At the start of the new year, we would all have wished for something good to start soon, as per tradition. This has not been the case for most, but the anime industry has brought us some great things as we entered 2020 with a slate of brilliant shows.
This list shows our Top 10 Picks from the Winter 2020 Anime Season and will feature shows which aired and finished during the previous season. This list does not include series which are still airing and have a continuation cour. That being said, here are our Top 10 Picks from the Winter 2020 Anime Season.
10# Somali to Mori no Kamisama
This show follows a human girl and her Golem dad looking out for each other and seeking out other humans, in a world where monsters and other beings live together. The heartfelt tale of the bond between father and daughter and their journey is refreshing. Both characters complement each other and work to make sure that everything goes smoothly as possible, with Somali being a small girl who is curious about a lot of things and Golem as an observing and protective dad.
A good story aside, the art style is also pretty good especially with colourful backgrounds. Despite a few slow-paced moments in the story which leave much to be desired, overall it is a nice and heartfelt journey between a father and daughter.
9# Darwin’s Game
Darwin’s Game started out with a bang: a survival game anime which tells the story of Kaname Sudou, who is forced to survive the game with no knowledge of how it works. The idea of a survival show has been done many times and one of the key aspects is that the brutality depicted has to be on point. To that extent, Darwin’s Game has nailed the brutality in killing off the game’s players. It is not always smooth with the execution but it’s close enough to warrant being on this list.
The show’s action scenes are well-animated and show how Kaname makes the most of the setting’s brutality, though over time the writing of the supporting cast can feel a little lacking. Overall, it’s a decent addition to the survival game genre despite some of its flaws.
8# Kyokou Suiri
In the world of Kyokou Suiri, there are spirits or youkai hidden in plain sight. Our main protagonist Kotoko Iwanaga is dubbed the God of Wisdom and is tasked with solving the youkai’s problems. She is aided by her companion Kurou Sajuragawa to solve all these youkai issues by using their abilities.
The thrilling story and mystery within the show is pretty great as there is always something to look out for. The conversations are heavy at times but the heavy emphasis on dialogue makes sense for a show that does not have much action. In the end, it is a pretty neat show to watch and watching the two banter back and forth is quite hilarious.
7# Bofuri: Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu
There are not many shows that take the light-hearted approach while depicting some heavy stuff but Bofuri does it really well. The story follows Kaede Honjou, who is becomes enthralled with a VRMMO game. As her in-game character Maple, Kaede puts all her game stats into Defense so that she does not get hurt. At the same time she goes on to obtain skills that enhance her defensive capabilities and things start to get wild from there.
The overall story is very light-hearted and the environment they are in makes it really fun. The animation actually caught me off guard at times as there are brief moments of extremely well-animated scenes. Watching Maple obtain outlandish skills in her usual adorable manner feels like a power trip, but it’s a fun power trip to watch.
6# Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!
Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! is a story about three girls who start an anime club in high school through their ambition and love of anime. They then go on to create a colourful and creative anime that will wow the world.
This show is easily one of the most creative shows we’ve seen in a long time. They put a lot of thought and care into this show, and you’ll be awed by the series’ different animation styles that reflect how anime is ever evolving.
Based on the manga of the same name, Dorohedoro is a story of a human-reptile hybrid named Kaiman, who hunts magicians in a dark, decrepit and disorderly district known as the Hole. This show’s premise is pretty bonkers as those living in the Hole are people who have been mutilated and experimented upon by the magicians, and Kaiman is seeking vengeance while also trying to turn back into a human.
The premise blends together grit, comedy, death and carnage into a jacked-up story that comes together unexpectedly well. Despite the main cast’s ludicrous abilities, they still feel really human at the same time. The art style and animation are top notch even though it is done in CGI. This is definitely one of the dark horses of the season and it is such a wild ride.
4# ID: INVADED
This anime tells the story of detective Akihito Narihisago, who must investigate a brutal complex murder case–by using advanced technology to enter a murderer’s unconscious mind and tracking down the other culprits by analysing their complex psychological planes.
The story is very riveting with a lot of mystery and complexity, as the mind of a criminal is a huge mess and Akihito needs to bring all the missing pieces together to solve the case. With strong dialogue, action sequences and a fleshed-out world, it is no wonder that the show is recommended by many as one to watch.
3# Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia
Based on the mobile game of the same name, Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia follows our protagonist Ritsuka Fujimaru and his companion Mash Kyrielight, as they travel back in time to the year 2655 BC to stop the impending doom of humanity.
This show perfectly brings to life one of the most intriguing storylines from Fate/Grand Order. Not only are the fight scenes are superbly well made, but the soundtrack and character development are excellent as well. If you’ve been looking for the perfect entry point to get into the Fate series, then this would be it.
2# Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun
Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun stole the limelight this season, and with good reason. The story revolves around Nene Yashiro and her curiosity about urban legends within her school, which leads her to a toilet ghost named Hanako-kun. She ends up becoming Hanako-kun’s assistant and learning more about the world of the supernatural.
The show has a fun atmosphere with its mix of the supernatural and the real world and the spirits and apparitions that inhibit them, especially with the colourful artstyle and contrasting palettes. The soundtrack also has an eerie feel that matches perfectly with the story. Definitely give this one a try!
1# Boku no Hero Academia Season 4
Boku no Hero Academia has been hard hitting since the first season premiered and as we go into the fourth season, it’s still as strong as ever. With the adaptation of the Overhaul arc, one of the best arcs from the manga, we finally got to see some gritty ends for our class A-1 heroes and their senpais as they try to capture the new villain Overhaul.
This is a great season for the show as we got to see plenty of character development for our main cast, along with some standout scenes such as the Deku vs Overhaul fight and Endeavor’s redemption arc. Despite a few bad patches, possibly caused by Studio Bones also animating the Boku no Hero Academia movie at the same time, this show still prevails as one of the best series to watch this season and I highly recommend it.
So there you have it: our Top 10 Picks for the Winter 2020 Anime Season. Do you agree with the list? Was there another show worthy of being in the top 10? Let us know in the comments section!