2020 has been a very memorable year that we would all want to forget. Various world events and a pandemic has rendered most people’s lives changed forever. And such things have even affected one of our favourite past times, anime, with rampant delays. However, there is still a lot of good anime that released and aired in 2020, despite the world burning outside. Japanese anime site Anikore have released their rankings on their users’ top and most popular anime of 2020. The site uses its own special algorithm to calculate the popularity of seasonal anime, using both review scores and the number of reviews.
The rankings include both TV anime and anime films released in the 2020 anime seasons.
So, without further ado here are Japanese anime fans’ Top 20 anime of 2020:
The world is ruled by spirits, goblins, and all manner of strange creatures. Human beings are persecuted, to the very point of extinction. One day, a golem and a lone human girl meet.
This is a record of the pair, one a member of a ruined race, the other a watchman of the forest. It tells of their travels together and of the bond between father and daughter.
Hina Tsurugi and her family have just moved to a quaint seaside town. Hoping to savor the sight of the peaceful ocean, Hina stumbles upon a girl named Yuuki Kuroiwa—an upperclassman at her new school—who invites Hina to join her in fishing. Hina reels in an octopus, which falls onto her; being afraid of bugs and big creatures, she panics and begs Yuuki to remove it from her. Yuuki sees this as an opportunity to force Hina to join the school’s Breakwater Club—a club where members gather, catch, and eat various types of marine life as their main activity.
Although her attempts to refuse to join fail, Hina slowly begins to discover the hidden joy in fishing. Her view on the sport changes, now looking forward to all the delightful experiences she can take part in alongside her fellow club members.
Restaurant worker Minare Koda has recently been through a bad breakup. Heartbroken and drunk after a night out, she rants about her misery to a complete stranger—Kanetsugu Matou, a radio station director local to Sapporo, Hokkaido.
The next day at work, Minare is shocked to hear a recording of herself from the previous night playing over the radio. Flustered, she rushes to the radio station in a frenzy to stop the broadcast. As she confronts Matou, a chain of events leads to her giving an impromptu talk live on air, explaining her savage drunken speech. With her energetic voice, she delivers a smooth dialogue with no hesitation, which Matou recognizes as raw talent.
Minare soon becomes a late-night talk show host under Matou’s direction, covering amusing narratives set in Sapporo, all while balancing her day job and personal life to make ends meet.
17. Re:Zero Season 2
A reunion that was supposed to spell the arrival of peaceful times is quickly shattered when Subaru Natsuki and Emilia return to Irlam village. Witnessing the devastation left behind by the calamities known as Sin Archbishops, Subaru sinks into the depths of despair as his ability to redo proves futile.
As the group makes their way to the Sanctuary in search of answers, Subaru has an unexpected encounter with the Witch of Greed—Echidna. Subjected to her untamed rhythm, he is forced to dive into the spirals of the past and future. At the same time, several mysterious threats set their sights on the Sanctuary, heralding a horrific fate for the hapless people trapped within.
Everlasting contracts, past sins, and unrequited love will clash and submerge into a river of blood in the second season of Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. Pushed to the brink of hopelessness, how long will Subaru’s resolve to save his loved ones last?
Hole—a dark, decrepit, and disorderly district where the strong prey on the weak and death is an ordinary occurrence—is all but befitting of the name given to it. A realm separated from law and ethics, it is a testing ground to the magic users who dominate it. As a race occupying the highest rungs of their society, the magic users think of the denizens of Hole as no more than insects. Murdered, mutilated, and made experiments without a second thought, the powerless Hole dwellers litter the halls of Hole’s hospital on a daily basis.
Possessing free access to and from the cesspool, and with little challenge to their authority, the magic users appear indomitable to most—aside for a few. Kaiman, more reptile than man, is one such individual. He hunts them on a heedless quest for answers with only a trusted pair of bayonets and his immunity to magic. Cursed by his appearance and tormented by nightmares, magic users are his only clue to restoring his life to normal. With his biggest obstacle being his stomach, his female companion Nikaidou, who runs the restaurant Hungry Bug, is his greatest ally.
Set in a gritty world of hellish design, Dorohedoro manages a healthy blend of comedy and lightheartedness with death and carnage. Taking plenty of twists and turns while following the lives of Hole’s residents, it weaves a unique world of unearthly origin and dreary appearance not for the squeamish or easily disturbed.
After an enthusiastic invitation from her friend, Kaede Honjou reluctantly agrees to try New World Online: a very popular VRMMO played by thousands of people across Japan. Naming her in-game character Maple, she sets out on her journey. As a complete novice to such games, she allocates all of her stat points into vitality, desiring to not get hurt. With not a single point in any other stat, Maple has extraordinarily high defense, but she can’t move quickly or hit hard.
