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Winter 2020 anime season: a final say

The snow outside is melting, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. Ever so quietly, even as the world feels like it’s frozen in time, Spring has crept up on us guys, and with us now on the eve of another wave of new anime, I thought it would be fun to rundown how I ended up fairing with the Winter season.

pet

(dropped, first ep. review)

I’m surprised to learn I watched 7 episodes of the ineffectual pet before dropping it. It was a poor anime series devoid of engaging characters that I’m likely to forget even existed.

ID: INVADED

(dropped, first ep. review)

I spent 6 episodes working hard to keep up with ID: INVADED before realising it wasn’t worth the effort: weighed-down with technobabble and the animation quality took a disheartening dive.

Somali and the Forest Spirit

Somali and the Forest Spirit anime episode 1: Somali

(dropped, first ep. review)

Somali and the Forest Spirit was an easy-going watch but I wasn’t getting anything out of it. The anime equivalent of jam on toast: a sweet treat, but I wanted a hearty meal.

Interspecies Reviewers

(on hold, editorial)

I watched the first 3 episodes of Interspecies Reviewers to see how risque it was. It turns out: very. Not sure yet if I’m going to keep going.

HAIKYU‼ TO THE TOP

Hinata with wings from Haikyuu!! Season 4 anime episode 1

(still watching, first ep. review)

A cours worth of volleyball training and then just as the National Tournament begins, goes on hiatus until July. Not the best season of Haikyu!! but then not every season can be a blockbuster.

Winter 2020 best anime

Dorohedoro

Dorohedoro anime episode 1

(still watching, first ep. review, editorial)

I love the upside-down horror world of Dorohedoro, where extreme violence and black comedy go hand in hand. I’ve only seen 3 episodes, but I’m really impressed.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! opening

(completed, first ep. review, editorial)

An unrelentingly optimistic and inspiring anime about making anime, from the maestro Masaaki Yuasa, full of life and imagination.

Blade of the Immortal

(completed, review)

A condensed version of a great samurai manga that nevertheless captured the insane, violent and beautiful world of Tokugawa shogunate-era Japan.


How did you find the Winter 2020 anime season? Have I missed anything that you thought was unmissable?

5 replies on “Winter 2020 anime season: a final say”

I enjoyed Pet. Was it an amazing show? No, it had mediocre production, some really questionable decisions (such as having the Japanese seiyuu speak Chinese… just why?), and a really annoying BGM. But while the plot was silly with all the talk of peaks and valleys and crushing and people mindfucking others just to get across the street, with a cast that wasn’t anything to write home about, I think the underlying story was a pretty effective exploration of the darker and scarier aspects of love. Extra good points from me for it not focusing on romantic love like stories that deal with this topic usually do. It wasn’t as good as it could have been, but I think it wasn’t a waste of time.

Anyway, for me this season was kind of a letdown because both shows that I started out really liking (Hanako-kun and ID:Invaded) ended up being disappointing; I never ended up particularly liking Eizouken (I appreciate its heart, but it didn’t connect with me whatsoever, this is a common issue with me and “shows about making anime” – they never ever reflect the things I enjoy about animation); and while I enjoyed Pet it wasn’t anything amazing. I did love Mairimashita! Iruma-kun though, it always brightened up my week. Looking forward to the spring season…

Yeah, as far as Eizouken is concerned, as effusive as the praise has been, it’s not a show for everyone. I ended up scoring it 8/10. I wish it was a bit more introspective (I loved the character-specific episodes, like the Kanamori flashback) than free-wheeling.

Anyway, I hope that there’s something a bit more interesting for you this Spring season. From what I’ve seen so far, there’s plenty to be excited for!

Great review! Thanks for including the series you’ve dropped too. I dropped a lot of the same series earlier then you did and I always like looking back and seeing if any of my dropped series got better.

Series I followed:
Haikyuu S4: Not enjoying it as much as previous series, but I love the burst of optimism it brings into my anime watching life.

Kyokou Suiri: I love youkai shows. The mystery part of this series kind of drags on though.

Runway de Waratte: It wasn’t perfect, but I still loved this show. So uplifting, and I needed that since the real world seems to be falling apart.

Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun: Decent dark youkai show, but could be better. Megumi Ogata was great, but the main female character was annoyingly helpless.

Natsunagu: A bunch of short episodes about a girl looking for her friend that would have worked better as a one episode OAD.

Continuing shows:

Chihayafuru S3: Awesome sports series, though technically about a competitive game.

Kabukichou Sherlock: Fun, interesting, but not too memorable for me.)

Dropped:
Pet (Ep 3): I didn’t understand what it was trying to do.

ID Invaded (Ep 3): Same as Pet.

Dorohedoro (Ep 2): Too gory for me.

Somali (Ep 3): Too cutesy for me. Didn’t like the characters enough.

Plunderer (Ep 3): Too fanservicey for me.

Forgot about Eizouken. I finished it and thought it was a fun ride. I liked how they showed how much work goes into making anime.

I still need to checkout Runway de Waratte, thanks for the reminder!

I’m glad you liked the post. Since I reviewed the first episodes of a lot of these, it felt like I needed to add some closure.

Seems like a running theme in all of our comments that ID Invaded didn’t hit the mark. It’s probably the biggest disappointment of the season for me. The story has so much potential, but it just got lost.

Thanks for commenting!

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