anime titles.
So for those looking for something new to watch or want to catch up on some outstanding series missed this year, here is a guide to Funimation’s best fantasy anime in 2021.
Black Clover (Season 4)
Season 4 of Black Clover had a lot of pre-launch hype, which is no surprise as fans have adored the previous seasons. The series follows Asta and Yuno, two orphans who join Magic Knight squads while trying to earn the title of Wizard King. Season 4 sees them training hard to defeat the Dark Triad, a group of possessed mages who run the nearby Spade Kingdom through the power of fear. However, while on this mission, they learn some uncomfortable truths about the evil devils, their plan, and their own origins.
The Case Study Of Vanitas
Studio BONES has worked on loads of beautiful anime, but the gothic steampunk fusion of The Case Study of Vanitas might be the most stunning anime it’s ever created. Set in 19th Century Paris, Vanitas follows Noé Archiviste who is attacked by a crazed vampire. At the last moment, a human gets involved and saves him from the creature before healing it.
This human is revealed to be Vanitas, who says he has the book that Noé has been searching for: the Book of Vanitas. He promises Noé he can cure the entire vampire race of the sinister disease that makes them crazed, but Noé is unsure if he can trust such an enigmatic gentleman.
Ranking Of Kings
One of the most talked-about anime in recent memory, Ranking of Kings has been praised for its disability representation. Based on the manga by Sōsuke Tōka and animated by the legendary Wit Studio, the series follows Prince Bojji, who isn’t like other princes as he can’t hear or speak — nor can he wield a sword, leading to the people calling him The Useless Prince.
However, Bojji refuses to let this stop him and aims to become the best prince anyway. When he meets a shadow creature called Kage, the pair strike up an unlikely friendship. Together, the duo head out on a quest to overcome their problems and show the world what they can do.
Fruits Basket: The Final Season
One of the most anticipated anime seasons in recent memory, Fruits Basket: The Final Season is the third season of TMS Entertainment’s reboot of Natsuki Takaya’s legendary Fruits Basket manga. When Tohru Honda’s mother passes, she finds herself homeless and living in a tent.
However, when she’s discovered by the Soma Clan, she meets Kyo, Yuki, and Shigure and is convinced to move in with them. Soon after, Tohru soon learns her new housemates have a big secret: whenever they are hugged by someone of the opposite gender, or when they’re weak, stressed, or embarrassed, they turn into animals from the Chinese zodiac. This revelation turns Tohru’s life upside down and draws her into a mystery that stretches back for millennia.
Banished From The Hero’s Party, I Decided To Live A Quiet Life In The Countryside
A fantastic twist on the usual fantasy tropes, Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside follows Red, who used to be part of an adventuring party meant to defeat the Raging Demon Lord. But after being betrayed by a member of the group, Red decides to call it quits and sets up an apothecary in a small frontier town. While he enjoys the quiet life, Red soon finds peace isn’t permanent when someone from his past walks into the shop. Featuring beautiful animation by Wolfsbane and Studio Flad, Banished From the Hero’s Party is a delightfully unique take on fantasy adventures.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
The isekai genre may be extremely crowded, but Mushoku Tensei stands out from the pack due to its excellent writing and Studio Bind’s extraordinary animation. When a 34-year-old Japanese NEET’s parents pass away, he becomes homeless, and it seems life can’t get any worse.
However, in traditional isekai fashion, the NEET gets hit by a truck and ends up in another world. He takes the name of Rudeus Greyrat and decides to use his knowledge from his previous life to make this one count for more. This new drive sends Rudeus on an epic fantasy quest as he aims to do the things he never had the confidence to do in his previous life.