2021 Anime Predictions

By Liam Moore

January 22, 2021

2020 was most likely the worst year anyone has experienced, and the way 2021 started, it doesn’t look like much has changed. However, 2020 was a great year for anime and had some exciting new shows and fan favourites. Luckily, 2021 looks to have some good anime in store for us.

Firstly, we have Attack on Titan: The Final Season. In a world filled with giants known as Titans, Eren Yeager seeks revenge against those who killed his parents and endangered his home. Although the first episode aired in December 2020, the final season of this hit show will finish in 2021 and is so popular that it can’t be left out on this list. It is arguably one of the most popular anime in the 21st century.

Next is the second season of The Promised Neverland, a fantasy thriller anime that follows three children, Emma, Norman, and Ray, as they attempt to escape from the orphanage they live in. This seemingly innocent anime gained popularity for its shock factor. The first episode of the second season aired on January 6.

Third on this list is 2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu, a sports and drama anime about a high school transer volleyball player, Kimichika Haijima leading the school’s team to victory. Most anime fans know that Haikyu!! is the most popular volleyball anime, but 2.43 aired just after the finishing of the fourth season of Haikyu!!. This means that this anime will not be overshadowed by its more popular counterpart. The first episode aired on January 7.

The hit sci-fi drama anime Dr. Stone will air the first episode of its second season on January 14. The anime follows Senku, a young prodigy scientist after all living things were encased in stone for thousands of years. Senku attempts to rebuild civilization from the stone age to modern day during his lifespan. 

Next is the fifth season of My Hero Academia, an action anime set in a world where many people are born with superpowers and being a superhero is a common profession. The plot follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without a superpower, as he tries to become a superhero. The first episode of the fifth season airs on March 27.

Lastly, the second season of The Rising of The Shield Hero will be airing sometime in 2021, the date is yet to be announced. The action fantasy anime follows Naofumi Iwatani as he is transported to another world and made into one of the Four Cardinal heroes. Unfortunately for Naofumi, the shield hero is hated by most people in this new world. Naofumi attempts to get revenge against the monarchy who mistreated him.

Much like last year, 2021 seems to have a lot of popular anime in store for the anime community. These six anime should be on your radar if you are into anime. However, there are many more anime coming out this year which are just as popular.


By Sophia Pilot

January 22, 2021

COVID-19 has altered many high school traditions, one being juniors taking the Scholastic Admission Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT) in their spring semester. With college on the horizon, many juniors are frustrated with the uncertainty of whether or not standardized tests will be administered because of the precautionary measures the pandemic requires.  

By now, juniors are familiar with the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) that is administered in October of every year, to help students prepare for the SAT. Additionally, If your score lands you in the 99th percentile among juniors taking the PSAT, you are eligible to earn scholarship money and national recognition. If the PSAT is canceled as a result of changes to county health protocols, there is still a chance for juniors to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. Malibu High School’s College Counselor Mrs. Snyder assured students that by taking the SAT in June or August and completing an entry form online will allow students to be eligible.

A survey was conducted on Malibu High School’s junior Google Classroom page in order to gauge interest in taking the PSAT on January 26 at MHS. According to the 116 juniors who completed the survey, only 32 expressed interest in taking the test. Malibu High’s College Coordinator, Ms. Samsel will contact parents of the 32 students with test day specifics. Masks will be required and there will be around 10 students in each room to follow social distancing protocols. 

Some students are questioning whether the SAT is necessary given that many colleges are now test-optional or test-blind, meaning that the SAT scores are not mandatory. Colleges consider other factors to differentiate students such as personal statements, AP scores, and interviews. Some schools have not yet released their admissions requirements so it is important to consider taking the test. 

For the past several years Malibu High School administered the SAT to juniors in April, this year, however, MHS has not yet released any information regarding their plan. Mrs. Snyder explains the status of the test at MHS, “As of right now, we still plan on offering the SAT to juniors if they would like to take the SAT, given health and safety regulations from the school, district, and county offices. More information will be given to students and parents soon.” Malibu High School’s SAT is not listed on the College Board website, but there are other locations in LA and Ventura counties where the test is being administered. This is all subject to change with the unpredictability of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The College Board announced that the optional essay will be discontinued for SAT exams administered starting in June 2021. Additionally, SAT Subject Tests will be canceled in order to reduce the demands on students. The College Board is attempting to offer the SAT online, similar to the AP test, assuming technical difficulties are resolved. 

Another High School tradition for many students is the Advanced Placement (AP) exams. These exams are scheduled to be administered in their entirety, versus last year when they were given online in a condensed format. It will look different than last year’s shortened test, but students will still have the option to take the test online. More information will be released soon on the College Board’s AP Central website and announced to AP teachers, coordinators, and administrators.

The school district has been doing its best to keep these tests routine, but this may be another tradition that falls to the challenges of COVID-19.