This doesn’t end badly for her, however. Due to her high defense, Maple acquires overpowered skills such as Total Defense, Poison Immunity, and Devour. These skills, along with the incredibly powerful items she obtains, allow her to obliterate most enemies in a single hit. After only a few days of playing the game, Maple claims third place in a server-wide event, gaining a reputation as a player who is both unkillable and absurdly powerful.
Despite her overpowered character, Kaede has much to learn. As she progresses through the game, she meets new friends and acquaintances, helping her complete new levels and events. Through all of her adventures, she may even pick up some other crazy skills that exceed all expectations.
Midori Asakusa sees the world a bit differently. Always having her nose in a sketchbook, Asakusa draws detailed landscapes and backgrounds of both the world around her and the one within her boundless imagination. Even the simple act of doodling on a wall evolves into an emergency repair on the outer hull of her spaceship. She is only brought back to reality by her best friend Sayaka Kanamori. The pair are stark opposites, with Asakusa’s childlike wonder contrasted by Kanamori’s calculated approach to life.
After a chance encounter where the two “save” the young model Tsubame Misuzaki from her overprotective bodyguard, a connection instantly sparks between Asakusa and Misuzaki, as both share an intense passion for art and animation. Whereas Asakusa is interested in backgrounds and settings, Misuzaki loves drawing the human form. Sensing a money-making opportunity, Kanamori suggests that they start an animation club, which they disguise as a motion picture club since the school already has an anime club. Thus begins the trio’s journey of producing animation that will awe the world.
From the brilliant mind of Masaaki Yuasa, Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! is a love letter to animation, wildly creative in its approach, and a testament to the potential of the medium.
13. Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu (If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die)
A girl is obsessed with her favorite idol, a minor member of a less popular group, enough that she says she’d die to see her play at Budoukan.
12. Kono Sekai no (Sara ni Ikutsumono) Katasumi ni (In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World)
An extend cut of the 2016 film.
Suzu Urano is a pure and kindhearted girl who loves to draw and keep her head in the clouds. Growing up in the outskirts of Hiroshima with her family, she is more than happy to help with her grandmother’s nori business.
However, when she becomes of age, Suzu leaves her beloved home to marry Shuusaku Houjou, a man she barely knows. As she integrates into her new husband’s household, the homesick bride struggles to adjust to the unfamiliar environment as the war effort extends far beyond its point of no return. When the war reaches Suzu’s own backyard and peace gives way to brutality, how will she support herself and those she comes to love along the way?
Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni paints a colorful yet haunting depiction of everyday life in the years before and after World War II, showcasing the perseverance and fortitude of ordinary Japanese during one of the darkest periods of modern history.
Far in the future, the lifeforms known as Gadoll suddenly arose as a threat to humanity. The last surviving humans on Earth confine themselves to the Tank, a lower district in the giant mobile fortress Deca-Dence. While the Gears who live on the upper floors are warriors who go out to fight as part of the Power, most Tankers are content to provide support from the backlines, butchering Gadoll meat and reinforcing defenses. Natsume is among those who would rather go to the front lines; undeterred by her prosthetic right arm, she seeks to join the small number of Tanker soldiers who join the Gears in combat.
But despite her peers at the orphanage each receiving their work assignments, Natsume’s enlistment to the Power remains unapproved. In the meantime, she begins a job as a cleaner in an armor repair team led by the hard-nosed and apathetic Kaburagi, who seems to be more than he lets on. Though initially cold to his idealistic subordinate, he soon recognizes in her the potential to upset the status quo of the world. As Natsume’s new mentor, Kaburagi prepares her for the special and unique role as a game-changing bug in the system.
10. Shirobako Movie
The film’s story is set four years after the events of the original Shirobako anime. Aoi Miyamori keeps busy dealing with the ordinary troubles in her daily work at Musashino Animation. After a morning meeting, Watanabe talks to Aoi and puts her in charge of a new theatrical anime project for the studio. The project has unexpected problems, and Aoi is unsure if the company can proceed with a theatrical anime with its current state of affairs. While dealing with that anxiety, Aoi meets a new colleague named Kaede Miyai (voiced by Ayane Sakura). She and the MusAni team work together to complete the project.
9. Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta… (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!)
Most people would prefer being the protagonist of a world full of adventure, be it in a game or in another world. But, unfortunately, a certain girl is not so lucky. Regaining the memories of her past life, she realizes that she was reborn in the world of Fortune Lover—one of the games she used to play.
Unfortunately, the character she was reincarnated into—Katarina Claes—is the game’s main antagonist, who faces utter doom in every ending. Using her extensive knowledge of the game, she takes it upon herself to escape from the chains of this accursed destiny.
However, this will not be an easy feat, especially since she needs to be cautious as to not set off death flags that may speed up the impending doom she is trying to avoid. Even so, to make a change that will affect the lives of everyone around her, she strives—not as the heroine—but as the villainess.
