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The Best (And Worst) Anime of Spring 2020


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njprogfan
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 08 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:44 pm Reply with quote
I have to agree with Jim's worst choice wholeheartedly! Shironeko Project: Zero Chronicle is about as bland as they come. And that LAST episode must be the bottom dweller last episode of the year, so far....my brain will never be the same...
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 835
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:57 pm Reply with quote
I'm glad I gave Woodpecker Detective's Office a chance, it really surprised me - I suppose even though it doesn't really function "correctly" as a detective show, that's a part of its appeal: I was expecting something more formulaic, but the way it's not entirely actually about the mysteries works to its benefit.
Quote:
Woodpecker Detective's Office makes us care about someone not for himself, but because he's important to someone else, and without descending into maudlin melodrama.

That sums it up pretty well. The way these later episodes have unfolded are something special, I think.
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cchigu



Joined: 15 Feb 2020
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:47 pm Reply with quote
Kaguya-sama is the AotY for me, other than that I think I only liked Great Pretender this season tbh, although it is also not something I would consider above 7/10. I honestly didn't give a single anime outside Kaguya greater than a 5/10, which is pretty sad. I really hated ToG, Bakarina, Gleipnir, Yesterday wo Uttate and Ascendance of a Bookworm 2.

Kingdom S3 getting COVID'ed was a huge bummer. sigh

Ascendance of a Bookworm 2 is easily the biggest disappointment of the year, for me. Feels like it had too much plot conveniences and too many common anime tropes for my liking. Its season 1 was honestly a breath of fresh air and it reminded me of Kemono no Souja Erin but now I honestly feel that I should have rewatched Erin instead.
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Seagloom



Joined: 04 Nov 2017
Posts: 41
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:35 pm Reply with quote
Bookworm was my hands down favorite this Spring. Easily the show I most looked forward to every week and a lovely way to end what was a stacked Saturday lineup. It seemed more rushed than the first season, and had a mediocre episode or two, but that wasn't enough to affect my enjoyment.

Kaguya is my runner up. It is as close to what I consider perfection as a show can manage week after week. Last time I was this impressed with execution was Planet With; and that show was not nearly as pretty. No matter how reluctant I was to watch at times, Kaguya managed to drag out a few chuckles or suck me into its drama every week. Probably the only show I would rate a 10 this season. The only reason I didn't enjoy it more than Bookworm is being a little burnt out on romcoms lately.

Worst was Shironeko. I'm two episodes behind on Shachibato and will probably drop it out of boredom, but Shironeko was bad rather than dull. The pacing is terrible with two episodes wasted on tonally dissonant slice of life when one would have sufficed to get their point across; one episode that literally recycled several minutes from the previous episode, and an ending that was both rushed and nonsensical. Unlike James, I understood what they were going for--or at least I think I did. They spelled it out in painstakingly needless detail in the back half. It was just executed so terribly that only fans of the mobile game are likely to get anything out of it. A shame one of the better OPs and EDs this season was attached to this disaster.

Most surprising show was Princess Connect. While it doesn't reinvent the wheel, it's frequently cute and humorous; and succeeds at everything Shironeko fails at. When it's laid back slice of life, it's fun and relaxing. When it's dramatic, I'm invested in what's happening. The four leads all have their charm, and the animation is frequently outstanding during action scenes. More action oriented series would kill to look as flashy as Princess Connect.

Most disappointing is Tower of God. I don't have any special reason for it. It was just never that compelling until the last few episodes. Didn't come anywhere near living up to the hype for most of its run, and even when it started getting better it seemed at best, slightly above average. I went on to read the webtoon after episode 11 and enjoyed that waaaay more. If they had given ToG more episodes to breathe, it might have seemed less mediocre. 'Sing Yesterday' had a disappointing conclusion, but at least I enjoyed it more leading up to that.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:44 pm Reply with quote
Interesting to see a couple of best and worst titles being the same this season.

