The Anime Of 2020

Best Anime 2020

Hey, fellows, it’s the end of the year again! And I’m just in time for yet another overly wordy review of what has graced Japanese televisions these past many, many days!

Another year, another annual write-up on whatever this year brought us in terms of anime. I guess if I had to give it an overall grade, I’d say it was average as far as anime goes. Very, very strong at the start, then a total crapshot for the two seasons that followed and an okayish season to end things on. I guess there are worse ways to start a decade, even despite the doom and gloom of corona delaying and wrecking productions.

So without further ado, let’s see what I had to say on the shows I finished this year.

Adachi to Shimamura: I guess one way to summarize this would be to state that there’s Adachi who really likes Shimamura; and Shimamura, who kinda sorta likes Adachi as a friend; and each episode anew, Adachi tries to tell Shimamura about her feelings, with something coming inbetween, more often than not Adachi herself, and then rinse and repeat. That would be mostly correct and can and should be attributed to this anime’s downsides but it would also be incredibly reductionist. Yes, whatever this anime accomplishes is measured in baby steps and outside of some few moments of directional brilliance, it’s visually bland as wool. But the music underscores the very introspective writing and charming character interactions so much, which in turn really help these characters come to life and their inner monologues, of which there are plenty, shine. As such, Adachi to Shimamura is not the best anime or the second coming of Yagatte Kimi ni Naru, but it’s overall a cute and wholesome yuri anime with more substance than expected and it has its heart in the right place. Decent.

Akudama Drive: Well, this was an uneven ride to say the least. It starts out as good fun, then somehow fumbles over its own exposition about… a train being holy and going from A to B, while simultaneously not doing a lot with its actual setting, regularly has two not particularly interesting police antagonists show up for the grind and once it came to the point where it decimated its cast, things got a little bit too formulaic, not to mention it feels like some plot points got lost in the ether and most character roles were undercooked, although that was kind of the point. Yet I can’t be mad at Akudama Drive. Its characters are mostly likable and it understands that an action anime requires actual action and people who want to be part of their own show. It’s always high energy and keeps its characters varied enough, with the occasionally emotional moment too. What really, absolutely, totally sold me on it however was its utterly magnificent final episode, easily among the best I have seen this year, ranging from action fireworks to calmer, very sincere moments with a level of cinematography that you get very rarely. It’s one of the bumpiest experiences of the year for sure but it ends on a high point so strong it was definetely worth it. Getting to the last stretch might be a bit of a battle upwards but I pity everyone who missed out on the conclusion. Decent.

Babylon: Well, it is a rare occurence that I like something that everyone else finds to be just downright bad so color me surprised that with Babylon being the official Trainwreck That Jumped The Shark And Ruined All Of Its Potential Of The Year according to most of the Internet, it’s my choice for AOTY. Guess I’ve really earned myself these contrarian points this year. To add insult to injury, I really don’t like playing the “YOU DIDN’T EVEN GET IT!!!!” card but you really didn’t, did you? Babylon is, at its core, a very intriguing take on the very simple premise of Good vs Evil, taken to extreme degrees. All of that in a sociopolitical thriller centered around the very concept of suicide and its ethics. The writing is snappy and intriguing, doesn’t serve the audience and is absolutely consequential to a degree I’d love to see more of in anime. What’s more, the way Babylon uses music is haunting and its directing delivers in spades. When this anime wants you to be shaken, it will absolutely do everything in its power to rock you from the ground up. Babylon is by all means the smartest anime of the year and one of the most fascinating contributions to entertainment media in recent memory so despite my occasional gripe with it, it takes the gold crown for very convincing reasons. Man, I wish there was more of this kind of stuff. Very Good.

