Sexy voice actors, the end of Evangelion, and a message from Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki.

You can’t spend a year watching the Japanese pop culture landscape without spending a whole lot of time looking at anime and manga. There were plenty of stories for us all to sink our otaku teeth into during 2021, so today let’s take a look back at 10 of the best, five from the anime/manga world at large, and five more specifically about the jewel in the Japanese animation crown, Studio Ghibli.

Top anime stories of 2021

The Japanese Internet chooses the top too-sexy-for-their-own-good male voices in anime

While it’s usually anime’s distinct visual styles that draw newcomers in, cultured fans know that the way their favorite character sounds works its way through their ears and into their heart, where it never lets go, especially when it’s a voice as sexy as these terrific ten.

Japanese manga lovers vote for top five shonen manga with the best endings

A key difference between shonen manga and American superhero comics is that instead of ascending to an endless cycle of reboots and retellings, shonen manga eventually end. These are five that stuck that totally landing, even if one of them is actually about volleyball, not gymnastics.

Final Evangelion movie is finally out, and we’ve seen it! Our Eva fans’ spoiler-free impressions

It’s so hard to believe that you might have convinced yourself that you imagined it, but yes, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time really did come out in 2021. We had to wait nine years since the preceding Rebuild of Evangelion movie, but finally watching the very end of the franchise, 26 years after its TV anime beginning, is an experience we’ll never forget.

Netflix offering full Tokyo anime school scholarships with living expense support, open to foreigners

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the economic hardships faced by entry-level animators in Japan and the possible long-term effects they’re going to have on the country’s animation talent pool. Another point of discussion has been the financial muscle that Netflix brings to the industry with its recent anime awakening, and here’s one way those two topics are converging.

Top 100 manga of all time chosen by survey of 150,000 Japanese people

Sure, endings are important, but what really makes a great manga series is the entire reading experience, and here are 100 that fans say are worth your time from start to finish.

Top Studio Ghibli stories of 2021

Studio Ghibli helped create final Evangelion movie, since no one else had the right machine【Video】

Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki and Evangelion creator go way back – it was Miyazaki himself who gave Anno his big break animating a key sequence in Nausicaaa of the Valley of the Wind. So when Anno needed a certain piece of specialized equipment to complete his vision for the final Eva movie, he knew just who to turn to.

Studio Ghibli’s first anime heroine (no, not Nausicaa) gets an awesome new figure【Photos】

Speaking of Nausicaaa, she’s actually not Studio Ghibli’s first heroine, since the first official Ghibli movie was Laputa: Castle in the Sky. But even within that movie, there’s a character who’s been at the heroine business longer than female lead Sheeta.

No Face lights the way in new lineup of Spirited Away anime merchandise from Japan

You could make a solid argument either way as to whether Spirited Away’s most memorable monster is cute or creepy. If you’re in the “cute” camp, though, this interior accent is a great way to give your home a special kind of warmth (or to freak out your housemates who are scared of No Face).

Ghibli Museum asking for donations from overseas fans to help it through hard times

The coronavirus isn’t known for its mercy, and the ongoing pandemic has put a serious hurt on Tokyo’s Ghibli Museum, which has reached out to its international fanbase for help weathering the storm.

New Studio Ghibli x Seiko watch comes with a touching message from Hayao Miyazaki

99 times out of a hundred, Hayao Miyazaki is too busy working on his next film to be bothered to be involved in marketing or merchandising. He made time, though, to talk about time.

Top image © SoraNews24
Insert images: Pakutaso, SoraNews24, Donguri Kyowakoku, Studio Ghibli
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