The Daihasei Festival has begun, and that of course means that Tokiwadai Middle School—a prestigious all-girls’ middle school—is competing too. Despite the participation of the “Ace of Tokiwadai,” Mikoto Misaka, the other students who are participating are still putting their utmost effort into winning, no matter how impossible the feat may seem against her might.
However, not all is fun and games. Due to the the festival, Academy City opens to the outside world, and various factions have begun plotting ways to infiltrate the city. Misaka appears to be on their radar, and as the festival proceeds, people lurking from the shadows begin to emerge…
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T brings back the Tokiwadai Ace and her friends as they dive deeper into the dark side of Academy City. From terrorist attacks to ruthless underground projects, anything is possible in this city.
Tanjirou Kamado and his friends from the Demon Slayer Corps accompany Kyoujurou Rengoku, the Flame Hashira, to investigate a mysterious series of disappearances occurring inside a train. Little do they know that Enmu, one of the Twelve Kizuki, is also on board and has prepared a trap for them.
Resolved to become a more independent person, Yukino Yukinoshita decides to smoothen things out with her parents, and the first step toward achieving that goal is to prove herself.
As graduation draws closer for the third-year students, Iroha Isshiki—the president of the student council—requests a graduation prom in collaboration with the Volunteer Service Club. Yukino accepts this request of her own volition, hoping to use it as a chance to demonstrate her self-reliance, but what lies ahead of her may prove to be a hard hurdle to cross.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Kan revolves around the graduation prom as emotions are poured into the preparations for the event. At the same time, a chance for the Volunteer Service Club members to better understand each other presents itself. And thus, Hachiman Hikigaya’s hectic and bittersweet high school life begins to draw to a close.
Kakushi Gotou is a somewhat popular manga artist whose works are known for inappropriate content. Because of this raunchiness, when his daughter Hime was born, he vowed to keep his profession hidden from her, believing that she will be disillusioned if she finds out.
This paranoia-induced belief leads Kakushi into hectic situations. Despite being a single father, he does his best and often resorts to extreme ends just to protect his secret, such as guising as a salaryman every day or holding emergency drills in case Hime somehow finds her way to his workplace.
Kakushigoto tells the story of a father and daughter living side by side, maintaining their peaceful existence as the father attempts to preserve the status quo. However, there is a saying: “there are no secrets that time cannot reveal.” In time, Hime must learn the reality behind the things she took for granted as she grew up.
Continuing their perilous descent down the Abyss, Riko, Regu, and newfound friend Nanachi reach the Abyss’ fifth layer, The Sea of Corpses. Upon arriving at the research station known as Idofront, the main trio encounter the mysterious Prushka, the alleged daughter of Bondrewd, who leads them to the White Whistle responsible for Nanachi’s dark past. Despite the welcoming appearances of Idofront’s residents, Nanachi warns the young adventurers that things are not always what they seem. With the only route to the sixth layer shrouded in mystery and Bonedrewd’s schemes awaiting them, what sacrifices must be made in order to continue the journey down to the bottom of the Abyss?
Final of three movies in an adaption of the third route of Fate/stay night.
The Holy Grail War: a violent battle between mages in which seven masters and their summoned servants fight for the Holy Grail, a magical artifact that can grant the victor any wish. Nearly 10 years ago, the final battle of the Fourth Holy Grail War wreaked havoc on Fuyuki City and took over 500 lives, leaving the city devastated.
Shirou Emiya, a survivor of this tragedy, aspires to become a hero of justice like his rescuer and adoptive father, Kiritsugu Emiya. Despite only being a student, Shirou is thrown into the Fifth Holy Grail War when he accidentally sees a battle between servants at school and summons his own servant, Saber.
When a mysterious shadow begins a murderous spree in Fuyuki City, Shirou aligns himself with Rin Toosaka, a fellow participant in the Holy Grail War, in order to stop the deaths of countless people. However, Shirou’s feelings for his close friend Sakura Matou lead him deeper into the dark secrets surrounding the war and the feuding families involved.
An original sequel to the TV anime which aired in 2018, the movie will follow “auto memory doll” Violet, still unable to forget about her former employer Gilbert, who taught her of love. One day, she meets his older brother Dietfried, who tells her that she should forget about Gilbert and move on – but it is impossible for her. Shortly after, Violet receives a call from a young client, while the post office discovers a letter with no address sitting in their warehouse.
After a slow but eventful summer vacation, Shuchiin Academy’s second term is now starting in full force. As August transitions into September, Miyuki Shirogane’s birthday looms ever closer, leaving Kaguya Shinomiya in a serious predicament as to how to celebrate it. Furthermore, the tenure of the school’s 67th student council is coming to an end. Due to the council members being in different classes, the only time Kaguya and Miyuki have to be together will soon disappear, putting all of their cunning plans at risk.
A long and difficult election that will decide the fate of the new student council awaits, as multiple challengers fight for the coveted title of president.