Anime 2020 Hanako-kun

Blade of the Immortal: Immortal: This title add-on to differentiate itself from the old adaptation really doesn’t work quite as well in English, does it? With that said, there actually is a lot about Blade of the Immortal that doesn’t work in general. For one, it’s yet another rushed Liden production collapsing under its weight, except this time, twice as long. That leads to occasionally unsightly animation and art quality drops. And secondly, it adapts 30 manga volumes into 24 anime episodes, so do the maths. What we have here is fundamentally broken. Yet, against all odds, I’d still argue it’s actually a good anime. The strength of the source material still carries through a lot. Characters are captivating, the plot is engaging and keeps moving forward and the gore it has is downright visceral. The jumps in plot are bizarre and you can oftentimes tell what’s not there but what is there is really quite good. And the overall artistry and ambition, despite the production problems, is obviously through the roof, with Hiroshi Hamasaki, the man, the myth, the legend behind Texhnolyze and Shigurui, helming this as the director. The sound direction is also incredibly on point. While there are too many episodes for my taste that display a complete lack of his style outside of the lack of colors, what does work works in fact really well and there are several absolute standout episodes. If you wanna experience a Shigurui Lite, by all means, go ahead and be my guest. Production problems can’t get me not to enjoy something as ambitious as this. Good.

Deca-Dence: I wanted to like Deca-Dence, being Tachikawa’s first original anime since the amazing Death Parade but this was an excercise in worthlessness. Deca-Dence is much like Gatchaman Crowds insight insofar as that it loves to pretend it has something worthwhile to say on real life issues through some sort of allegory but then keeps everything vague and on the lowest common denominator tier of agreeable that it ends up with empty, inconcise platitudes. Its action is fundamentally boring, the characters are too flat and too many of which about only three or so matter, it has little interest in its world that it sidelines for pathos and messages of which all are entirely flat and generic. It’s also, according to Tachikawa himself, a criticism of capitalism but it’s to capitalism what orientalism is to Asia. It’s actually hard to identify that it criticizes capitalism specifically rather than any other kind of oppressive system in general. There’s the title and a few instances where they bring up profit as a concept and that’s it. It might as well have been about slavery but wait, it ends on both the slaves and oppressors being BFFs so that’s a weird one. Why do progressives like this hot mess again yet say that Shield Hero glorifies slavery when I could say the same for this? Well, #justliberals, I guess. Anyway, there are many great works about fighting “the system”, pressing the finger against actual issues, like The Wire or Black Jack ni Yoroshiku but this is just a sham with nothing worthwhile to say. Bad.

Dorohedoro: You know, it’s probably enough of a miracle that this got an adaptation… that wasn’t even made by Twin Engine… but for me to like something that wears its weirdness as a brand as strongly as this does isn’t quite the common occurence either. Long story short, yes, Dorohedoro is batshit insane but what’s good about it is the method to its madness. There’s death and fucked up shit about everywhere in its crazy setting so if I were to draw a reaching comparison, there’s a bit of JoJo in here in terms of appeal, except it certainly ups the ante on the bizarro content. Thankfully, Dorohedoro is never weird just for weirdness’ sake and brings forth all the solid basics in story and character writing you absolutely should expect from a good anime. Dorohedoro is engaging and occasionally, surprisingly human… although it’s mostly utterly inhuman but that’s where the fun lies. The setting is among the better I’ve seen in fiction, reminding me a lot of Sekien no Inganock, enormously supported by its absolutely amazing background art. It’s a shame there is still so much to adapt because man, these characters rule and I want to find out where their journey takes them but I guess I might look into the manga at some point. The writing is certainly strong enough to justify doing so. Good.

Anime 2020 Kaguya-sama

Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!: Out of all the 6/10 anime that aired this year, this is one that I’m the least excited about. To quote tamerlane’s final magnum opus rant: Yuasa makes P.A. Works anime now. You know, the “her fantasy concept has turned anime in IRL!” montages were nice the first time. Then they got redundant. Yeah, I get it, anime is animation, animation is motion, motion is LIFE, therefore ANIME IS LIFE, HOORAY FOR OUR BOUNDLESS IMAGINATION. I think I just summed this up and saved you some time. This is not a subtle anime by any means; which is okay, it doesn’t have to be. But its sledgehammer writing isn’t that exciting either and oftentimes pretty bog-standard. Regardless, I feel like I’m condemning this too much and I probably am. Still, Yuasa can do better. Generally speaking, I don’t regret watching it as it’s perfectly servicable and has its moments. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to catch up on it. It stands out well in the context of seasonal anime and will surely serve as your emotional tampon after your blood vessel popped because SAO Season XII did yet another tasteless thing. Has Sakuga Positivity too so you know the usual suspects are creaming their pants over it. It’s the accessible kind of nice. The crowd pleaser. One that made you feel entertained and occasionally (rarely) impressed even, the fluff entertainment kind. Nothing you’ll remember for too long though, that’s for sure. Oh well. Decent.

