For now, this is the last of my series about favorite anime by year. I’ll continue once I watch some anime from the 90s and as 2020 continues on. It won’t be the end of Sunday Select, however. That will continue, just with other choices for the seven items. As usual, the selections in this post do not include movies, OVAs, long-running series or series carried over from previous year(s). They are not necessarily the most well-made or popular anime, but rather, my personal picks. I don’t really know what order I would put them in terms of enjoyment, since all of them had a fair amount. So instead, the entries are ordered alphabetically. Here goes!
I missed Beastars during my hiatus from anime and blogging at the end of 2019. So, I only just watched it in spring. It blew me away! Beastars presents a world of anthropomorphic animals, as the carnivores and herbivores try to live in an ordered society. The characters are amazing, from the gentle and earnest wolf Legoshi, to the intense and ambitious stag Louis, and the rabbit Haru who lives life to the fullest in a world where she could die any day. The main genres are romance and drama. Both fronts are excellent. I highly recommend Beastars.
2. Boogiepop wa Waranai
This is definitely not one that I would expect everyone to enjoy. It was fairly well-received by those who were familiar with the light novels and the 2000 anime Boogiepop Phantom. It seems that the average anime viewer did not enjoy it, however, as the score on My Anime List is only 7.11 at this current date. Boogiepop can be difficult to understand for those who don’t like to think too much in their anime. That’s not to say it’s a “brainy” anime, per se. It’s more of a deeply psychological and symbolic one. You either like this style or you don’t, it seems. Anyway, this anime is most definitely a favorite for me, and if you like vague, existential meanderings of thought and story, you are sure to enjoy it.
3. Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket is a beloved shoujo manga series that has persisted in popularity for decades now. The 2001 anime adaptation, which covered one season, is dear to the hearts of many anime fans. Though there were some complaints and it did take some getting used to, the reception for this modern remake of the first season was positive. The story centers on Tohru, a kind girl who lost her parents, and her new life with the mysterious Sohma family. I thoroughly enjoyed Fruits Basket and recommend it to those who like emotional stories with a bit of comedy and a supernatural twist.
Given is a beautiful young romance story between the skilled guitarist Ristuka and the spacey, quiet boy Mafuyu who wants to learn to play. It turns out he has an amazing voice when he sings. Before long, Mafuyu is invited to join Ritsuka’s band. This is one of the less problematic BL anime out there. The tropes are minimal. It’s well-made and feels genuine, without fan-service. I absolutely love the songs in this anime. My favorite one is “Marutsuke.” I highly recommend this for a light romance with likable and relatable characters.
5. Kakegurui XX
The second season of Kakegurui is as shamelessly over-the-top and weirdly sensual as the first. The matches all over the school intensify when the announcement is made that the next student council president will be decided through gambling. This show can be enjoyed as a moderate thriller with some drama and an unusual style of fanservice. But for me, there’s a bit more too it than that. The way this season explores the characters and their motivations surpasses the first Kakegurui by far. There are also some good insights into various topics of psychology. To top it all off, the president’s same-sex relationship with the club secretary is solidified and explored. There’s a lot to enjoy here, in my opinion.
6. Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 (part 2)
The popular and epic show Attack on Titan finally wrapped up the third season in 10 impressive and eye-opening episodes. For those who aren’t into this show yet or haven’t caught up to the current point in the anime, let me tell you, this is worth it. So many questions will be finally be answered, and there will be extremely intense, violent, and high-cost battles better than ever before. Taking all three seasons into account, Attack on Titan becomes an even deeper and darker take on the cycle of violence and discrimination, and the futile yet necessary nature of fighting.
7. Yakusoku no Neverland
The Promised Neverland focuses on Emma and her close companions Norman and Ray as they discover the dark truth about the orphanage they have lived in all their lives. It was refreshing to have a female lead in this kind of story, and a very likable one at that. This series is full of intrigue, suspense, mind games, and psychological elements. It’s also masterfully structured as a short series, with just enough of each needed ingredient (character histories, hints about the outside world, fascinating and frightening antagonists, etc.) A second season is projected to begin in January 2021.
Note: I want to give a shout-out to Carole and Tuesday, Dr. Stone, and Sarazanmai as wonderful 2019 anime that I loved about as much as these seven.
Thanks for giving this post a read through, and have a great day!
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