2020 Anime Retrospective

What a year to say the least. Many people have struggled through it differently than others. I myself was one of the luckier ones who did not have to go through much strife from the pandemic and quarantining as I still had steady income flowing in. As with how it affected my anime viewing, it did kind of made me lose the drive to watch a little bit due to work taking a chunk of time and energy out of me. Hence why it took forever to watch all anime that was in my backlog at the end of the year. Nevertheless, it’s here and you all know how I do it from the previous years. I don’t know how 2021 will fare better in this aspect of my daily life but we will see how it goes moving forward!

Akudama Drive

If you know me, you know I’m always a sucker for a good cyberpunk story whether it be from an anime, video game, book, etc. It is a style over substance genre, generally speaking. So, obviously, Akudama definitely drives home the art and animation department to serious heights. While the characters aren’t exactly the big selling point in terms of memorability or developments, the story is strong enough to keep me interested to its groundbreaking conclusion.

Grade: B+

Arte

I’m all about taking anime outside of your typical Japanese setting regardless of genre. Minus all of the white characters speaking Japanese in a European country, but that’s a nitpick. However, if you want me to get into something like this, try not to run so much on cliches on every episode and repeat them ad nauseum.

Grade: C

Darwin’s Game

Never read the manga but upon further research into it, this had to cover over 80 chapters in less than 11 episodes? How could any think this wasn’t going to anything but a disaster?!

Grade: D+

Deca-Dence

I don’t like to be the one guy that isn’t heaping praise for an anime that everyone’s salivating over. While it definitely has a unique look and style that melds together great, I couldn’t get into any of the characters besides Natsume. Could be just how they’re presented or their personalities didn’t jell with me. But I can’t say they warrant a bad reception as it is nice to see something different come about into the new decade for anime.

Grade: B-

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka III

So it’s finally possible for an anime series to get better and better with each passing season? By god it’s a miracle!

Grade: A-

Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!

Maasaki-san hitting it out of the park as per usual. Also has the best OP in past decade or so.

Grade: B+

Gleipnir

Anime that are trying to appeal to edgelords you see in the anime community are starting to pop up lately. I would say this is probably better than most, but I feel as though this could have been better developed from a writing perspective.

Grade: C+

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Bloom

More Chino-chan, more love. Something I desperately needed in 2020.

Grade: A-

Golden Kamuy 3rd Season

It’s always nice to see a series that you didn’t think was that great at first and gradually gets better and better with each season. I’ve grown more attached with the characters as the story progresses and that’s always a good sign.

Grade: B+

Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen 2nd Season

I didn’t see the first season when this came out so I had to go watch the previous season to brush up on the story. It feels very much like a old fairy tale story for children, in a good way of course. Myne is probably one of my favorite kid characters in anime right now, based on the fact she actually behaves like how a child should by her bratty attitude.

Grade: B+

Id:Invaded

I like a good murder mystery like most people do. This was a wild journey to get through, no bones about it. Dazzling visual ideas being sprinkled through in almost every scene involving the Id.

Grade: A-

Isekai Quartet 2

I know that, against my better judgment, I should despise this for what it represents: a furthering of the already bloated isekai genre. But fuck it, I was tickled.

Grade: B-

Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun

What I think is the best stylized anime of the year. Iro Aida has a unique artistic perspective to say the least. On top of their designs, the characters are super lovable and hilarious when the comedy kicks in.

Grade: B+

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai?: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen

Not much else to say really. I would not mind for another 20 seasons of this if I’m to be perfectly honest here.

Grade: A-

Kakushigoto

This show was absolutely sweet and cute to watch. A father daughter story is always an easy one to win me over, Usagi Drop is like my 2nd favorite anime for christ sake. I don’t think it reaches that level, but it’s definitely a fun story that touches your heart strings near the end.

Grade: A-

Kami no Tou

Yet another Crunchyroll exclusive licensed product they desperately promote to make people buy subscriptions for. Although I don’t think it’s that bad in terms of a technical perspective, everything else was bare bones from the characters and story department.

Grade: C

Kamisama ni Natta Hi

I’ve been telling y’all Jun Maeda was always a hack writer and it took you this long to figure it out?!

Grade: D

Kanojo, Okarishimasu

Strangely, I didn’t love this anime as I anticipated. Maybe this will change with another season or so, but unless Kazuya improves as a character, I’m just going to have the settle on the ladies to carry this show’s comedy.

Grade: B-

Koisuru Asteroid

I’m biased as someone interested in astronomy, so if cute girls doing cute things like observing space suits your appetite this is a no brainer.