Golden Kamuy S3: Golden Kamuy’s best season yet, although I do feel like it was quite lacking in terms of payoff towards the end. Regardless, it’s certainly been the most intense, varied and hilarious season so far, things that sound contradictionary when paired with each other but Golden Kamuy certainly knows how to pull it off. You can move on from a dramatic backstory to a high stakes shootout to someone pissing on someone else’s face – literally – and somehow, magically, Golden Kamuy does all of it well with no tonal dissonances. One might argue this show is just one big dick joke and the comedic bits do remind me a bit of some of Ippo’s (always a good thing) and oh man, does this thing get GAR with the full-on male, muscular nudity but once it shifts gears into its suspense and thriller mode, it really leaves you watching with halted breath. There aren’t a lot of other anime out there that can do this but Golden Kamuy can. Good.

Anime 2020 Adachi to Shimamura

Houkago Teibou Nisshi: When this anime premiered in the Spring season, I was not too hot on it. Then it got delayed and the season turned out to be a trash fire. Then the season that followed it was somehow even worse and this instead suddenly managed to find itself at the very top of the season. That sure is something. With that said, I wouldn’t call this one particularly outstanding but then again, that sure was one abysmal season. Still, it’s nice. A fine Yuru Camp substitute. It does lack that one’s style however and doesn’t really have much of a narrative bracket. Rin learns that group camping can be fun too but remains a solo camper at heart. That’s as basic as it gets but it’s some sort of narrative. This doesn’t really have that and feels like a collection of episodes instead. I do think its characters and their interactions work better than Yuru Camp’s however and the fish exposition and quiter moments worked relatively well. Also, Natsumi is a loli tomboy fang-tan bro who actually has good grades so you know she’s good. Should you catch up on this? Probably not. But it sure elevated its season for me. Decent.

ID: Invaded: There are not many anime that I would classify as both unique and intriguing in a good sense so consider me overjoyed when ID actually pulled that part of. Maijo Otaro has certainly become a name to remember with that one. Long story short, ID profits from using its surrealist dream scenarios as a basis for engaging murder mysteries that are both grizzly and clever enough to stay in your mind for long, while also never neglecting the human core of its protagonist and why he’s so very keen on going through all the misery he has to face on a daily basis. It treats its premise with enough grace and creativity in terms of execution that I really wanted for this to be a longer show. Plus, it has some cool insert songs! ID is not without its flaws however. Its characters, apart from its central actors, are flat and at best perform functions, at worst just exist. Its big mystery conclusion is obvious, the rushed conclusion doesn’t live up and feels like it does a disservice to its characters and their conflicts or at least sells several of them short. As it turns out, the story continues in the manga. Which then ended after two volumes. I really wonder what the master plan here was supposed to be. But, you know, when everything else about the anime itself was so refreshing and intelligent, I’m willing to be a lot more forgiving. Good.

Japan Sinks: What happens if you take the core message of Devilman Crybaby and essentially pad that one’s episode 09 to ten of them? And fuck everything up? This. Now, granted, that’s a bit of a reaching comparison considering the source material is a somewhat influential disaster novel from the 70’s modernized quite heavily but then again, it does share the Yuasa influence and really does carry over a lot of Devilman’s pathos and methods. With that said, while some of Japan Sinks works, Devilman Crybaby’s pathos was about mankind coming together while also reflecting on it as a whole, this one instead hammered down the “racism bad, globalization good” sledgehammer with all the wonky execution you’d get from Carole & Tuesday. Sometimes even worse. Meanwhile, on the writing in general, it does deliver two good first episodes before the entire thing collapses. Production, character writing, story writing, it’s all a hot mess filled with poorly executed ideas. For what it’s worth, the OST is good enough and there are some memorable stand-out scenes even among the rest that ranges from okay to outright ridiculous but that can’t salvage the overall product. This really hasn’t been a good for Yuasa, has it? Mediocre.

