As 2021 draws to a close, anime fans are probably looking back and trying to decide which shows were the best of the year. Likewise, those with a bit of a viewing backlog may want to hone in particularly on shows of a certain genre. Anime fans looking for great drama in different subgenres had a lot to watch this year, especially if they're subscribed to Crunchyroll.
From the epic action of shows such as 86-Eighty-Six to the office romance of Ganbare Doki-chan, there have been tons of anime on Crunchyroll in 2021, with new or first seasons that tugged at viewers' heartstrings in one way or another. Here's a look at five dramatic 2021 anime that fans should look out for on Crunchyroll.
Laid-Back Camp Season 2
Although the series started back in 2018, the second season of Laid-Back Camp didn't come out until this year. Based on a manga from creator Afro, the series is about as relaxing as it gets. Former loner Rin Shima soon meets and befriends Nadeshiko, and as they start attending the same school, they and their growing group of friends come together to enjoy the wonders of camping in the great outdoors. The series is never too heavy but also refrains from being a full-on comedy. Instead, it's a rather chill and relaxing "drama" that can be found on Crunchyroll.
Ganbare Douki-chan is a fairly new series based on a doujinshi manga from creator Yomu. The eponymous heroine is Douki-chan, or Doki-chan, who's afraid to admit her feelings for her coworker, Doki-kun. Unfortunately for her, two other employees also vie for her potential beau's affections, making the possible romance of the Dokis a race against time. Some of the more comedic scenes can definitely be on the racier side, but all in all, the show is a mostly wholesome office romance. Check it out on Crunchyroll for some occasionally not quite clean fun.
86-Eighty-Six involves the war between San Magnolia and the Empire of Giad, with the former battling Giad with robots piloted by people known as the 86. Despite how vital the 86 race is to protecting the normal Alba humans of the Empire of Giad, they're heavily oppressed by their own government and seen as disposable. Major Lena Milizé, an Alba woman tasked with leading a team of 86, soon discovers that the reality of the war and the treatment of the 86 is far from what she was led to believe.
Making huge waves on Crunchyroll earlier this year, 86-Eighty-Six is far more than just a mecha series. Diving into social commentary and identity politics involving the treatment of minorities and the realities of war, the series, which is streaming now, more than deserves a place on this list.
To Your Eternity
Although To Your Eternity contains plenty of fantastical elements, it's no less of a dramatic tearjerker at times. Focusing on an immortal being named Fushi, To Your Eternity follows the creature as it takes on many different forms and lives. One of these is that of a wolf, who befriends a young boy. As the boy looks to the wolf for survival, the wolf in turn tries to learn more about humanity through the boy.
Originally planned to come out last year, the anime adaption of To Your Eternity finally premiered earlier this year in April. A second season is on the way and intended for release next October, so until then, head over to Crunchyroll to watch the first twenty episodes of despair, turmoil, hope and humanity.
Tokyo Revengers is a somewhat science fiction twist on the classic yanki Japanese fiction genre. Featuring delinquent youth gangs battling over turf, the time-traveling story is nonetheless rooted in the heart. The main character is Takemichi, a former gang leader who's now a shadow of his former self. Upon discovering that his old gang killed his only true love, he finds himself sent back in time 12 years before.
Now able to fix his life and save his girlfriend and her brother, Takemichi becomes determined to use this strange new ability of his to alter the future for good. The drama is in not only the affection that he has for her and some of his gang member friends, but also the sometimes grisly battles that they get into. To see all of the highs and lows that Takemichi goes through to try to change the future, check out Tokyo Revengers on Crunchyroll.