Grade: B-

Majo no Tabitabi

I’ll admit, this show is heavily carried by it’s main protagonist, who is my favorite character of the year. So it’s obvious that I was taken by the show based solely on that aspect and following her journey as a witch.

Grade: A-

Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha

Hoo boy, talk about a show that had some promise at first and then quickly fell to the shitter the 2nd half. Once it tried to get us to care about these flat characters and their struggles I was absolutely done.

Grade: D+

Maoujou de Oyasumi

This is my anime of the year. I don’t care what you say. This was something I NEEDED in 2020. A relaxing, cute, cuddly show that made me smile almost the entire way through. If it succeeds to do that to me of all people, it will likely do the same to you.

Grade: A-

Monster Musume no Oishasan

Son: Mom I want to watch Monster Musume.
Mom: Silly boy, we already have Monster Musume at home!
Monster Musume:

Grade: C

Munou na Nana

While I did find Nana to be somewhat of a compelling character to watch, I can’t really say the same any of the others. Not to mention, the story goes off on all sort of places that it gets confusing to make heads or tails of what exactly is going on.

Grade: B-

Murenase! Seton Gakuen

I didn’t find the characters like Ranka to be THAT annoying, but it certainly does worn out its welcome by the halfway point.

Grade: C

Nekopara

The pure definition of a 5 out of 10 anime. It knows what it sets out to do and you can only respect it for what it is. It does not deserve the vile hatred that it usually gets.

Grade: C+

Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta…

It was refreshing to see a female perspective on an isekai show that tackles the concept of flag routes in VN stories. Not all of the jokes land and I think the story gets a little boring by the 2nd half. But I still think it’s worthy of a viewing by many who are still into this type of anime.

Grade: B-

Overflow

While I appreciate a studio of this budget size to be making almost-hentai ecchi. The length of the episodes are a major crux. Just please make a full fledged hentai like this please god.

Grade: C+

Peter Grill to Kenja no Jikan

The alpacas sisters definitely saved this trash anime from being outright forgotten by me.

Grade: C

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 2nd Season

I’m one of those people that did not like the 1st season much. However, I will admit that this is a step up from the 1st by a lot. I actually find some growing attachment to Subaru as a character and the plot is a lot more focused that I can follow. It isn’t quite there in terms of greatness, but it’s getting there.

Grade: B-

Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei shitemita.

Sexy scientist girl! That’s really all that has to be said about this. She absolutely sold this show for me.

Grade: B

Runway de Waratte

When you can pull into a story about a subject like runway modeling that I don’t particularly care for and make it palatable and enjoyable, I can say that it is an accomplishment on their part.

Grade: A-

Somali to Mori no Kamisama

Another anime with a child character and big onii-chan type character there to protect them? Sure why not? However, that isn’t a knock on the show. The story is simple on its premise but its good enough to tell it from an engaging perspective along with the good chemistry between Somali and Golem.

Grade: B+

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T

After I suffered through the travesty that was Index Season 3 halfway through until I dropped it, I just had to watch this immediately afterwards to cleanse myself that this series was actually enjoyable. It managed to succeed to remind me that Railgun is objectively the better anime adaptation than Index is and probably ever will be.

Grade: A-

Tonikaku Kawaii

Under the vast array of Rom-Coms in the anime sphere, I don’t consider in the upper echelon of that genre in the medium. Nevertheless, it’s still a funny anime with elements of adorable romantic moments thrown in the appeal to fans of the romance genre.

Grade: B+

Tsugu Tsugumomo

I had to watch the previous season before I tackled this and boy did I miss out on this series. I would not say that this does anything unique within the genre that it’s in, in fact it is generic in a few aspects of it. But I can say that characters are a definite selling point. The mischievous sadist character Kiriha beings a lot of the charm to the show as one would probably guess from the picture above.

Grade: B+

Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!

Yeah I know, the most polarizing anime of the year only gets a middling score from me? I don’t know. I was charmed at first by the titty girl Uzaki-chan at first and there are legitimate funny moments throughout the show. But after a while all of that started to lose its luster as it got kind of repetitive with the level of humor it’s trying to convey. I still stand by the booby girl for her giving us the glory of memes and cosplays for the ages.

Grade: C+

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Kan

All great things eventually have to come to an end. While I can understand some people’s points feeling unsatisfied with the way it ended, I didn’t mind it as much despite being a Yui stan through and through. Watching these characters develop and seeing how their decisions play out through each season was definitely a sweet journey to experience.

Grade: B+

Yuukoku no Moriarty

I don’t read much Sherlock Holmes in my spare time so I could not tell how faithfully executed the story is from the source material. But judging from other fans that it does, I can safely say this anime does it justice. All of the characters play their parts well and the mystery arcs are nicely written.

Grade: B+

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