Anime 2020 Dorohedoro

Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun: Enter Nene, the ditzy but somehow likable shoujo heroine and Hanako-kun, the local school legend toilet ghost treating her sometimes slightly better and sometimes slightly worse than about any full-on-harrassment bishounen prick in these kinds of stories with a plot that largely doesn’t go anywhere and you’ll get… something that works surprisingly well? People have complained about the lack of animation but if there’s enough style, I can handle it. It also helps Violin no Hamelin Hiki is still fresh in my mind for contrast. It is Masaomi Andou’s most visually striking work though, especially after the more subdued (but nonetheless appreciated) Hakumei to Mikochi. Production issues did hit it rather hard in its second half however. The characters are quite charming and it occasionally gets some drama right. It’s mostly the character chemistry that really makes this one shine as I usually wouldn’t be too engaged with any of these people in a vacuum but their interactions work exceedingly well. I admittedly did feel that it ended in the middle of nowhere, even for an adaptation of an on-going manga. Like, at least put in an inconsequential but thematically fitting anime original episode to round things off. I also remember quite little about it so I’m a tad too unenthusiastic about it but then again, I’d totally watch a sequel. You can do worse. Decent.

Jashin-chan Dropkick’: What do you want me to say, it’s more Jashin-chan, the bloody but occasionally (very rarely) heartwarming bizarro comedy about the annoying snake girl Jashin-chan, the very cool-headed goth loli Yurine and the et cetera rest. Guess where my interests lie. With that said, it would be wrong to claim that there’s nothing more to the show than Yurine and I do consider this one an improvement over the first season for making me laugh a lot more, although it still lacks any kind of chronological cohesion. This adaptation is weird, folks. And somehow, it keeps getting sequels. Can we please do whatever works for this poorly selling anime and apply it to anime that deserve a sequel? Come on, do the local shilling and crowdfunding thing to get a MahoIku Restart anime done. *ahem* Anyway, I initially would have given this a bit of a higher score but then it ended on a recap episode… followed by an OVA advertising a tourist spot, featuring a character who had yet to be introduced to the anime and let’s just say that I prefer for my anime to end on strong, not disastrous notes. Mediocre.

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai?: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen: Back to something good again. I’m really not sure what to say here other than that you probably know what you’re in for: Very likable characters doing love comedy bits that actually work with all the energetic directing that ranges from creative comedic chaos to gracefully executed serious moments that goes to show why Hatakeyama is one of the industry’s finest. It did dip a little bit in regards to the production and not every serious character arc was backed up by competent writing, especially making the Iino election arc a bit of a slog to sit through but overall, this season has somehow managed to surpass its predecessor in sheer entertainment value and when the drama did work, it worked really, really well. What a nice thing a third season has already been announced. Now that’s something to look forward to! Good.

Kakushigoto: I stuck with Kakushigoto after initially being hardly impressed and I suppose it was worth it and might actually give SZS another chance one day. Kakushigoto somehow manages to balance its family antics, mangaka antics as well as both comedic and drama sides decently enough and provides for enough entertainment for sure, although I do think it does none of these things too well. Its biggest strengths lie in its charming characters and how they find themselves in the aspects of parenting and manga, both thematics interesting enough to keep me going albeit a bit too lacklustre on the execution to match with, say, Bakuman or Usagi Drop. As for the drama, I’m not so sure why everyone loved the last episode as much, I found it a bit too shallow and sudden, especially since this apparently skipped out on half the manga to get there and the transition is not exactly smooth. As such, Kakushigoto is a fine enough watch for its novelty and characters, but nothing that ever goes any deeper than that. Decent. 

