The play-in games are done! And now, AniMarch Madness 2021 is less than a week way!
On March 1st, we begin our voter-determined tournament where we annually select the best anime in all the land! Voting begins on Monday here on the blog and through our various social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Entrants were chosen based on past performance and by strength within their region. Unlike NCAA March Madness, where teams are selected and then bracketed into regions, we look at the best performing anime within a topical region and slot them in. Our four regions are Popular / Shounen, Critical Darlings, 2020 Anime, and Comedy / Romance Anime. As you can imagine, the 34-anime field is absolutely packed with high-profile series.
By the way, that’s not a typo: There are 34 anime.
Just as with our namesake, we’ll feature some special “sort of first round” match-ups, with Monday showcasing two matches to determine who gets to make it into the dance of 32: Dragon Ball Z vs. Sword Art Online and Demon Slayer vs. The Rising of the Shield Hero. Demon Slayer is the most interesting case here, I think, as it was the runner-up for the entire tournament in 2020 (My Hero Academia won), but lost its play-in match this year due to some heavy retweeting by the Fairy Tail fandom on Twitter. Demon Slayer gets a second life, though the road will be hard: not only must it make it through this extra round, but it also has much tougher path to get to the finals.
Speaking of challenging paths, everyone is going to face a tough out, eventually, with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood if they make it that far. FMAB won the tourney the first three years we had it (and handily each time), before being temporarily retired by us last year. Voters brought the series back in for 2021, and we’ll see if Edward Elric and company can continue their undefeated ways.
So take a look at the bracket below, see if your favorites made it in, get excited, and come back to this site and our social media platforms on March 1st!
Let the madness begin!