Hey guys, the winter 2020 anime lineup had been quite an exciting and a peculiar season for me as I think it’s docile and at the same time a bloodbath. There is plenty of interesting anime this season but only a few stood out or to be honest, had been unique. However, these few anime titles of winter 2020 were really good. One thing that I noticed is that the dynamics of excitement, for example, this week, a certain show is doing well, then next week it’s off the chart and a new one is entering the upper echelon of my anime ranking the next week. I’ll say this is a competitive opening for 2020 but I felt like I’m still craving for more. As a matter of fact, the season started quite weak with the leftover anime from last year dominating it until the real 2020 anime shows eventually take over the top spot.
In this post, I will share my thoughts about the winter 2020 anime series and what are my early perceptions about them. I have also listed them in order based on my week anime chart that I’ve been posting on the Facebook page of Yu Alexius Anime Portal.
Mid-season Review: Top Leftover Anime of Winter 2020 Lineup
I would like to start this discussion with the best leftover anime from 2019; just to be fair with the new anime that aired last January because the progress of the leftover anime shows was far superior.
My Hero Academia Season 4
Taking the top spot is our 17th place from our 2019’s year-end anime ranking which is My Hero Academia which finally bares its fang just right 2020 started. Yes, that epic infiltration to Shii Hassaikai hideout and Deku’s new power-up as well as his epic fight against Overhaul had made the internet raved. However, the story and excitement eventually subside after that as the anime enters to the next arc and building up the tension once again. With a small-margin, My Hero Academia season 4 took the top spot in this list from our 2ndplacer.
Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front – Babylonia
Taking the 2nd place is an entry from Fate series and I think I have to give the credit to Ana/Gorgon, Merlin, King Gilgamesh, Quetzalcoatl, Enkidu/Kingu, Erishkigal, and Siduri – while I am seriously not impressed yet with Fujimaru. Nonetheless, the anime seems like returning to its path in the upper echelon of our list after it gradually declines from the ranking of the fall 2019 anime seasonal lineup. As of writing this mid-season review of winter 2020 anime lineup, several astonishing events happening in the anime and it seems it will only go higher until the season is over. That’s a momentum that I’ve been craving to see so bad though since its first premiere last October 2019.
Ahiru no Sora
What a great show we have here. Time and time, Ahiru no Sora simply proves that it’s no mere copy cat of the classic sports anime Slam Dunk. There are some flaws with the anime story at some point, but the animation quality is solid, the humor is quite annoying at some point, but it just keeps getting better. I felt like Ahiru no Sora could develop into something huge and it’s always amazing how inspiring it could be no matter how extraordinarily normal its episodes lately.
Beautiful animation and good music – Chihayafuru 3 truly thrives in that aspect. While I am not fully captivated by the story yet, it always feels good to see Chihaya discovering different emotions and the same time keeping an eye on her goal to be the Karuta Queen. Furthermore, it is always amazing to see the backstory of other characters aside from the main characters and how important the role karuta plays in their life. Overall, Chihayafuru 3 exudes an immensely beautiful inspiring atmosphere.
Welcome to Demon School: Iruma-kun!!
With interesting humor, beautiful animation, and demonic drama, Iruma-kun’s grip in our heart just keeps stronger. While I am still craving for more, I felt like Welcome to Demon School: Iruma-kun!! had shown us enough dramatic stories of family, friendship, and companionship which could melt our hearts to a certain degree.
Blade of the Immortal
Bloody as usual but this time the storytelling had improved and I felt like turning into a fanatic of Ittor-yu at some point. Now, the story had focused on a single group of opponent that must be defeated despite so many conflicting and confusing things had happened. I think the biggest downturn for me about Blade of the Immortal this 2020 was when Manji was held captive and experimented for his immortality. Those scenes had almost made me lose my mind; I mean seriously that’s sick.
