Welcome to “12 Days of AniTAY 2020”, a writing challenge in which I look to have an article a day for 12 days leading up to Christmas, all centered in some way on anime or anime-related topics. You can find re-posts of my 2018 and 2019 series (posted originally on the late TAY and AniTAY Kinja sites) now here on Medium.
Yesterday’s article covered anime that started in the first half of 2020 (along with one anime that carried over from 2019). I also covered the anime that due to COVID, started in the first half, but finished in the second half (including in one case, that finished only about 2 days before this article is published). Here again, I look at the shows I watched that premiered in the second half of this year, which is actually rather a scarce list, so I thought I’d also throw in at least some of the older series that I watched for the first time (or so) this year.
Again, note that all opinions here are my own, and not necessarily endorsed by the rest of the writers and crew here at AniTAY, and they’re not all going to be super in-depth. For organizational sake, I continue to present the 2020 shows separated by the seasons they started in, roughly by starting date. The older shows will likely be in something approximating the order they were finished in.
Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!
“Uzaki-chan wants to hang out.” Indeed. An old high school kouhai with huge… tracts of land, decides her old senpai needs to do more and be more active now that they’re both in college. She of course, irritates the hell out of him, meaning that naturally, there’s totally romantic tension between the two that they’re oblivious to (although not so their friends and co-workers).
Anyway. It was a fun show, despite using all the standard tropes of the romantic comedy genre (or perhaps because of using them). I’m all in for a season 2. Rating: A
Sword Art Online: Alicization — War of Underworld Season 2
Man, that name’s a mouthful. Anyway, I’m planning a more in-depth article in the next couple of days, but frankly, I found this whole series to be disappointing. I’d thought the “Alicization” arc was supposed to be pretty good, but if so, the anime adaptation did it very poor justice, then. Rating: C
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Kan
Oregairu, Season 3. I watched the first two episodes, and it had been so long since I’d seen season 2 (and that was hard enough to follow when I did *that*), that we stopped. Instead, I re-watched Season 1 with my wife (who either didn’t see it, or has forgotten it — quite possibly the former), and will need to watch Season 2 with her as well, before we then move on to re-watching and completing season 3. Rating: Incomplete
“Rental Girlfriend”. Seemed like the kind of thing I wanted to watch — filled with voice actresses I enjoy, hijinks, misunderstandings, etc. I tapped out after 2 episodes, and haven’t decided if I want to come back, or just completely drop it. Rating: Incomplete, was looking like a C+/B- at the time though
NOT WATCHED YET:
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 2nd Season
Definitely was intending to watch this one, but really, just burned out on watching stuff, and along with not having watched the movie yet, we just didn’t get to it.
Chou Futsuu Toshi Kashiwa Densetsu R
Honestly, I’d forgotten this was on my list, but it either never got streamed, or it was on HIDIVE or something, but it wasn’t on Funimation or Crunchyroll. Still seems like something I’d consider trying if I had access to it.
Tonikawa. Boy sees cute girl, girl saves him from being isekai’d by truck-kun, and agrees to date him if he’ll marry her, then disappears. Years later, she appears on his doorstep, and they do get married. Cuteness ensues as they explore married life together while getting to know each other. Also, cute girl may or may not in fact somehow be Princess Kaguya from the legend. And has two maids who are even better than Lys and Sella from Prisma Illya. Definitely would be all-in for a season 2. Rating: A+
Maoujou de Oyasumi
Sleepy Princess technically has yet to finish (at time of writing), but with one episode left, we’re MASSIVELY wanting and waiting for a season 2 on here. Inori Minase providing the main voice? Check. Harem King Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as the Demon King? Double check. (The two paired in another show running at the same time as their pairing in DanMachi S3? Love it.) Doga Kobo, doing not exactly a CGDCT show, but more of a “Cute Princess Does Terrifying Things To The Demons Supposedly Holding Her Hostage” show. In our house, it’s as close to “appointment” watching as you can get.
Also, the Teddy Demons are adorable, and I was so disappointed that I didn’t see a batwings accessory at Build-A-Bear around Halloween so we could make our own. Also something we’ll definitely be looking into the source material for. Rating: A++
HAVEN’T FINISHED YET:
Kamisama ni Natta Hi
So, we got a little behind on this, and I’ve only finished up through episode 7. I mainly picked this up due to being a P.A. Works show, but unlike Appare-Ranman! earlier this year, I don’t feel it’s quite as good. Now, I’ve obviously got 5 more episodes to get through, but that’s been part of the issue — seemingly not well-paced, especially when introducing a second aspect to the mystery of “is she a god, or not?” Rating: Incomplete. Leaning C+ for now.
NOT WATCHED YET:
Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka III
As with Re:Zero S2 above, there’s just some “burnout” here. (That, and that godawful S2 OVA. Still don’t know what they were thinking with that.)
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya, with 2wei! and 2wei Herz!
“Let’s take Fate, and make them magical girls!” Illya, Rin, some sassy magic wands, goofy friends, a friend with a mysterious past, Luvia, and Lys and Sella with more personality than before. Love it! Rating: B+
Man, I loved this series. Drama, comedy, romance. I even wound up buying my own plush “palm-top tiger.” A little bird let me know that Santa (although not the one in a bear suit) is bringing me my own copies of the series on Blu-ray for this Christmas. Rating: A
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
“Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun.” I picked up this comedy after seeing a clip where the mangaka main character, and his friend, decide they want to do make a doujinshi comic for the best friend of the main character in a galge, while realizing that the person who’s been there the most for him… is the game’s main character. (Seriously, the description doesn’t do it justice. But it’s a damn funny scene.) It’s a perfectly serviceable little romance comedy. Rating: C+
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
Finally, we have “Is the Order a Rabbit?” As with SleepyHime above, we have Inori Minase doing her best little girl voice. We have a town filled with feral rabbits, a grandfather who’s somehow now a rabbit himself (probably), and a lot of… interesting friends, including one who’s terrified of rabbits but works wearing a near-bunny girl costume. We’re now into Season 2 here in our watch-through, and will eventually move on into this past season’s Series 3. Rating: B
There we are, my anime reviews for 2020. Much as I liked taking it easier, I do hope that 2021 “smoothes out” the number of series a bit more (looking ahead, January appears to have a TON of sequels, so we’ll have to wait and see…)