With Fall 2020 coming out strong with releases like Jujutsu Kaisen and Higurashi: When They Cry - GOU, the Winter 2021 anime season has a tough act to follow, especially given that our most anticipated release of 2020, Attack on Titan's final season, has yet to be aired. And even though we are a few months away from January, we are still looking forward to the New Year, which is sure to be just as strong with anime like Beastars, Season 2, The Promised Neverland, Season 2, Kemono Jihen, and more confirmed.
With that said, here’s the anime we are looking forward to watching the most in January 2021! To see the full list of what's releasing in Winter 2021, also check out the 2021 anime release schedule.
Release date: January 10, 2021
Why I’m excited for it: An anime adaptation for Sho Aimoto’s manga Kemono Jihen will be releasing on January 10th, and I'm excited to dive into this mysterious shonen, especially given that it includes elements of the occult and otherworldly forces.
I really enjoy series like these that delve more into the supernatural realm, but still give you an action-packed, thrilling experience. Because of this, even though I don't think its going to be near as popular, I feel that it has a similar appeal to other anime I enjoy, like Jujutsu Kaisen. I personally believe it's going to be one of the best new series to debut next year and I'm interested to see how well they pull this one off in January.
SK8 the Infinity
Release date: January 9, 2021
Why I’m excited for it: SK8 the Infinity is an original anime coming out on January 9th. Not only is Bones behind the animation, but it is also being directed by Hiroko Utsumi (Banana Fish, Free!) with series composition/screenplay by Ichiro Ohkouchi (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress) and character design by Michinori Chiba (Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Basilisk). I'm partially excited for this one because it has such an incredible team behind it, but I'm also highly intrigued by its premise. An anime that's about a dangerous downhill skateboarding race that takes place in an abandoned mine? Sold.
It sounds like it's going to be somewhere in the vein of anime like Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle, but instead of immersing you in hip hop culture, it's going to immerse you in skate culture. And of course, instead of battling it out with words, those in SK8 the Infinity battle it out with skateboards. I'm really interested in these types of series that while somewhat bonkers and strange, are entirely addicting and full of heart. I can't wait to see what SK8 the Infinity has in store for us this January.
Studio: Studio VOLN
Release date: January 8, 2021
Why I’m excited for it: Much like SK8 the Infinity, I'm mostly excited to watch Back Arrow, because the forces behind it are so strong. With director Goro Taniguchi (Code Geass), writer Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, and Promare), and Studio VOLN behind the series, I was already intrigued, but the story follows a character named Back Arrow that interests me as well.
I have a feeling that this one will have some of the best world-building out of all the anime coming out in January, especially since it's set in a land called Ringarindo that's surrounded by a wall. From what I've read and heard so far, this one is coming out of the gate strong and I hope it turns out as amazing as I think it's going to.
Release date: January 9, 2021
Why I’m excited for it: Horimiya is a manga written by HERO and illustrated by Hagiwara Daisuke, and its adaptation is releasing this January at a TBD date. This is one that's going have incredible animation thanks to CloverWorks, who have worked on anime like The Promised Neverland and The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED.
It's a slice of life, romance, and comedy anime and its storyline follows two individuals that are hiding something. They come together to share their secrets and end up bonding over them, so it's going to be a heartwarming watch. While a large focus of this anime is going to be on school life and romance, it's very funny as well and I'm highly anticipating its release this January.
Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki
Studio: Project No.9
Release date: January 8, 2021
Why I’m excited for it: The anime adaptation for the light novel Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki written by Yuuki Yaku and illustrated by Fly is releasing at a TBD date in January 2021. As someone who's not familiar with the source material, I still found myself interested in the synopsis, which tells the story of two gamers. Tomozaki, who is one of the best gamers in Japan but not so great at the game of life, meets a gamer on his level and she ends up teaching him a few things.
This anime falls within the same genres of Horimiya, but I think I'm even more interested in seeing what this one has to offer. As we've seen with Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, series like these that follow their characters' school days and romantic interests are some of the best if they have a unique perspective and a good sense of humor. I'm hopeful that Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki will follow in the same footsteps and turn out to be one of the most entertaining releases in January.
