Year in Review: Breaking Down 2021 Anime on Funimation

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Liam Dempsey
Der shy man behind Shymander—a timezone-fluid Aussie with a penchant for anime, Eurovision, and researching odd topics. He'll also talk about Mob Psycho 100.

Numbers.

They’re the funny little things that tell us how well we did in Wordle, which sports team to be frustrated at, how much I benefit each pay cycle from the USD to AUD conversion rate, and so forth.

But this is the Funimation Blog, so we should talk about anime…or rather, let’s talk about all the pieces that make it possible, as it did in spectacular fashion once again in 2021!

The protagonists we rooted for, the diverse worlds they inhabited, the staff members that brought it all to life—it’s time to dive back into all these and more in the 2021 edition of Funimation Year in Review!

*All stats are related to only Funimation’s simulcasts, excluding two subsections under Title Trends to illustrate the full observation and just how seriously amusing it is.

Funimation 2021 in Anime
Data collected from 92 series that were simulcast on Funimation in 2021, including 87 anime and 5 donghua
Section 1: Title Trends
The median title length was 25 characters long. Example: MUTEKING THE Dancing HERO.
The longest title length was 84 characters long: Example: Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Season 2 -The Eve of Awakening-
The shortest title length was 7 characters long. Example: RE-MAIN
For simulcasts across all services, not just Funimation, there was an all-time high of titles with significant or full capitalization, up to 36 in 2021 from 22 in 2020.
Examples: WONDER EGG PRIORITY, SHADOWS HOUSE, etc.
In the same criteria, there was also a record number of anime starting with "The". Up to 19 in 2021 from an average of 9 in the last four years.
Examples: The Case Study of Vanitas, The Detective Is Already Dead, etc.
Section 2: Type & Source
Back to Funimation's simulcasts, there were 45 new adaptations, 24 sequels, 21 original series, and 2 reboots 
What were they based on?
28 from manga, 25 from novels, 8 from video games, 2 from a card game, 1 from anime, 1 from a stage reading, and 1 from a visual novel
How long did we wait between source and adaptation?
The longest were 700 plus years for The Heike Story, 13 years and 8 months for The World Ends with You The Animation, 9 years and 3 months for Horimiya, 9 years and 2 months for The Honor at Magic High School, and 9 years and 2 months for Kageki Shojo
How long did we wait between the previous part and direct sequel?
The longest were 4 years for Restaurant to Another World 2, 3 years and 7 months for Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table, 2 years and 9 months for MEGALOBOX 2: NOMAD, 2 years and 7 months for How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Ω, and 2 years and 4 months for ZOMBIE LAND SAGA REVENGE
How far along were they?
68 were a first season, 18 were a second season, 4 were a third season, 1 was a fourth season, and 1 was a fifth season
Section 3: Genre
In order of most frequent, 49 were tagged as Action/Adventure, 31 as Comedy, 31 as Fantasy, 30 as Drama, 23 as Sci-Fi, 20 as Slice of Life, 12 as Romance, 12 as Shounen, 8 as Horror, 5 as Psychological, 2 as Fan Service, 2 as Shoujo
What sports did they play?
Battle Athletes Victory ReSTART! had athletics, MEGALOBOX 2: NOMAD had boxing, PuraOre! ~Pride of Orange~ had ice hockey, SK8 the Infinity had skateboarding, 2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team had volleyball, and RE-MAIN had water polo
Section 4: Setting
When did they take place?
48 series took place in the present day.
11 series took place in the past, with 15 series that were past-like
Timeline of known past settings: 1983 for Higurashi: When They Cry - SOTSU; 1960 for Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut; 1923 for MARS RED; 1921 for Taisho Otome Fairy Tale; the 1910s for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Mugen Train Arc and Entertainment District Arc; the 19th century for Moriarty the Patriot Part 2, The Case Study of Vanitas, and SHADOWS HOUSE; 1180 for The Heike Story
15 series took place in the future, with 6 series that were futuristic
Timeline of known future settings: "near future" for Full Dive: This Ultimate Next-Gen Full Dive RPG Is Even Shittier than Real Life!, Scarlet Nexus, Scar on the Praetar, and MUTEKING THE Dancing HERO; 2029 for RUMBLE GARANNDOL, 2046 for The Promised Neverland Season 2; 2061 for Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song and AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline; 2095 for The Honor at Magic High School; late 21st century for Ancient Girl's Frame and MEGALOBOX 2: NOMAD, 5100 for Battle Athletes Victory ReSTART!; 5740 for Dr. STONE Season 2
Where did they take place?
4 series were across space
64 series were on Earth, including 48 in Japan, 3 in China, 1 in France, 1 in the United States, 1 in Russia, 1 in the United Kingdom, and 2 in the Human Body
22 series took place in another world, 9 of which were isekai
2 series took place between Earth and Another World
There were 86 unique protagonists across 92 series; 4 double-ups and 2 series without a definitive main character were subtracted
Section 1: In Gender
56 were male and 30 were female
Section 2: In Color
The most common hair and eye color combo was brown-and-brown, at 9 protagonists
21 protagonists had a wholly unique combo of hair and eye color
There were 3 protagonists with heterochromia, 2 of which had black hair plus brown and blue eyes on opposing sides
