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The Fall 2021 anime season is well underway, and there’s a lot of great anime, so naturally there will also be some ‘hidden gem’ titles that might get overlooked despite their quality. This can be pretty subjective, and so this article will base it on Anime Corner’s own community and the weekly rankings we’ve had so far. If you already know and watch everything on the list, you can just skip ahead and vote for them to rank up in Week 4! If you don’t, maybe read ahead and try some of them out before deciding if they deserve your support.
Ranking of Kings
WIT Studio’s latest anime and the hidden gem of Fall 2021 on this list that most people have already found, Ranking of Kings is definitely a show with the potential of being compared to the best of the year after its run. It has 2 precious main characters, an interesting setting with the kings in the story having actual ranks depending on power and influence, a beautiful art style and animation, great opening and ending theme songs, and some heavy feels right from episode 1. Funimation streams the anime, and they describe the story:
Unable to hear or speak, Prince Bojji sets off on an adventure to prove that he’s a worthy heir…with the help of a shadow named Kage.
Rankings of Kings has been present on our polls since Week 2. The episode releases less than a day before voting closes, and so it ranked 29th in its debut. The following week, it had another great episode, although once again it had little time to affect its rank, and it ranked 19th. We will see what happens this Friday, and hopefully it moves up again!
Another underrated hidden gem of the Fall 2021 season is undoubtedly SAKUGAN. It tells a story of Memempu and Gagumber, a father/daughter duo living underground in a world crawling with kaiju/huge monsters. There are Markers and Workers, and Memempu wants to become a Marker and travel to a place she dreams of, much to her father’s dissatisfaction.
It has great animation, a world and setting reminiscent of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and characters that are extremely likable. It doesn’t lack heavy moments either, and the duo’s adventure is only going to get more dangerous! Crunchyroll streams the anime, and they describe the story:
One day in the distant future. Humans live shoulder to shoulder in “colonies” separated by rock. Outside the colonies, a dangerous undeveloped area called “the Labyrinth” is expanding. Those who risk their lives to develop “the Labyrinth”, who mark out the undeveloped areas, are known as “Markers”. A young girl, Memempu, who wants to be a Marker one day, and a man, Gagumber, who used to be one. This mismatched father and daughter now take on the Labyrinth! “If there’s no path, dig one!”
Also watch the trailer:
SAKUGAN maintaned the 19th rank in weeks 1 and 2, while dropping to 20th in week 3. Don’t forget to vote for it if you do catch up and enjoy it!
Taisho Otome Fairy Tale
Arguably the most wholesome show of the Fall 2021 season, Taisho Otome Fairy Tale is the rom-com hidden gem anime here. Much like The Duke of Death and his Maid, it has an unfortunate main character with the perfect best girl to support him away from the dark thoughts. Fortunately, Tamahiko can touch others, and Yuzu doesn’t shy away from doing just that. The two share many precious moments that help the self-proclaimed pessimist MC, whose family will slowly get involved as well and face Yuzu’s perfection. Funimation streams the anime, and they describe the story:
Shima Tamahiko has been exiled to the country because of his disability, but the sudden arrival of an arranged bride upends his lonely life.
Also watch the trailer:
Taisho Otome Fairy Tale is actually the first hidden gem that broke into the top 10 this season, ranking 9th in week 3. It was previously 13th in week 2, which was the first week it was eligible. Although its rank seems decent, there’s not that many people talking about it, and so it still made this list. Make sure to vote for its 3rd episode to help its rank this Friday!
An idol anime that has the girls participate in a reality show called… Selection Project. As idol anime usually does, Selection Project has good animation and singing, though this one also hits us with some heavy feels in episode 1. The reality show has the girls team up & compete in different events, with the aim of getting ‘yells’ from fans on social media. They need a certain amount of those to move on to the next round, with cameras following them much like real-life reality shows. They have tutors and mentors help them practice for events, though they also have to grow and learn things on their own.
Funimation streams the anime, and they describe the story:
Suzune Miyama, sick since childhood, used idol Akari Amasawa’s music for courage. Now older, she’s auditioning to become an idol herself.
Also watch the introduction trailer:
An idol anime is often likely to be a hidden gem, and Fall 2021 has Selection Project. It ranked 13th in week 1, going to 20th in week 2 when more shows released. Then it dropped to 21st last week. In case you catch up and enjoy it, make sure to give it a vote!
The Heike Story
With direction by the famous ex-KyoAni director Naoko Yamada at studio Science SARU, The Heike Story is another hidden gem of Fall 2021. The anime adapts the story The Tale of the Heike, which was translated into modern Japanese by Hideo Furukawa. Funimation started streaming it on September 15, an entire season ahead of the broadcast in Japan, which is set for January 2022. It tells a traditional Japanese tale of the battles of the Taira and Minamoto clans for control of Japan during the Genpei War (1180 – 1185). The main character Biwa is the main character who can see the future, but is unable to change much and so is mostly a passive observer.
The painting-like art style is beautiful. While you should remain focused to understand everything properly, it’s worth it and Biwa’s journey will be worth following. Funimation describes the story:
A psychic orphan is taken in by the powerful Taira Clan. Unfortunately, what she predicts is a future filled with violence and civil war.
The Heike Story has been sitting at rank 32-31 for the first weeks. That’s the lowest from this list, so don’t forget to vote for it if you’re watching it!
The Faraway Paladin
Finally, the last Fall 2021 hidden gem on this list is The Faraway Paladin. It’s an isekai heavily influenced by Mushoku Tensei (which is mostly ranked 1st this season). It also tells a story of a man who decides to live a proper life in the new world. However, animation is not the main talking point here. Instead, it has a very interesting magic system and world-building, as well as interesting characters, alive and undead. The author has said multiple times he’s a huge fan of Dungeons & Dragons, and it’s evident in the anime as well. If you are a fan of the game or interested in a fun new isekai, give The Faraway Paladin a shot!
Crunchyroll streams the anime, and they describe the story:
In the ruined city of the dead far from human civilization lives a single human child named Will. He is raised by three undead: Blood the heroic skeleton warrior, Mary the ladylike mummy priestess, and Gus the crotchety ghost wizard. The three of them teach the boy what they know and pour their love into him. One day, the boy begins to wonder, “Who am I?” Will uncovers the mysteries of the undead hidden in this faraway land. He learns of the love and mercy of good gods, as well as the paranoia and madness of evil gods. And once he learns it all, the boy embarks on the path to becoming a Paladin.
The Faraway Paladin ranked 11th in week 2, and dropped to 15th in week 3. Also watch the trailer:
These anime shows are the hidden gems of Fall 2021 based on our rankings so far. However, there’s more shows I haven’t seen yet, and there’s probably some more underrated great ones! Feel free to let us know if you think there’s more hidden gems this season. Once again, don’t forget to vote for your favorites every week!