As much as I love Babylon, and I hate Ai Magase, the anime’s finale is such a big disappointment or maybe I’m just really craving Zen to eliminate the new face of evil which is Ai Magase. Furthermore, the fact that Zen and the President of the US had been put in a checkmate position by Magase is just purely insanely frustrating.
Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath of the Gods
The train wreck from 2019 that is Seven Deadly Sins keeps falling behind as the animation quality had ruined the entire franchise. No matter how great the first and the second season, it will go down in history that Meliodas and the Seven Deadly Sins succumbed not to the forces of evil but a cheap animation works. Nonetheless, I still appreciate the effort by the production team despite how low-budget the series is. It’s still frustrating though since The Seven Deadly Sins had been one of the most beloved shounen anime in recent years.
Mid-season Review: Top New Anime of Winter 2020 Lineup
The leftover was done; now let’s proceed to the new anime airing this winter 2020 season which includes both sequels, new, original and adapted anime series. Let’s start with our 1st placer on which everyone may have bet their thoughts on it.
Haikyuu!! Season 4: To The Top
Sitting at our top spot is one of the best sports anime of recent years and that is Haikyuu!! season 4. With great animation, deep screenplay, interesting dialogues, effective humor, and inspiring story – the 4th season of Haikyuu!! had made its way to the top – literally. I love Hinata this season, and how he exudes so much positivity despite facing difficulties. I think he could be anyone’s inspiration.
Smile Down the Runway
A fashion/modeling shounen anime and that is what Smile Down the Runway is all about. This one truly blown me as I am not expecting too much from it but Smile Down the Runway is such an inspiring anime. The clothes and designs were beautiful, we have a stunningly gorgeous young lady too as our protagonist and a timid yet determined young boy who will give his best and passionate towards his dreams to become a designer. I can’t wait to see more from these two young dreamers who inspired me despite how difficult their situations are. I hope they can inspire other people out there too.
Somali & the Forest Spirit
Beautiful and avatar-like. Somali & the Forest Spirit is the anime of the season that will bring you to a whole new world where everything looks magical and phantasmagorical. While there are other anime like Somali and the Forest Spirit, I could somehow think that its world-setting is unique and wonderful which reminds me of Avatar, or Children of the Whales, or Made in Abyss. It is also amazing how every episode gave us a glimpse of Somali and Golem’s story and feelings while also getting the chance to learn the backstory of anyone they encounter along their journey.
Sitting at the 4th place is the exciting story of the apparitions and the students that get entangled with them – to be specific it’s the fun and unique story of Nene and Hanako-kun. I have been anxiously waiting for this and excited when the anime started, although I felt a little bit disappointed with the first episode, it eventually went well with the succeeding ones. It was filled with humor that gave me a breath of fresh air, as the humor is both hilarious and dark with intense and appealing drama that hit through the heart. This reminds me of my favorite anime Natsume Yuujinchou but it’s a little bit dark when it comes to story and ambiance.
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
Funny, unique and well-animated – these have been the signature of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken and our three adorable main characters from the story. An anime about making anime, isn’t this twist and plot exciting? Animation wise, I find this anime to be visually stunning and fantastic. I can’t wait to see how many great scenes are coming next.
In the 6th spot of our initial list of best anime of winter 2020 season is In/Spectre – a delightful mystery supernatural drama that delivers us a good laugh and interesting investigative hypotheses. In/Spectre anime adaptation is both light and dark at the same time. The comedic aspect gives that light atmosphere and beautifully mixed up with the dark-theme story of supernatural-related cases such as murder, and more.
A Certain Scientific Railgun T
Mikoto Misaka truly gives us a great time this season, and not just her but the other girls too including my new favorite Kongo-san, and her two girlfriends – the hydro-powered lass, and the cute buoyancy esper. However, Railgun herself is still the main player in the story and I just can’t wait for her to serve justice towards the faces of a new evil that appeared in the story this season and to be honest, I am sincerely annoyed and disgusted with the villains in the story this time.
