Over a hundred anime later, which anime comes out on top? Anime in 2020, the year of delay. Still I disagree that 2020 was not a good year for anime.
JUJUTSU KAISEN (MAPPA STUDIO)
Kicking this off with a new one Jujutsu Kaisen. Mappa studio really is winning with this shonen anime. You got demons, curses and a group that battles them head on. Wait a minute. Where have you heard this one before? Veteran anime fans definitely chime in. For me Jujutsu Kaisen reminded me of elements or Bleach, Tokyo Ghoul, Boruto’s dad, my Hero Acadamia and even demon Slayer since that’s so popular. And I do say that as a huge positive. Just being caught up I could tell you that the manga story is not at all groundbreaking, but it still has a solid shonen tale. This is where I fricking love MAPPA studio. The Jujutsu Kaisen anime really elevated every single manga panel without question. I really got a kick of seeing every extra chunk, the anime extended each episode.
JAPAN SINKS (SCIENCE SARU)
Japan sinks, controversial pick perhaps. Either you liked it or you hated it. The title for this anime tells you everything. Japan is sinking after a massive earthquake. Japan is turning into the zombie land scenario. I think this hit closer to me since I’ve lived all my life in California and now in Japan. Mother Nature, shaking her thing is all too common. I recall watching this anime at the gym, just multitasking while doing cardio and do the end of one of the early episodes. It left my mouth wide open, like that did not just happen! Naturally, you’re not going to be surprised at people dropping left and right in this doomsday scenario. And often it isn’t pretty, this all anime reminded me of a Pixar film where the anime is meant to pull out your emotions at each turn. I mean, I totally saw it coming and it still worked on me. Definitely don’t watch this if you’re feeling sad. Ironically, for an anime filled with so much death and seeing the worst in mankind, it ends on a surprisingly uplifting message.
BOFURI (SILVER LINK)
Did someone say Shield hero’s daughter? You now got the adorable Maple. Instead of this being a 100% of the Isekai you got newbie maple venturing into her first VR MMO. She happens to pick the mighty shield. One thing leads to another and Maple happens to skyrocket or defense on accident. What makes this anime a blast is seeing Maple stumble into the next overpower skill one after another, through sheer dumb luck. Watching the anime reminded me of my early MMO days, just grinding and grinding. Then accidentally finding a bug that you could exploit. All of a sudden you had the GMs pissed off and rushing to patch. It looks like Shield Girl Maple and may have received the true goddess blessing. I mean a giant flying turtle. It was super Saiyan blonde Maple. The ultimate mech battle mode, even turning into this unstoppable alien monster. Part of the reason this overpower character even works is really due to the anime not taking itself so seriously. Just like Maple. I was so happy to see a season two confirmed so quickly. Let’s see what type of crazy power Maple stumbles into next.
EIZOUKEN (SCIENCE SARU)
Have you ever wondered about the amount of work that takes make your favorite Japanese cartoons? If so, I suggest watching Shirobako. Don’t get me wrong. Eizouken is good too. But in terms of showcasing the actual animation process, it feels like this anime touches on it on the surface level. This is more like you creating your own fan animation passion project. The early episodes do they give you an overview about the various processes. I did really enjoy how you got a taste of the other roles, like the manager position. Sure you got the animators, but you still need someone steering the ship. Eizouken fully takes advantage of their stylized animation. Especially when the characters let their imagination go wild. This truly was a treat. And the standing up part of the anime. Part of me does feel like this is an artsy movie equivalent for anime. If you are a fan of animation, Eizouken is a must watch.
NEXT LIFE AS VILLAINESS /VILLAINESS ISEKAI (SILVER LINK)
The Villainess Isekai. A non-overpower, isekai character. Shut it Subaru you’re fricking immortal. So you got main character Katarina. That’s been reborn into this fantasy world. It turns out it’s a world similar to her beloved Otome games, which are essentially Japanese dating Sims. The twist for Katarina is that she’s a big bad, the villainous figure of her story. So now the challenge for her is to work her ass off to avoid any horrific ending. It’s really just funny how she ended up befriending all the possible best boys and even charming some of the ladies too. Even her supposed rival. I was just eating it up. This whole isekai anime feeling was really refreshing. I really appreciate it that you didn’t need the super deep understanding of the Otome genre to actually enjoy the anime. And season two is coming up. I just wonder how she’ll be able to keep up her antics without it feeling stale. And don’t worry I will be rooting for you!