The Promised Neverland, Season 2
Release date: January 6, 2021
Why I’m excited for it: We've all been anxiously awaiting The Promised Neverland's second season, which was first scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2020. It was delayed to the Winter 2021 anime season due to COVID-19, and an air date of January 6, 2021 was recently confirmed. But if anything is well worth the wait, it's The Promised Neverland, especially after the events that occurred in the first season.
This is not only my most anticipated release of January, but one of my most anticipated releases in all of 2021. The Promised Neverland has an eerie feel and atmosphere that sends chills down your spine, but it's also exhilarating to watch as well. Currently, there's still a ton that has yet to be revealed from the manga, and I'm anxious for the mystery to further unfold in the second season.
Beastars, Season 2
Release date: Beastars, Season 2 will begin streaming on Netflix in Japan on January 5, 2021.
Why I’m excited for it: Beastars anime came out with its first season just last year and it was one of my favorite releases of 2019. Apart from its story, which follows the struggles that predators and herbivores have in a co-existing world, Beastars' animation is impeccably done with impactful scenes and stunning visuals.
My mind still isn't 100% sold on CGI, but series like Beastars and Dorohedoro are two anime that are continuing to prove it can be done right. I binged the first season in a few days and I have no doubt that I'll do the same with the second. I'm excited to pick back up where things left off at the end of the first season and I am looking forward to more action-packed episodes with the Shishigumi involved.
Dr. Stone: Stone Wars
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Release date: Dr. Stone: Stone Wars is releasing on January 14, 2021. It will be streaming on Crunchyroll in the following territories: North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, and CIS.
Why I’m excited for it: The second season of Dr. Stone will be releasing at a TBD date in January 2021. I'm excited for Dr. Stone: Stone Wars because it marks the start of the war between Senku and Tsukasa and really sees the two and their differing ideologies clash more than ever before.
TMS Entertainment is returning to do the animation for season 2, which I'm happy about because they did an incredible job last year. But, the thing I'm looking forward to most about this season is seeing more of characters, like Hyoga, who was first introduced first in Episode 18. Everything is coming to a head in Dr. Stone: Stone Wars and I'm anxious to see the fights and battles that are to come this January!
Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time
Release date: It was confirmed by the latest teaser video that Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time will be releasing in Japan on January 23, 2021.
Why I’m excited for it: Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time was first expected to release in 2015, but it was indefinitely delayed until further notice. Then, we finally received news that it was going to release in the Summer of 2020, but was delayed again due to the pandemic. For some time, it felt like we'd never get to see the film, but according to its latest promo video it's finally releasing in Japan on January 23, 2021.
When it will be reaching the rest of the world has yet to be confirmed, but it's well worth the wait. The build-up of this film has made my excitement grow exponentially over the years, and while it's somewhat bittersweet that this will be the last in the Rebuild of Evangelion series, I'm looking forward to seeing its conclusion next year.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Dragon's Judgement
Studio: Studio DEEN
Release date: The Seven Deadly Sins: Dragon's Judgement is releasing in Japan on January 6, 2021. It will be available to stream on Netflix at a TBD date in 2021.
Why I’m excited for it: The Seven Deadly Sins: Dragon's Judgement just recently announced that it will be releasing in Japan on January 6, 2021; However, it won't be available to stream on Netflix until a later date in the year. It will be the anime series' final chapter and is yet another anime that will be reaching its conclusion in 2021. This season sees our heroes crossing the boundaries of heaven and hell to save the ones they love. It's going to be yet another eventful season for The Seven Deadly Sins and I am highly anticipating its release this January.
Other anime we are also looking forward to in January 2021: World Trigger, Season 2, Log Horizon, Season 3, Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World, Season 2 (Part 2), That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Season 2
A lot of anime has been revealed and confirmed for 2021, but these are the ones we are looking forward to most in the Winter 2021 anime season! As more release dates are announced, we will continue to update this post.
To see all of the anime that's releasing in 2021, including January, check out the full 2021 anime release schedule!