Riding the Wave in Malibu

By: Sophia Pilot

December 14, 2020

School sports canceled, gyms closed, and equipment on backorder…what do we do now? This was a question that many Malibu students were asking in 2020 and were met with never-ending restrictions from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), along with Los Angeles county’s public health guidelines. With health becoming the priority, stay at home orders and restrictions following the outbreak of COVID-19 required people to find new, innovative ways to exercise. 

Upon transitioning to virtual school in March of 2020, the cancellation of school sports was inevitable. LA County was severely hit by the pandemic, and as the number of cases increased, holding sporting events was determined to be unsafe. The increased potential for spreading the virus among teammates meant that practices were also canceled. 

To those who frequent gyms, at-home workouts were quite the adjustment as they turned to live streams, YouTube videos, and Zoom workouts. The demand for at-home gym equipment increased as people wanted to translate the atmosphere of the gym to their house. Once the novelty of at-home workouts wore off, students were eager to get back on the field or court with their teammates. 

Working to make that happen while adhering to the CDC’s guidelines is MHS athletic director, Chris Neier. He explains how voluntary workouts are being conducted, “student-athletes are wearing masks at all times, keeping 8 feet from each other when working out (6 feet otherwise), and all workouts are outside.” Most of the boys’ and girls’ winter sports have resumed voluntary practice at Malibu High School. As for the rest of the sports, Mr. Neier assured us that the existing facilities will accommodate 13 different sports postponed to the new year. All the schools in the Citrus Coast league have different restrictions for practicing depending on their country, but they aren’t competing. The start dates are tentative as the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) is monitoring the spread of the coronavirus. Thus, playoffs, regionals, and state championship dates are postponed until further notice. 

Both students and staff are eager to resume play. Neier wanted to send a message to the student-athletes, “First off I miss all of you! I miss Braedin Taylor tackling, Sydney Morrison’s left foot, Liam Moore’s spikes, Alex Sudmann sprinting, and Diego Franco’s passing…to name just a few. I love watching all of the student-athletes participating in games and practices. I also really miss the camaraderie that sports brings to our campus. I am hopeful we will get to play games this season!” Students can stay in shape at home knowing there’s a possibility they will return to the field or court in 2021.

Competing with COVID-19

By: Sophia Pilot

December 14, 2020

Athletes must think on their feet and adapt to the challenges present in their games. 2020 proved to be the obstacle that athletes had to overcome. In March, sporting events worldwide were postponed or canceled in response to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) advice to take precautionary measures against COVID-19. 

The National Basketball Association (NBA) was the first league to report a positive COVID-19 test. Moments before the tip-off between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder game on March 11, 2020, players were sent to the locker room after the two head coaches, Billy Donovan and Quin Snyder, and the officials met on court. Fans awaited an explanation and later found out the game was postponed due to a medical emergency. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert received positive test results moments before the tip-off. Although he was not at the game, the league knew others were exposed. In addition to Gobert’s teammate, Donovan Mitchell, a handful of other athletes and staff contracted the virus. 

In response to the outbreak, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver postponed the season for 30 days. Basketball games are played in large facilities with thousands of people attending; thus, the potential for spreading the virus is enormous. The players recognized that many people rely on NBA games for their salary. In an effort to help those financially affected by the cancelations, many players including, Zion Williams of the New Orleans Pelicans, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Giannis Antentekumpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons stepped up by paying NBA arena workers who lost their jobs. 

After Commissioner Silver’s announcement, other leagues postponed their seasons, as health became the first priority. Most professional leagues were canceled including: Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), while other major sporting events waited to decide as they continued to monitor the spread of the virus. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed after the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, determined that holding the games was not safe. 

Despite the uncertainty of when it would happen, players were anxiously awaiting the return of their seasons. Players brought forth ideas of a March Madness-style tournament as opposed to a multiple game series. There were concerns that if the NBA returned too late that would impact the playoffs and the start of the 2020-2021 Season. 

The idea of having a bubble where the NBA players were isolated for the remainder of its season at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports facilities in Disney World allowed teams to safely finish the end of the regular season and the postseason. This location was equipped with three basketball courts and a village area in Coronado Springs which housed the athletes and isolated them from the rest of the park. Players were instructed to participate in a training camp following a two-week self-isolation period. After the success of the NBA bubble, the MLB decided to create a bubble for their postseason games. The MLB agreed on neutral locations to house its 2020 postseason games: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and Petco Park in San Diego, California. The NHL also copied the MLB’s idea of playing in limited cities (Toronto, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta). 

The NBA and NHL bubbles were executed safely as they did not have any positive COVID-19 test results. However, MLB’s bubble ended its 54-day COVID-19 free streak with the positive test result of Justin Turner, of the Los Angeles Dodgers during game seven of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Contrary to the CDC’s recommendation of sporting events being played in an isolated bubble, the NFL, MLS, and NCAA were heavily impacted by the spread of COVID-19. 