Best: Kaguya-sama S2

Runner up: Kakushigoto

Honorable mentions in no particular order: Jashin-chan S2, Villainess, Tsugumomo S2 (Since it hasn't been brought up in most discussions, I'd say the last few episodes in particular were great and the fights were very well done), Princess Connect, Shachou Battle (it's fairly light on content, but I still enjoyed watching it before turning in for the night) edit: Dorohedoro (didn't think of it because of the netflix release)

Worst: Gal & Dino - I've enjoyed what I've read of the manga, but this adaptation was a big disappointment. I appreciate the creativity of the different animation styles being done, but the manga just didn't or wasn't translated well to anime. And what was up with those live action segments no one asked for?


Last edited by Covnam on Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:59 pm Reply with quote
Does Railgun count? Some of the episodes (and the best of them) aired this season.

Anyway, best would be Kakushigoto. I didn't expect a Kumeta work to make me feel things, but that OP is just too good. I don't think the ending was as good as it could've been and there are definitely holes in it all, but it was still my favorite.

Runner up would be Kaguya. It's marginally better than the first season overall, but I felt like that one had more impact. Still good, but I keep wishing it was better.

Worst is BNA, by a fair amount. I haven't finished it yet, but several episodes are pretty bad, and I don't especially like any aspect of it so far. I didn't actually drop anything this season though, so that's a good thing.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:35 pm Reply with quote
I am sorry to see that my fav of the season - Dorohedero - only got one mention and a runner-up at that, but oh well. At least James put Wave, Listen to Me in its proper place to make up for Rebecca's mention. I actually think there should be a rule that you need to watch more than one episode of something before adding it to your list. I realize this can be difficult when dealing with a series that you are not enjoying, but it does seem unfair to add to to a Best/Worst (or most Irritating) list if you've only seen a single episode.

eta: And I the only one loving Gal & Dino??? I was NOT a fan of Pop Epic but Gal & Dino's offbeat comedy is hitting my sweet spot. To tell the truth, I'd probably be happier if Gal & Dino was just fully animated rather than having long live action sequences, but even so I really like and miss this show.
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Engineering Nerd



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:28 pm Reply with quote
@Seagloom

At all cost, please seriously consider drop Shironeko project even you only have 2 episodes from completion; because you will about to witness one of the most nihilistic anime endings (if not one of the worst) of all time. If that actually spike your curiosity, please feel free to see the anime discussion on your site of choice to see how the writer has dropped the ball HARD, instead of wasting your time on it.
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Sisyphusson66



Joined: 04 Dec 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:37 pm Reply with quote
This season had a good amount of strong shows, even with the delays and postponements.

Fruits Basket Season 2 was probably my favorite this past spring. It started strong and remained so throughout, but it wasn't until we got more of Akito that it really distanced itself from the other strong shows this season. Everything about Akito was executed well, and I immensely enjoyed Akito's screen time, almost moreso than the rest of the cast.

Runner's up for this season was Kakushigoto. It was the perfect blend of comedy and family drama surrounding very enjoyable and relatable characters. While Kaguya-sama may have been the better comedy this season, Kakushigoto, for my money, was just the better show as a whole experience (not docking Kaguya-sama, it was easily my third favorite this season, and a marked improvement over the first season).

The surprise of this season was Sing "Yesterday" for Me. For the longest time I was unsure about whether or not I was enjoying it, but by the end, I can say that it was a good watch. It is heavily flawed and fails to tie up all of its characters' arcs effectively, but the development and payoff of its central relationship between Shinako and Rikuo is incredibly satisfying to watch unfold. That alone made it worthwhile to watch in the end.

This season's disappointment was Tower of God. The entirely of my disappointment comes from the fact that this adaptation is basically just an advertisement for the webtoon. And while a lot of anime acts as an ad for the source material, Tower of God does so at the expense of giving its characters character. It focuses on the plot points while ignoring some of the character moments from the source that help make the story work as a whole.