KAGUYA-SAMA SEASON 2 ( A-1 PICTURES)
How much do I love Kaguya and Chika? And let’s not forget the president. I mean, Chika raised that boy. It is surprising to see how much I fell in love with its anime, just from the first season, I’ve been bugging my casual buddies to check it out too. No, I don’t care if you don’t like romance. Kaguya Season two kept all of the lovable elements from season one, but kept on developing each character. I mean, how far has Kaguya come on her own? Has her trademark line even been said once this season? And that’s not even getting into the development for the side characters, definitely the cherry on top was that banger of an opening. We all got to protect the singer guy for Kaguya season three.
BRAND NEW ANIMAL (TRIGGER)
BNA, brand new animal, a trigger anime say no more. You know, how much of a massive trigger friend I had been sending this Kill La Kill and Promare. This time trigger went the free route. Main Character Michiru gave you a fun tanki girl, similar to Raphtalia except this time fully committing. As always trigger is on point with their animation. Their creativity displayed for all the various animals. Here was no exception. If I did have an issue for the anime, it was just the anime being too short. I mean, you have a whole giant world rich with the animal twist. I constantly found myself looking at the background and just wishing the characters is explored more, but sadly, the episodes quickly ran by. Another season could really flesh out more of these elements. I mean, who wouldn’t want a sequel to revisit these characters and animal utopia again? Oh, and that opening theme instantly fell in love!
RE: ZERO SEASON 2 (WHITE FOX)
What do you mean though? Best girl REM? Instant failure Am I right? But no seriously. Rezero season two has been wonderful. Finally, you’ve actually gotten into the true Rezero story. Season one was all set up for things to come. I was worried with season one, cutting out too much. So to make some anime only people think the story was done. Thankfully, ReZero season two, brought back a good chunk of the world building you previously missed out on, including the lovely Echidna. Don’t worry, sweetie. All your sims will drink your delicious tea juices. Along her came the other witches and the lore about the whale and the great rabbit, all of a stuff previously foreshadowed in the books. Subaru even had a fun time experiencing the fluff balls firsthand. No joke that death has scarred me for like a day and probably some of you too. It was really great and touching, having Subaru saying a final goodbye to his parents. And at last meeting the grant in which herself, Satella. There’s still so much mystery surrounding this, Witch of Envy. This isn’t even getting into the other plot points involving the shady as Roswaal and Betty. Perhaps I got my own magic book too, since knowing the event’s coming for Subaru. I am really hyped for the rest of that season.
SAO SEASON 3 (A-1 PICTURES)
SAO Alicization War of underworld part two, the Epic conclusion of SAO season three. You really had to, or having there on your left Avengers moment, you had all the Underworld goddesses combined with friends, family, and even former enemies fighting for this new world. There were so many memorable moments from this latest season. I mean episode after episode of God tier animation. How many times did SAO get on trending? Once it was said and done, it really was SAO going deep into the fate route for season three, especially with this final anime chunk. It built on the knowledge of the rich lore and info from the light novels. It had been expanded SAO Alicization further with the games. I only wish they had communicated the light novel requirement better to Western anime only fans. As a longtime hardcore SAO fan I’m really hoping more of this stuff eventually makes it into the anime someday. With the conclusion of SAO Alicization, I’m actually pretty high for what’s next in SAO Unital Ring. And that includes what came before with the SAO progressive movies.
VIOLET EVERGARDEN (KYOTO ANIMATION)
The Violet Evergarden movie part of the journey is the end. This time it sayonara for Violet. Really I think there was more crying in my theater than there was for Avengers end game. I don’t want to over-hype this saying the movie was like the letter episode times 10, but it sounded least on that level. And for most of you, it’s going to be higher. Here’s the huge thank you to Kyoto animation for giving us more breathtaking animation. And I know since my review I’ve gotten plenty of people who were passionate enough to inform me how the anime and now movie differ from the Violet Evergarden novels. All I could say to that is that the anime story and now the anime movie both worked extremely well for me. Perhaps one day when the books get officially translated or I find some time, I’ll check out the Japanese books. For today for 2020, I’m happy to say that this is my top anime of the year. If you’re a Violet Evergarden fan and enjoyed her journey, this is a must watch. Just get the box of tissues ready. You’re going to be ugly crying a bunch.
