Ranking Every 2020 Anime (That I Actually Finished), From Worst to Best – Introduction

Before I start, let’s take a moment to breathe.

What a year it’s been, am I right or am I right?

I think I speak for a lot of my readerbase when I say that 2020 has been the most taxing, challenging, and just flat-out exhausting year of our lives. Finding the time and energy to devote to experiencing, thinking about, and talking about art this year was not always easy. But by the same token, I’d say that a lot of the reason I’m handling it as decently as I am is because of said art. This is hardly unique to me; many critics, commentators, bloggers, and journalists have spoken about the importance of their medium(s) of choice this year.

To that end, rather than simply doing a Top 5, or a “Best and Worst”. I decided I would rank the anime I’ve seen in 2020, from worst to best. I’ve only seen twenty shows this year, which is not that many, in the grand scheme of things. But it’s enough that writing just one article was…not feasible, and as such, this post here will link to the four articles constituting the four parts of the list. Why worst to best? Well, I think it makes for a better dramatic arc, mostly. But also because even the shows I liked the least this year played a part in helping me keep myself together. It’s not an exaggeration to say that anime has helped my emotional state this year more than it ever has in my life.

I tried not to sweat the minutiae of placement too much; while last and first place are definitely where they belong, some stretches in the middle are occupied by shows that I’d say I liked about equally. So it goes!

Not present are non-serial anime (with apologies to music videos like Ruru’s Suicide Show andStudy Me and shorts like Puparia) and, obviously, things I didn’t see or didn’t finish. (Which, those range from Akudama Drive to Healin’ Good Precure and everything in-between.) What it does include are 21 20* shows that, despite everything, I believe all have some merit, and are all worth talking about. Some of these writeups are short, a few are very long, some are more informal, and for others I endeavored to look at them through a more focused lens. Some lean heavily on personal experience, others, uh, don’t. Variety is the spice of life.

And of course, we’re required to use terms like “worst” and “best” because for a critic it is generally expected that one use the language of objectivity. I don’t really believe in that in the arts, and I don’t think most of my readerbase does either, but I feel the need to clear up any possible misconception nonetheless. This whole list is, obviously, of course, only my own opinions, thoughts, and observations. As says the disclaimer at the bottom of every Magic Planet Anime article.

But enough beating around the bush. Here is the list, divided into four parts for your reading pleasure. In order to stagger things out (and because I’m not done with some of the writeups on some of the better anime here), I’ll be rolling out one part per day over the next several days, starting with Part 1 today (December 27th, if you’re reading this in the future). Hopefully I will be able to finish by the new year! I hope, also, that you find some tiny crumb of insight, interest, or just plain enjoyment from these walls of words.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

*I made an embarassing fencepost error when writing up the list, which is why not all four parts of the list have five entries each. I think it’s been fixed now. Whoops.

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All views expressed on Magic Planet Anime are solely my own opinions and conclusions and should not be taken to reflect the opinions of any other persons, groups, or organizations. All text is owned by Magic Planet Anime. Do not duplicate without permission. All images are owned by their original copyright holders.

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