The NFL had strict protocols of mask-wearing, testing, and limiting gatherings and holding meetings virtually. But, the spread of COVID-19 was inevitable with the amount of personnel and the extensive travel needed to play the games. Similar to the NFL, the NCAA had to cancel several of its games due to players contracting the virus. 

During the height of the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd on March 25, 2020, caused many athletes from different sports to speak out against racial injustice. In the NBA bubble, players were seen with phrases on their jerseys in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Professional Tennis player, Naomi Osaka was seen wearing seven different masks with the names of seven different victims of racial injustice and police brutality during the 2020 U.S. Open. As a victim of racism, Osaka used her platform to get people to talk about racial injustice. Her efforts also caused The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to take a stand against racial justice. Osaka was playing not only to win the U.S Open but more importantly, to spread awareness about issues in our society. 

Athletes are hoping that next season, they will be able to continue to use their voice on the court and on the field to spread awareness of racial injustice. The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA, and the NFL held virtual drafts amidst the pandemic. The NBA plans to start their season on December 22, 2020, which has been reduced to 72 games without a bubble. The MLB plans to begin spring training on February 27, 2021, and begin the regular season on April 1, 2021. 

Each league handled the challenges of this past year in different ways. Some more successful than others. But as we know in sports, you train so you can quickly adjust and succeed.  Hopefully, this coming year will see many successes for these leagues.

Los Angeles Reigns Victorious

By: Luis Berg

December 14, 2020

This Year has been a rollercoaster for sports, athletes caught COVID-19 and seasons were postponed, leaving sports fans eager to see their favorite teams back on the court or field. Despite this year’s challenges, sports returned with a new approach to the coronavirus, holding their season in an isolated bubble. The National Basketball Association (NBA) was the first league to successfully execute a bubble at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. Initially, no fans or family were allowed in the stadium because of the strict protocols. Major League Baseball (MLB) allowed a limited number of fans to attend, but it definitely wasn’t the same atmosphere of fans cheering in their home field that players were used to. Yet the athletes pulled together and demonstrated how strong the sports community is, especially in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the MLB world series, defeating the Miami Heat and the Tampa Bay Rays. This marked the Dodgers’ first championship since 1988 and the first time since 1988 that the Lakers and Dodgers won in the same year.

While the Lakers had an amazing year, other California basketball teams were not so successful. The Golden State Warriors were dead last in the western conference with a record of 15-50. They went from the best to the worst team in the NBA this year due to their two best players being injured, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They also lost Kevin Durant in free agency to the Brooklyn Nets. They traded two draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Kelly Oubre, a very good small forward from the University of Kansas. Using their second draft pick, the Golden State Warriors drafted James Wiseman. He looks like a very promising center with great size and mobility, but we haven’t seen him play since high school. The return of Steph Curry and the possibility of Klay Thompson returning later in the year should be enough to get them back in the playoffs for the 2020-21 season. 

The Sacramento Kings acquired young players who appear to be improving each year and are optimistic that Deron Fox will bring their team to the playoffs for the first time since 1981. The Los Angeles Clippers had a disappointing playoff exit in the second round blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets. Clippers fans hoped that they could acquire some players to get them over the hump next year, but they didn’t make any moves except losing Montrezl Harrell, the 6th man of the year. Many people suspect that he left for the Lakers due to the Clippers disappointing playoff run. In addition to Harrell, the Lakers were also able to acquire Dennis Schroder and Wesley Matthews who should help increase their three-point shot percentage, something that the Lakers struggled with in the 2019-20 season. Head Coach Frank Vogel and the Lakers organization are optimistic that they will be back for another championship matchup in the 2020-21 season. 

The Los Angeles Rams have their eyes set on winning the Super Bowl this year which would bring another trophy to Los Angeles. They are currently first in their conference and are playing very well this season with a record of 8-4. Quarterback, Jared Goff has thrown 17 touchdown passes and has a career-high pass completion percentage of 68%. ESPN explained that “Jared Goff is capable of being a winning Super Bowl quarterback”. Rookie running back Cam Akers is playing surprisingly well too, currently, he has two touchdowns, 357 rushing yards, and zero fumbles. The San Francisco 49ers are currently last in their conference with a record of 5-7. Hopefully, they can climb back up as there are still a lot of games to be played after many cancelations due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the National Football League (NFL), as they did not choose to play their games in a bubble.

California colleges are resuming their football seasons. The University of Southern California (USC) is ranked 15th in the country right now, led by starting quarterback Kedon Slovis. The Los Angeles Times said he’s the 5th best quarterback in the country. He is looking to progress his team in the standings over the upcoming season.

California is one of the best states in sports, having a good team in almost every sport. Through the adversity on and off-court, athletes did their best with the challenges of COVID-19. Athletes and fans can be hopeful sports will return to normal with stadiums full of fans in the near future. Hopefully, next season will bring even more trophies to the city of LA.