Anime 2020 Golden Kamuy

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden (TV): Magia Record is an anime about a group of five poorly defined, generic girls (much like Madoka) looking for the plot. They wander from A to B, oftentimes wondering what’s going on, stumbling upon the local UWASA I mean ghost story rumour thing, then fight it and rinse and repeat until all the character introductions are done. Occasionally, the UWASA parts can be engaging and are strengthened by a very fitting OST. At its heart, however, it’s a mess without any orientation, occasionally having Madoka’s original boring characters hop in to prove that they do have the license to Madoka. Poor production doesn’t help. It’s a gacha game adaptation to begin with so the trashfire writing was already on the wall but I miss the days when dark magical girl anime were cool. Or dark. This was just a waste of Gekidan Inu Curry. Then again, me watching a Madoka spinoff, that was already poor decision making in the first place. Bad.

Majo no Tabitabi: You know, I didn’t mind this show at first and liked it quite a bit even but this really would have been better with a more consistent tone. Not that there’s anything wrong with switching between light-hearted episodes and more sinister ones but it’s more like this has two different shows combined going on and never will they meet. Elaina is likable until you realize she’s essentially whatever the situation requires of her. There’s being a multifaceted character and there’s having no consistent beliefs whatsoever. With Elaina, I’d find it hard to safely estimate how she would react in a certain situation in a vacuum because her personality traits and decision making don’t stem from any kind of intrinsic personality but the tone of the episode. The writing here is downright shizophrenic right down to the core of her character. Yeah, the selfish-but-likable-confident-but-flawed-cute-witch aesthetic is charming but essentially just make-up. Whatever lies underneath is decided by the episode writing. Which also feels like tossing a coin. You can have a gag episode on some serial murderer who’s actually just a weird fetishist one episode, then the next episode there’s an actual child serial murderer. Then you have girls being kidnapped and witches being attacked by organized crime the next two-parter buuut it’s all in good fun. It might as well have been not though with this show, that’s just how arbitrary things are. I guess the overall message is “the world sure is big and travelling reveals that better than anything else” but there’s a way to do that without writing completely different anime at the same time and it’d be the absolute minimum to have these journeys reflect on the protagonist in any sort of way. Here, you could shuffle around episodes without any issue. What did Elaina take away from her earth-shattering tragedy in episode 09 when she declared herself lacking? Apparently nothing since that Elaina doesn’t exist anymore and was restricted to episode 09 solely. She gets to stay there, never to be seen again. It’s still entertaining but it’s ultimately a lot like JinTai or Kino no Tabi where characters are just props for scenarios to react to except with none of the wit. Entertaining enough but also fundamentally grating. Mediocre.

Anime 2020 ID Invaded

Munou no Nana: From the writer of the very bad, very padded out visual novel G-Senjou no Maou comes… this. I suppose I can call it a victory insofar as that it’s not G-Senjou no Maou. Sadly, it’s still just plain bad in general and the pretentious tone of someone not smart trying to write smart characters in a battle of wits story is still there. Some of the “intellectual” back-and-forths are entertaining, especially since they don’t always go for the cheapest cop-outs possible but that’s about the most I could give to the show. These characters are one-note, clichéd jokes. Yes, that’s the point, they’re supposed to be walking caricatures and gimmickfests, there’s essentially even a bit of a parody on shounen anime/manga in here. It’s not funny though. It’s quite sad actually. It’s like doing the very same bad things as the material you’re trying to cricitize while holding up a sign that says “actually, it’s ironically bad on purpose!” It’s certainly not clever. Low effort, that it is. Especially the faceless NPCs who are the kuuki-cutters (haha, get it) of this show, going along with everything as the general mood dictates it. Generally speaking, it’s on its better side when it’s about Nana struggling with killing someone who has caught on to her and on its dreadfully boring one when we’ve moved past the killing and Nana and Kyouya are having their tedious arguments just so we can return to the status quo. But when a better episode only reaches the heights of mediocrity, that’s still by large really dumb and terrible entertainment. Bad.