The first thing that got me caught with this anime is the psychological cliché it has and the TK from Shigure Ling performing the opening theme which sounds badass. The first two episodes of Pet had almost driven me like crazy and gave me goosebumps but it stops there and slowly fell off my ranking. However, I am not losing interest yet as I think I still could find something new and interesting in it. Animation wise, I love it, visuals and character designs were kind of cool. I think I just wish the storytelling could be better soon because I felt like it’s been rushed at some point.
I am seriously frustrated and disappointed with the first episode until Darwin’s Game became my new favorite after the 2nd episode. The main character Kaname is nothing spectacular and just like any generic anime protagonist. Yet, I love his spirit and his character here. Then, there’s Shuka who truly made the anime interesting and fun. So far, I am enjoying Darwin’s Game and the survival battle royale cliché in it. The plot is generic and I felt like I have seen this in the other movies or shows before but I think what truly captivated me here are the storytelling and the interesting characters.
The Case Files of Jeweler Richard
At the 9th spot is The Case Files of Jeweler Richard which captures my heart with how beautiful Richard is, and how cute the ambiance is when he and Seigi are together. This one is just full of cuteness overload and the relaxing story of people’s lives. Unlike the other investigative and mystery anime just like In/Spectre, The Case Files of Lord El Melloi, Hyouka, or the Dusk Maiden of Amnesia; The Case Files of Jeweler Richard is filled with tranquillity and mild drama which was written effectively in beautiful dialogue that gives so much calmness in the heart of its viewers and I am one of those who are captivated by it.
Re: Zero The Director’s Cut
I am wondering at first if I will include this in the list since it’s just a recap of the Re: Zero’s 1st season. However, after watching few episodes of it, I have to say that despite being a director’s cut – this recap in an amazing show and a great introduction to people who weren’t able to watch the first season as well as a refresher before the official premiere of Re: Zero season 2 on April. As I didn’t follow the first season that closely, I am amazed at this version of the anime and cannot find any major flaws from it.
Delving into the consciousness of a criminal and discovering how their minds work to solve criminal cases is quite a unique plot that I did enjoy in ID: Invaded. However, there’s more to it than just being an investigative-problem solving anime story. Behind the action and amusement, is the story and insane logic of people’s committing a criminal offense. Although I felt like the anime is lacking the vibrance and emotion but I think it’s because the production team wants to deliver it from an unemotional perspective.
Sitting at the 13th spot is an anime that gradually became my new favorite and it is Dorohedoro. I seriously love how gory it is and the actions were truly good. Story-wise, it didn’t catch me yet but I am already falling in love with its art style and characters. Shin and Noi caught my attention and l am loving their pair so much. I also love Fujita and Ebisu which I think they made a pretty good pair and gives us so many comic relief in its dark story.
A Destructive God Sits Next To Me
Our god of destruction Miguel simply reminds me of my funny and delusional self from my teenage years and this story is a hilarious ride everyone can enjoy any time of the day. Though I find almost everyone in the story quite annoying but I think that’s the radiance and energy of being youth and it reminds us to release our spirit-animal sometimes.
BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.
Maple and her gang are just a pure ball of sunshine in the winter 2020 anime lineup. We have quite the dense yet super exciting main protagonist in this story of an online gamer who goes full defense build in her character. Thus, showing us that the best offense is a strong defense– that’s Maple for you. She together with her friends will take the online world by surprise with their weird and extremely unique style of playing. Just pure good vibes coming out from this fun slice of life online game anime.
That ends my mid-season review of the winter 2020 anime lineup. While I wasn’t able to mention some shows because some had been surprisingly disappointing such as Plunderer but I am still hoping for a good show coming from it in the new few weeks.
What about you guys? Which anime series airing this season did you enjoy the most, and which one did you dropped from your watchlist? Please let us know by leaving your comment below.