Dean Daley’s five favourite things of 2021

While 2021 wasn’t as good as we’d hoped, it was still better than the crap year that was 2020. It had some good parts, and finally getting vaccinated helped a lot; however, 2019 was still much better.

Anyways, let’s stop talking about the year that was 2021 and talk about my favourite content I consumed this year. As always, I mainly want to talk about the anime I watched this year, but I also don’t want to seem too weeby.

Here are my favourite things from 2021:

Favourite Game

Let’s talk about games because I barely play them anymore. So honestly, my favourite title this year was probably Elden Ring, but considering it was just a tiny preview of the entire game that doesn’t launch until next year, I’ll save my love until the full release.

Skipping past Elden Ring, my favourite title that was fully released this year was Deathloop. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed playing this game.

Colt, the main character you play throughout the game, offers humour as he tries to figure out what happened to him and get out of the loop. Following Colt, the main antagonist, Juliana, is funny and annoying, but offers the player so much information throughout the title.

Colt and Juliana’s tic for tac kept me entertained during my playthrough. Additionally, Ozioma Akagha did such a phenomenal job voice acting as Julianna. There were parts of the game where we’d hear Julianna speak through the radio, but we wouldn’t see her and even then, I could imagine her facial reactions. It honestly felt like she was an annoying sister that I wish would leave me alone.

The game’s plot was exciting, and it kept me entertained, which is honestly not that easy nowadays. And the whole idea of a loop that you can’t get out of, but could still gain new abilities and weapons that you can keep with you throughout the loop was really neat. Arcane Studios did a marvellous job.

Additionally, as my co-worker Brad Shankar knows, I’m a sucker for a game that gives me super abilities, so teleporting, going invisible or just powering up and going HAM was pretty awesome.

And while I didn’t think this had a lot of bearing in the game, like Miles Morales, it was pretty cool that Colt and Julianna were both Black characters.

Honourable Mentions: N/A (I didn’t play a lot of new games this year) 

Favourite Shows

Now, we got to talk about all the fantastic shows I watched this year, and unlike video games, I watched a lot of content on Netflix, Crave and Prime Video.

Some of the shows I found pretty exciting include, Hellbound, Shadow and Bone, The Irregulars, Sweet Tooth, Jupiter’s Legacy and far too many others to talk about. However, this year’s favourite series was Arcane,League of Legends animated series.

The show speaks about mental health, the difficulties in living in a more impoverished district, and you know so much magic.

While I’m not someone who plays League of Legends, I love playing the mobile version, Wild Rift and one of my best friends is obsessed with lore, so I had some background knowledge of the characters. So, seeing Jayce, Jinx, Vi, Caitlin, and my beloved Ekko on the large screen (I have a 60-inch, so not super large, but bigger than my monitor) was pretty fun and interesting.

Additionally, Arcane was also so artistically animated. Everything from the characters to the fight sequences, and even when we got a look at the utopian Piltover. And the characters were so convincing; I truly believed in Jinx’s struggles, Jayce’s belief that he was making a better world and Vi’s love for her sister.

I can’t wait for the show’s second season and for Riot to expand on the universe.

Honourable Mentions: Elite season 4, Invincible, The Falcon and Winter Soldier

Favourite Anime

This year I watched a lot of anime, like way too many; if I had a “cool” status, it would have been revoked this year.

So technically, my favourite anime this year came out at the end of last year, and I didn’t discover it until January, but I’m still going to choose it.

I absolutely loved Jujutsu Kaisen. This series is phenomenal, with high-action scenes and tons of physical and magical fighting. The characters are funny, personable, and relatable and have are very distinct from one another. I’m pretty big on how things are animated, and Jujutsu Kaisen had some beautifully animated fight choreography, some of the best I’ve ever seen.

I honestly watched the whole series about four times this year because I just thought it was so good.

And knowing that one of the main characters is LGBT makes for an even better show.

Honourable Mentions: Haikyuu (I know this isn’t new, but like just started it), Moshoku Tensei: A Jobless Reincarnation, Star Wars: Visions

Favourite movie

So I’m going to try and be as spoiler-free as possible. My favourite movie this year was Spider-Man: No Way Home. My favourite MCU movie was Spider-ManHomecoming; I loved seeing Tom Holland as Spider-Man in that movie as I found he did the best job embodying the character, especially when compared to the ever-so-whiney Tobey Maguire.

Spider-Man: No Way Home I found compelling; you see Holland’s Peter’s innocence, a world where Tom is lacking Iron Man’s influence, and Peter going through some pretty difficult circumstances.

I had moments where I cried, laughed, was intensely quiet and glued to the TV.

I don’t want to say anymore because I want to avoid spoilers, but you should give it a shot if you haven’t watched it.

Honourable Mentions: The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, Encanto

Okay, I don’t really have any more favourites, but I really loved that I learned how to bake cornbread this year, got two (and now three) vaccinations so I can finally see some friends, fell in love with Elderflower liqueurs, and got to work out at gyms again.

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