I was initially worried about the fall 2020 anime season. The pandemic had clouded the season with quite a bit of uncertainty. Even the announcement of the season’s lineup was late and lackluster. Despite this, the fall 2020 season turned out pretty good!
If we venture back in time, I was pretty excited about a couple of anime in the fall 2020 lineup. You can catch up with my initial thoughts on the season here: Fall 2020 Anime Lineup
Would you be surprise to know that only ONE of my initial watchlist made it to my top three this season? Before we get into the details, let’s read that disclaimer:
DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT SPOILERS!
I was actually pleasantly surprised to have a season that didn’t turn out like I thought it would. Before I begin, let me point out that I did not include or consider Haikyu! for these lists. My reasoning is it is a well-established anime and I think we can all agree that this season was awesome. I wanted to highlight other, lesser known, anime. Let’s start off with this season’s disappointments in no particular order.
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen (The Irregular at Magic High School)
I was really looking forward to the second season of this show. After years of pining away for a second season, this one fell flat. The magic was even more clunky than the first season. The brother/sister love element between Tatsuya and Miyuki seemed forced and unnatural. It was not as effortless as the first season. In the first season, their flirting and admiration of one another was lighthearted and cute, but for whatever reason, this season felt rushed. The portrayal of their relationship slams on the gas leaving the cute crush vibes behind. I didn’t much care for the clunkiness of it all. For me, the storyline hits some major snags. We’re sort of introduced to this concept of strong, family clans and we kind of get a hint that Tatsuya’s family is a big deal. There are teasers of a power struggle, but we’re kind of left in the dark. I felt the storyline was was poorly developed and/or adapted for anime. For me, it was boring and I had a lot of issues staying invested.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (Higurashi When They Cry)
It hurts me to have to put this one on the list. It isn’t a bad anime. You do get some WTF moments and some A+ gore. I think had I watched this show when it originally aired back in 2007, I would feel differently about it. The main plot device is the manipulation of time. At the time that I write this, I have not finished the season, but they’re alluding to being caught in a time loop and/or curse that is making our protagonists live out the same block of time repeatedly with different outcomes. Back in 2007, I bet that was groundbreaking. However, in 2011 Steins;Gate was released. I watched all of Steins before I ever heard of Higurashi and I think that is where my disappointment lies. Steins;Gate uses the time plot device so much better. Maybe I am not giving the show credit where it is due. I like it, but I didn’t love it.
Noblesse gives us a very basic “mysterious protagonist finds happiness through friends” storyline. There was nothing unusual or extraordinary about this show. The storyline is highly predictable and not unique in any way. I did enjoy watching this show, but I don’t think it has anything new to offer beyond the formula. I would recommend giving it a watch if you don’t have any other queued anime. It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great either.
ChibiChonk’s Favorites of Fall 2020
My honorable mention for the fall 2020 season is:
KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear was not even on my original watch list. It was a show that Rugjen stumbled upon and suggested it to me. Kuma was a special treat for me every week. This really was the season of uplifting and sweet anime. It really was what I needed to help boost my morale in these times. While there is nothing groundbreaking about this show, it is satisfying to watch. Our protagonist led a very shelters and cut-off life in the real world. She is gifted a suit of bear armor and whisked away (trapped) to another world. Here in this world, she builds relationships that she did not have back in the real world. She is quickly surrounded by people that care for her and bring her joy. It’s a feel-good show and I highly recommend it.
You can read more about my initial opinion of the show here: KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR
The runner-up for new shows this season, for me, is going to be:
BY THE GRACE OF THE GODS (Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko)
This was definitely the season of absolutely adorable anime. By the Grace of the Gods did not disappoint. Every week, I was looking forward to seeing Ryoma and his army of slimes. Every episode left a smile on my face. Our protagonist dies a very untimely (and embarrassing) death. He is granted life in a new world by three Gods. In the form of an 8-year old boy, Ryoma excels at magic. Due to his experience on Earth, he has a different understanding of how to make magic works which allows Ryoma to be quite the innovator. Ryoma is a sweet boy and you can’t help but cheer for him as he works hard to be respectful and decent in this new life granted to him. He is supported by his slimes that bring cheer whenever they’re shown. I highly recommend this show if you need something to just make you smile.
You can read my initial opinion of the show here: BY THE GRACE OF THE GODS
TOP PICK OF THE SEASON
My top pick of the season goes to:
TONIKAWA – OVER THE MOON FOR YOU
Every week, I was so excited to see the next episode. This show is totally wholesome. Sometimes, you just need a good slice-of-life romantic comedy and this one hit all of the checkboxes. Our protagonist meet in a very dramatic way. As Nasa distractedly crosses a street to get Tsukasa’s attention, he is hit by a truck. The only reason he survives is because Tsukasa jumps in front of the truck to save him. Upon saving him, Nasa asks for her hand in marriage and she accepts before disappearing. One day, she shows up at his door and as promised, they get married. Despite the ridiculousness of how they start their relationship, each episode is so sweet. Both of our protagonists are wholesome people which makes them even more powerful together. We are even blessed with an antagonist in the form of Chitose, a girl that Tsukasa saved as well. The humor is lighthearted and witty, and I highly recommend it to put a smile on your face.
You can read what I thought of the first episode here: TONIKAKU KAWAII
Have you watched any of these shows? What’s your take? Feel free to comment below! Thanks for stopping by!