Favourite Anime I watched in 2020– They may have come out years ago

Once again it’s time for a favourite anime of the year post. I have a bit of a tradition with these posts! It’s a pretty straight up tradition, I write them and have a lot of fun doing it!

The premise of these posts is pretty simple. I look back on the anime I have personally watched over the year, regardless of when that anime actually aired and then I pick my favourites. After that I seek out what pother bloggers had to say about it and share it with you.

That way I get to relive anime I have loved and promote some great blogs all in one post. Now that’s both fun AND efficient! Although sometimes I’m the only one’s whose enjoyed a certain anime and it makes me a bit sad but that’s ok. You only need one true love! Good on you if you have more!

Wow this year has been bountiful. Ok so I’ve put them in the order in which I watched them:

Kyousougiga

Kyousougiga haunts me. I’m pretty sure most of it went over my head and yet I still cling onto the meaning I managed to carve out. Discovering this anime was like finding a buried treasure. I would say I would watch more but I think it was just right as it is. Besides a show like this is lightening in a bottle, you can’t make it work twice…can you?

Unfortunately not that many bloggers have written about this show. At least not many that I could find through the reader app. This isn’t very surprising, it’s an older show and rather odd. It’s difficult to write about. Nevertheless, Voyager on Galvanic gave their take and you can read it here:

Also Pinkie reviewed it a bit after me and stooopid reader didn’t find it when I searched. But that’s ok cause I’m going to fix that now (thanks for reminding me Pinkie):

SSSS.GRIDMAN

I coincidentally watched this show just in time for Mecha March and it blew me away. I know that this is not everyone’s favourite Mecha and I understand why. It’s a bit disjointed and falls short in a few ways. Still, I fell deeply in love with the characters and resonated with this story in a way I hadn’t in a long time.

Scott and TakamakiJoker did not share my enthusiasm

Comic geek had an interesting spiritual take

jmeek8 though seems to have seen what I did in this series

And Matt was cautiously optimistic

BEASTARS

Beastars sure was divisive. I’ve seen as many people call it wonderful as a piece of trash. I’m in the former camp. I know many people saw it as a tone def commentary on race that ended up racist. I saw it as a commentary on class personally. In my head, it really works perfectly that way and the race angle hadn’t occurred to me until I read others’ reviews. I’m a bit slow. I say that but when looking through reader I only found positive reviews… I swear I read some really negative ones.

Land of the Lustrous

This anime was a trip. With a beauty as multifaceted and fragile as a glimmering gem and a narrative as sharp and elusive as a diamond point. It left me introspective and oddly dreamy. An experience I would love to reproduce.

Crow is currently reviewing this anime on an episode basis so you can watch along!

Pretty much everyone loved this show and it seems some were much better at using it to fuel their own introspection than I was:

Sweet Blue Flowers and Wandering Son

I discovered Takako Shimura this year and both anime I watched based on her works made it to my favourites list. They are calm, gentle stories bursting with hope but still realistically cautious. They felt like hugs and were just downright stunning to watch. I hope to see more soon.

Searching for posts Sweet Blue Flowers got me a huge deluge of flower posts but I was able to find a few on Wandering Son. The series was chosen for ANiTwit watches so that created a few great posts.

The World God Only Knows

In the summer I stumbled into a classic harem anime and I fell in love with it. Deeply in love. Turns out I like harems when they happen to be really fun and surprisingly respectful. Actually, I like harems when they’re a bit cheeky as well. I guess I’m not that picky.

One again Galvanic shared my love for the series and more specifically for one of the characters

And for some contrast, Roger was not a fan

Dorohedoro

How can I describe Dorohedoro. No I’m asking. This show completely defies explanation. And by refusing to adhere to any semblance of tropes or sense it brought with it a breath of fresh air.n This is my second Netflix Original on this list and the show made me solidify my .confidence in Netflix’s ability when it comes to anime projects. I can’t wait for season 2.

Actually a lot of these post titles are a great description of the show…

Penguindrum

Penguindrum is a masterpiece. It changed both me and my love of anime.

There aren’t a ton of posts on the series but what there are… Well, you should really go and read them!

Planet With

Finally, I watched Planet With so late in the year that the review is not even out yet. Spoilers, I really liked it. It gave me shades of Gurren Lagann which, to be clear, is a huge compliment. The story was a bit constrained by its low episode count but it made the most of what it had. I enjoyed it to bits. It also made me realize that I just plain like mecha shows and I should seek them out more.