Plunderer was my worst anime from last season, and continues as my worst. While the second half was marginally better, that is down to it coinciding with where the manga starts to find its footing. Other than that, it is still awful. Our lead character's defining trait is that he is perverted, but the story justifies it because he is basically a Christ-figure, so its ok! The story's take on total war and killing is shallow and one dimensional, and the way that the second arc is adapted removes a lot of character development, in one case reorganizing scenes in a way that removes half of the purpose of the arc. I could go on with story issues, but the production has issues as well. It never looks good (it could come down to COVID-19, but it was never delayed, so I don't know) and the pacing and directing is horrid, with scenes overstaying their welcome to the point of the scene basically rotting. Finally, the background score rarely fits the scene it is placed over. While it does get better in the second half, the music still has moment where it doesn't fit the scene, and there are times where the background score verges on anti-music.
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Seagloom



Joined: 04 Nov 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:38 pm Reply with quote
Engineering Nerd wrote:
At all cost, please seriously consider drop Shironeko project even you only have 2 episodes from completion; because you will about to witness one of the most nihilistic anime endings (if not one of the worst) of all time. If that actually spike your curiosity, please feel free to see the anime discussion on your site of choice to see how the writer has dropped the ball HARD, instead of wasting your time on it.


That was in reference to Shachibato. I finished Shironeko and offhandedly mentioned how awful the ending was. Not that I blame anyone missing it in the wall of text that was my post. >.<

I agree it was nihilistic. That didn't bother me since I knew the anime was a background story for a game. It was never going to end well--much like Groza's prospects. My issue was how poorly it was handled. Everyone was so abruptly written out and there was never any emotional payoff between the two leads. It left me wondering what was even the point.

At least it wasn't as bad as Zettai Shougeki: Platonic Heart's ending.
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Shiyonasan



Joined: 18 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:40 pm Reply with quote
Princess Connect is the one that impressed me the most. I suppose I shouldn't expect anything less from the guy who directed the Konosuba anime. It has just the right amount of balance between serious and silly moments that I like in series similar to it. The characters are great as well, especially the main three girls.

Despite the criticism the ending to it got (it does feel a bit too rushed imo), I enjoyed the Yesterday wo Utatte anime as well. Really set the tone for the time period well (1990s) and I liked the voice acting in it. I really should get around to reading the manga someday.

Also, I do enjoy the new Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru anime. I always felt like the series would do well with kids nowadays, so I'm glad to see it revived even if it's just a short ONA on the Bandai Spirits YouTube channel. Always wondered why the original anime was never brought to America; it would've been a hit here.
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Blood-
Aria CompanyAria Company


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:49 pm Reply with quote
Engineering Nerd wrote:
@Seagloom

At all cost, please seriously consider drop Shironeko project even you only have 2 episodes from completion; because you will about to witness one of the most nihilistic anime endings (if not one of the worst) of all time. If that actually spike your curiosity, please feel free to see the anime discussion on your site of choice to see how the writer has dropped the ball HARD, instead of wasting your time on it.


Darn you, EN, you've made curious, now! Arggh, I dropped this show but I'm a sucker for nihilistic endings.
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Tuor_of_Gondolin



Joined: 20 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:01 pm Reply with quote
^ Just (re?) watch Texhnolyze. That's about as nihilistic as they come. :/
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:02 pm Reply with quote
Or spoiler[Gilgamesh.]

I'm putting that in tags so not to spoil anything for people who might not have seen that show yet. Unveil it at your peril.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 863
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:04 pm Reply with quote
The only ones I actually watched this season were Ascendance of a Bookworm and My Next Life as a Villainess. Of those, Bookworm is definitely my favorite. I was a little apprehensive about the shift from bookmaking and bartering to shrine-maidening at a church, but if anything the worldbuilding has been more interesting in the second season, not less. The main conflict has also transitioned from "Myne vs. lack of books" to "Myne vs. structural inequality," which certainly hits all the right buttons for me. Hopefully this one will get more seasons.

Villainess, meanwhile, fits well as a runner-up favorite (not surprising that multiple reviewers put it there), since its animation quality is a bit rough and it's not exactly tackling difficult themes, but ultimately it doesn't matter because it's just so unashamedly silly and endearing. "A protagonist who can seduce anyone by being stupid and eating dessert" pretty much sums it up; Catarina is such an over-the-top lovable idiot, so good at accidentally reassuring and inspiring everyone she meets, it's no wonder she ends up with a giant harem... that she doesn't know about.

Interesting that Woodpecker Detective and Wave, Listen To Me both ended up as one reviewer's favorite and another's least favorite. Anything related to angry ranting on talk radio makes me wary, but maybe I should look at the former sometime.
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