Section 3: In Demographic
53 protagonists were teens, 24 were adults, 5 were children, and 4 did not have an applicable age
Section 4: In Species
69 protagonists were human, 4 were vampires, 3 were half-humans, 2 were cells, 2 were robots, 1 was a country, 1 was a demon, 1 was a dragon, 1 was a giant, 1 was a slime, and 1 was a zombie
Funimation 2021 in Directors
There were 94 unique directors across 86 anime
12 made their debut as a lead director
The studios with the most series were LIDENFILMS and Sunrise at 5; and CloverWorks and J.C.STAFF at 4
Funimation 2021 in Theme Song Artists
There were 227 unique opening and ending theme performances
Section 1: 100 Opening Themes
32 were performed by a solo female, 4 of which included a debut and 10 which included a cast member of the series
24 were performed by an all-male group, 7 of which included a debut and 2 which included a cast member of the series
18 were performed by an all-female group, 6 of which included a debut and 12 which included a cast member of the series
13 were performed by a solo male, 3 of which included a debut and 4 which included a cast member of the series
13 were performed by a mixed group, 5 of which included a debut and 5 which included a cast member of the series
Section 2: 127 Ending Themes
48 were performed by a solo female, 6 of which included a debut and 21 which included a cast member of the series
35 were performed by an all-female group, 11 of which included a debut and 27 which included a cast member of the series
21 were performed by a solo male, 7 of which included a debut and 4 which included a cast member of the series
18 were performed by an all-male group, 11 of which included a debut and 7 which included a cast member of the series
5 were performed by a mixed group, 3 of which included a debut and 1 which included a cast member of the series
Funimation 2021 in Japanese Voice Actors
There were 1,519 unique Japanese voice actors from 3,918 recorded credits. 29 landed their first main role.
Section 1: Taking the Lead, who we heard the most in main and supporting roles
Makoto Furukawa with a total of 10 roles; 3 main, 7 supporting
Ai Kayano with a total of 9 roles; 1 main, 8 supporting
Akira Ishida with a total of 9 roles; 1 main, 8 supporting
M・A・O with a total of 9 roles; 9 supporting
Natsuki Hanae with a total of 9 roles; 4 main, 5 supporting
Yuichi Nakamura with a total of 9 roles; 2 main, 7 supporting
Yusuke Kobayashi with a total of 9 roles; 4 main, 5 supporting
Bonus: Junya Enoki had the most main roles with 5, M・A・O had the most supporting roles with 9
Section 2: The Backbone, who we heard the most on the side/in the background
Koichi Soma with 17 roles as a side character or additional voices
Shinya Takahashi with 15 roles as a side character or additional voices
Shogo Sakata with 15 roles as a side character or additional voices
Section 3: Attached at the Voice, who co-starred together the most consistently
Part A: Overall, out of 245 voice actors with 5 plus roles
Akinori Egoshi with Junichi Yanagita at 100%, 7 out of 7
Makoto Sahara with Reigo Yamaguchi at 100%, 7 out of 7
Masashi Nogawa with Koichi Soma at 100%, 6 out of 6
Mayu Minami with Ayaka Shimizu at 100%, 6 out of 6
Shin Matsuhige with Koichi Soma at 100%, 5 out of 5
Part B: Main and Secondary Roles Only, out of 63 voice actors with 5+ roles
Tomoaki Maeno with Akira Ishida at 71.5%, 5 out of 7
Kenta MIyake with Yuuki Kaji at 66.7%, 4 out of 6
Yuichiro Umehara with Takuya Eguchi at 66.7%, 4 out of 6
Takahiro Sakurai with Takuya Eguchi at 62.5%, 5 out of 8
Takuya Eguchi with Takahiro Sakurai at 62.5%, 5 out of 8
Funimation 2021 in English Dub Voice Actors
There were 571 unique English voice actors from 2,102 recorded credits across 60 dubs. 18 landed their first main role.
Section 1: Taking the Lead, who we heard the most in main and supporting roles
David Matranga with 11 roles; 3 main, 8 supporting
Sarah Wiedenheft with 10 roles; 4 main, 6 supporting
Alejandro Saab with 9 roles; 5 main, 4 supporting
Christopher Wehkamp with 9 roles; 9 supporting
Daman Mills with 9 roles; 1 main, 8 supporting
Jad Saxton with 9 roles; 3 main, 6 supporting
Kristen McGuire with 9 roles; 2 main, 7 supporting
Stephen Fu with 9 roles; 2 main, 7 supporting
Tia Ballard with 9 roles; 2 main, 7 supporting
Bonus: Alejandro Saan had the most main roles with 5, Christopher Wehkamp had the most supporting roles with 9
Section 2: The Backbone, who we heard the most on the side/in the background
Ben Balmaceda with 18 roles as a side character or additional voices
Brianna Roberts with 15 roles as a side character or additional voices
Kevin Thelwell with 15 roles as a side character or additional voices
Section 3: Attached at the Voice, who co-starred together the most consistently
Part A: Overall, out of 153 voice actors with 5 plus roles
Lizzie Freeman with Daman Mills at 100%, 5 out of 5
Jerry Jewell with J. MIchael Tatum at 100%, 5 out of 5
Jim Foronda with Dawn M. Bennett at 88.9%, 8 out of 9
Sarah Roach with Dani Chambers at 81.8%, 9 out of 11
Part B: Main and Secondary Roles Only, out of 48 voice actors with 5+ roles
Dani Chambers with Christopher Wehkamp at 66.7%, 4 out of 6
J. Michael Tatum with Sarah Wiedenheft at 66.7%, 4 out of 6
Zeno Robinson with Howard Wang at 60%, 3 out of 5
Anairis Quiñones with Alejandro Saab at 60%, 3 out of 5
Plus 6 more with 60%

A huge thank you to the many sources that went into the buildout of this project, especially Anime News Network, AniList, an immense number of wikis…

…and to everyone who made anime possible in 2021.

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