It was a random series Scott really liked as well

2020 was a pretty awful year in general but it was a great year in anime for me. Now let’s get a new season of Natsume out in 2021 so that it can beat it! Would it be cheating if I rewatched Natsume and put it as my favourite of the year again? There aren’t any rules to this post so I’m not sure what that means.

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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30 Responses

  1. Maica says:

    Personally, I would love to see a list sometime of anime you loved so much you ended up rewatching them.
    Each time I watch something, I discover something new (especially if I approach it as if I was writing a paper and focus on one particular theme or element).
    So, I honestly would love reading different essays on Natsume every year- it wouldn’t tire me one bit.

    Happy Star Wars Day! Muahahahah!

    • Irina says:

      I don’t rewatch anime… But I would rewatch Natsume. It’s just I have so much anime I want to watch that I haven’t gotten to the point of rewatching anything yet.

  2. Thanks for the mention. Kyousougiga didn’t click with me…that is, until I realised I’d watched episode 0, not episode 1, first…Gotta find some time to try it again from square one.

    Aside from that and the Wandering Son post you included, I’ve covered several of the anime over the years and started some of the others but not finished them, due to certain limitations such as paywalls (bypassed by anime club). Houseki no Kuni is a favourite and basically every post about it from anyone and everyone has come out great.

    Also, because I like to identify fonts…I believe your new font is either Tahoma or Verdana. Verdana is the font Ikea used for a long while (I used to read a lot of catalogues while I was bored).

  3. BulletoonGirls says:

    Oho! Kyousougiga and The World God Only Knows. The girls should appreciate the honor of making the list with those. Gridman was really good too. Akane! My heart! I do really want to hunt down Penguindrum tho. So many people keep telling me about it~

  4. ashleycapes says:

    Still hoping ‘Land of the Lustrous’ gets another season one day, yeah!

    And perfect reminder to finally hunt down ‘Kyousougiga’ 🙂

  5. Krystallina says:

    Started the Penguindrum manga since I know the anime is good, and so excited to continue it. Only hard decision is to decide whether to wait for the manga to finish first or break the suspense with the anime!

    • Irina says:

      I know it’s all based on novels and I have been thinking of seeking them out. I wonder how much was added in adaptation

  6. Thanks for the mention! Land of the Lustrous was really amazing.

    Glad to see you enjoyed Planet With. I’m still amazed at how much story it packed into 12 episodes!

    You’ve about got me convinced to watch SSSS.GRIDMAN. It might have to wait to next season, though! This one’s going to be busy!

  7. Most of these are on my list of stuff to watch this year! I think my favourite three anime from 2020 that I’ve seen would be Snow White with the Red Hair, The Perfect Insider, and Golden Kamuy 3 (of course haha).

  8. Kapodaco says:

    Appreciate you linking to my post!

    I’ve seen a few of these titles, and Penguindrum is definitely pretty good!

    I’m not sure when you did it (admittedly have been away for a bit), but I see you upped your font size and style. It looks really good!

    • Irina says:

      I actually only did it like 2 days ago. Fred commented that the old font was a bit hard to read so I did my best to find a slightly more legible one that my theme agrees with

  9. ramon3ljamon says:

    I find the Beastars racism critique a bit strange, I question the need to make a neatly bow-tied one-on-one comparison with the world we live in. The point never was to impart wisdom on say, contemporary American race relations; it was instead to take a thought experiment involving animal nature to its logical (and dramatic) extreme. Beastars’ universe simply operates by different rules, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

    And deep down, at its core, isn’t this a story about insecure young adults doing their best to deal with roles & expectations they never asked for.

  10. I discovered Penguindrum thanks to your review and it blew my mind ~

  11. Jessi Silver says:

    These are all great picks. It seems like you had a really good year for watching anime! 🙂

  12. Pinkie says:

    Kyousougiga became one of my favourites and I reviewed it after you as well, it was really one of the best recommendations I have ever been given, so thank you for discovering this gem!

    • Irina says:

      And I fixed it! Thank you for the reminder. I have a bit of a tough time hunting down the reviews each year

      • Pinkie says:

        Ah I did not even intend for me to be put up there, but thanks on that! Yeah Reader and me aren’t always friends some of my posts don’t show up!

        I am quite grateful for being introduced to this show regardless because I REALLY fell in love with it hard.. even more as time passed!

  13. Dawnstorm says:

    Ooh, so many great shows. Kyousougiga and Wandering Son are my favourites, but they’re all really good. (Maybe you’ll finally be able to watch the Natsume movie or the 2-ep OVA that airs soon in 2021? Would be nice.)

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