pet: Oh, pet. I wanted to like you. Cool concept. 2002 seinen manga source material. A Twin Engine project. And then it’s this self-serving exercise in “really, who gives a shit about any of this?” Do a drinking game everytime someone brings up Hayashi or the Firm like I’m supposed to care. Anyway, overly complicated story shenanigans meet a world where characters lack any sort of personality. It’s okay that these people are not likable. They’re not supposed to be. The problem is that they’re not much anything else. Adding insult to injury is that this is yet another utterly uninspired Geno Studio production that looks like drab. If you think Kokokku and Golden Kamuy were visually unexciting, I’ve got good news for you: This one is even worse. So it’s material that doesn’t excite anyone meeting adaptational execution of dry fish. Why is this a thing? And then it turned out to be a story with some sort of “and then the journey goes on…” non-conclusion. And they immediately announced a manga sequel thereafter. That’s right. You just watched a sequel bait ad. For an unknown manga from 16 years ago. Congratulations. They were really aiming to make this the Shenmue III of anime, right? Then again, at least someone wanted that one. This one? This one just baffles me. I’ll give it that it’s unique, occasionally clever and comes together at the end a lot better than expected but when you get so much of the fundamentals wrong, not much is left. Mediocre.

Anime 2020 Blade of the Immortal

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 2nd Season: I liked the first season so color me surprised when I didn’t like this one. I think there’s two reasons for that: one, that I just find it impossible to care about Subaru’s woes and his boring princesses he needs to save. This has worn off its warm welcome after it was no longer unique to me. Secondly, it’s also worse than its predecessor. This was so redundant you could practically set an established pattern which it would then loyally follow. You’ve seen the first quarter and you’ve seen all of this season. At its best, it was entertaining. At its worst, it was primitive and pretentious at the same time. The entire ‘torture porn -> character development’ (which conveniently did never affect any of Subaru’s personality) cycle got stale really fast. Maybe I’m getting too old for this, I just can’t get any excited for most of these characters (especially Subaru, Rem and Emilia) who are caricatures performing their shallow roles repetitively to almost comical degrees. The entire season felt like it barely moved forward. I guess one might argue it’s an attempt at a character study but what character is there to speak of? “Subaru The Angry Kid, After Having His Guts Blown Out, Learns A Vaguely Defined, Not Lasting Lesson Due To Interacting With/Meeting A Certain Character Telling Him To Change His Perspective, Making Him Remember That The Real Re:Zero Is The Emilias and Rems We Made All Along” I don’t know. Maybe the entire thing was supposed to be the goriest kind of self-help book beating around the bush I’ve ever seen. Bonus points for removing OPs/EDs and adding additional airtime to drag the misery out even more. I mean, it’s been ‘only’ one half of a season but there’s nothing telling me they still won’t be stuck inside the forest by episode 20. Also, this year had shows like ID or Babylon accomplishing a multitude of things within the same amount of episodes. Doesn’t help that this season looked really bad. Almost absolutely no animation to speak of, character art took a big hit too and directing was largely absent outside of select moments. I hope we’ll get another Granbelm from the director at some point. Mediocre.

Tower of God: Out of all the anime I have finished this year, this is easily the worst one. I’d say the story was flawed but what story was there? I’d call the characters one-note, clichéd, substanceless and gimmicky but did it really have characters? Everything exists and happens in a vacuum. Lofty concepts like the legendary princesses of this and that, Rankers and whatnot are introduced as one-liners with absolutely no contextual weight added to them. Its cast is diverse in design only and feels like it has no motivation to stay in its own show. It’s been a while ever since I’ve seen an anime that feels this un-authentic, make believe and a bit cringe (and I don’t use that term lightly). The comic relief is some of the worst I have seen and makes Angel Beats!’s tonal dissonance look like some well-crafted mood changes. It’s also not a good-looking anime by any stretch and its OST feels undersold. It builds up nothing, leads to nothing, has nothing to say. While it’s fair to say that it does improve somewhat and its last episode was the closest it came to genuinely being good and felt like it was written by actual people, all I have to say is: Don’t bother with Tower of God. Do the Hunter x Hunter thing. Or read Alice in Borderland. Neither of which have the execution of a primitive fanfic gone professional might I add. Bad.