So let me know what your top anime of 2020 was or top three, top five. If you can’t pick only one. Next up my very own anime awards for 2020. New categories for the first time. And don’t be shy about sharing your own. For the best waifu or best girl, easily Goddess Asana. I mean saying behind with Kirito for 200 years. For the new best wife who I’m going to actually have to give this the tie between Echidna and Chizuru. I’ll let you pick your favorite. For the best boy going to have to give this to Papa Bercouli I mean the guy who gave his all to protect his daughter. Honorable mention to blond boy Eugeo. For the best new boy, I’m going to have to give this to Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen and the best sad boy will always be Reiner. For the top villain, this is going to go to the lovely Lord of the Dawn from the Made in Abyss movie.
As an honorable mention Roswaal, the clown from ReZero. For the best 2020 cringe easily goes to Rent a Girlfriend. I mean the secondhand cringe from watching this was outstanding. For the best fight I’m actually going to have a tie here at Bercouli versus God Vecta and also Goddess Asuna versus Vassago. As a runner up the fire Harshira in the Demon Slayer movie. For the best opening, I think easily the one from Kaguya-sama season two, daddy, daddy do. For the best ending it just snuck in there, but Attack on Titan season four. It feels like perfection for the final season tone. For notable studio naturally MAPPA studio has been getting a ton of attention, but do not sleep on Silver Link this year. They gave you Bofuri, the Villainess Isekai, the Misfit of the Demon King Academy and that SAO clone and for a general award, the top grossing anime now the Demon Slayer movie. Love this anime or hate it Demon Slayer is here to stay. For the most disappointing a tie First off the Great Pretender, partly for actually being good then screwing the pooch at the end, tied with the Day I became a God really for not living up to the author’s hype, the saddest anime, my butt.
DIGIMON LAST EVO (YUMETA COMPANY)
It is next up the honorable mention for anime the lightning round; The Digimon Movie Kizuna. I know, call me a sucker. I blame nostalgia. This movie delivered where Digimon Tri did not although I’m still not buying this digital on timeline and truly being over.
ID: INVADED (NAZ)
This thriller anime gave you a mixture of elements from Ghost in the Shell and Psycho Pass bonus points too since I dropped it, then that wave of positive response after it ended brought me back. It is worth the watch if you like this anime genre.
DS MOVIE (UFOTABLE)
The Demon Slayer movie, you saw my review for it earlier this year. I’ll still say it’s definitely nowhere near the hype. And at this point it’s become extremely over-hyped here in Japan, but still it is an enjoyable movie. I’m really predicting The Demon Slayer will switch to a movie format going forward.
MY HERO ACADEMIA SEASON 4 (BONES)
My Hero Academia season four. Did you forget that was still this year? I know that school festival felt so much like a filler season. It earns spot from the Endeavor KFC mode and that god tier animation. So spicy.
I can’t believe this doesn’t look like a CGI anime most of the time anyway. It really is worth the mention here for the crazy insane world it gave you. I’m actually really looking forward to jumping into the manga.
RENT A GIRLFRIEND (TMS ENTERTAINMENT)
This one feels a bit special for me. It’s actually one of the first manga I read when I moved over to Japan, which means I definitely knew what you could expect going into the anime. And oh my God, does it deliver on the cringe factor, I do have to hand it to the best girl, carrying this anime hard.
INTERSPECIES REVIEWERS (PASSIONE)
You really have this great mixture, the anime pushing the line way past the source material, Rumination removing it, the controversy that followed it. It was whole quite a spectacle.
ISEKAI QUARTET SEASON 2
This time with the addition of Shield Hero and Cautious Hero, is this anime getting too stuffed? Thankfully it didn’t take away. I enjoy season two, especially with the KonoSuba guys.
FOOD WARS SEASON 5 (J.C. STAFF)
Food Wars season five, the final plate. Even if you thought the story quality had gone down, just knowing there’s not going to be any more food gazumped in the world really gives you that empty feeling, really going to miss this food anime.
ATTACK ON TITAN SEASON 4 (MAPPA)
Attack on Titan season four, the final season, I guess, technically I could have put Attack on Titan season one to season three, due to the recap movie. No, no, I’m kidding. So despite the confusion and hate, some of you have due to the studio change, you’ve seen me being positive and rooting for MAPPA studio weekly. So far, I’ve really been enjoying what we’ve gotten, which means I’m going to keep on having faith in the animators and also the people in charge that they’re going to go plus ultra to deliver their best for all Attack on Titan fans.
Anyway, 2020 anime over definitely post your best anime of the year bonus points of you include categories. And 2020, hasn’t been quite a ride for anime.