Anime 2020 Babylon

Yesterday wo Utatte: Charming characters, a romance with actual adults, a post-graduation depression story about being unable to move on in life and good animation in its first episode, what could possibly go wrong? Turns out absolutely everything. The sakuga aspect collapsed pretty soon. The protagonist struggling through his meaningless life turned from an engaging story in episode 01 to a mere character trait halfway through until it was just kind of forgotten in a sea of romance that was nowhere near as engaging as it thought. Yes, characters were older compared to the average anime but still acted like anime teenagers. Half of the writing consists of someone meeting someone coincidentally, that then ending in conflict and/or a misunderstanding and our protagonists would then consult with unimportant third-party acquaintances on love and whatnot who would then act as their emotional tampons. This isn’t even about a set of people. This is about one man’s whining about love. Everything in this show is entirely centered around Uozomi’s love life. While some characters do display some sort of passion in some fields, that’s all just superficial make-up. Uozomi’s entire photography interest and coming of age story are subplots dropped immediately with no interest in developing them. As such, Yesterday wo Utatte very much feels like a romance anime that brings something very fresh to the table but only delivers on a new coat of paint; the rest was the formulaic, boring same as always. Mediocre.

Yuukoku no Moriarty: Do you know these people? They eat children, are dicks, make the poor starve and put pineapple on their pizza… nobles! Do you hate the rich too? So does Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, who is now a bishounen! Which of the two you ask? Both! And Moriarty seeks the destruction of all bad nobles, of which there are plenty. Enter the adventures of Moriarty walking from point A to B to talk at people to find out about the bad things the rich did to the poor to then assassinate them. Sounds fun? Is fun. It’s not very smart however and that’s a bit of an issue since this show believes that Moriarty’s plans to get nobles to act just his way are strokes of a genius when in actuality, they fall apart under scrutiny. This is the typical anime writing of a writer trying to write a smart character without being smart himself and then just constructing some plots that, if things went down even a bit differently, would easily fall apart but in the world of Moriarty, these plans are fool-proof and he is the master schemer. With that said, halfway throughout the show, the entire NOBLES BAD angle gets ditched for the equally entertaining Sherlock Holmes to be built up as a rival, which really does make me wonder what the point of all of Moriarty’s allies is. There’s a two episodes backstory on the childhood trio that he was part of and two of these three character from thereon contribute by… being vaguely around. Then again, compared to xXxDarkAngelxXx!!Moriarty, who is just The Perfectest, how could they possibly even compare? Mediocre.

Anime 2020 Akudama Drive

And so we are done with another roundup of a year’s worth of anime. Yet I just can’t let you off the hook without the annual batch of comedically unrelated awards, can I? No, I can’t.

That One Unexpected Fashion Fad Of The Year: Witch hats! The bigger the hat, the cuter the witch!
Completely Pointless Sequel Announcement: A Megumi no Daigo sequel, an Alice in Borderland sequel, a Higurashi (kind of) sequel, a Yuuki Yuuna sequel. What the fuck. Leave my favorites alone.
The One Anime Adaptation I Truly, Truly Want: My screech-o-meter says that MahoIku Restart anime better happen soon or else all will perish.
Kill It With Fire: VTubers. Holy shit, this is so fucking bad. You’re so fucking bad. I’ve finally found something I hate more than gacha.
Found Appeal In Something I Previously Had No Thoughts On: Hardworking class presidents who are just downright good people. Weddin, you’re the coolest!
Unexpected KINO Moment I Didn’t See Coming: The entire last episode of Akudama Drive.
Once Again, A Line Of Wisdom: Top Speed Is Top Girl.
Word Of The Year: Twitties!

And now I wish you all a happy new year! May it be better than this year was.

I for sure know we deserve it.

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