The 20 Best Anime Of 2020

Share On

2020 has been a strange year for many Anime titles. Most of the ongoing anime got paused and many new anime got postponed. And as a result, fans had to wait longer than expected for almost all anticipated anime of 2020. And in the end, it was worth the wait. There are a couple of awaited anime sequels that were disappointing on fan’s expectation like Food Wars: The Fifth Plate. In addition, Japan Sinks: 2020, from the creator of the Devilman Crybaby, missed the spark. However several shows managed to live up to the hype.

A couple of fan-favorites anime returned with new seasons in 2020. Similarly, several brand new shows came out which took the hype to the next level. We came up with the list of the top 20 most favorite anime from 2020.

20. PET


Date of Release: January 06 2020

Directed By: Takahiro Omori

Animation production: Geno Studio

Pet is a real mindscrew, in more ways than one. Based on Ranjō Miyake’s manga of the same name, the series follows Tsukasa and Hitomi, two empaths with the ability to delve inside the minds of others and manipulate their memories and perceptions. Employed by a shadowy organization known simply as “The Company,” the pair are tasked with using their abilities to cover up crimes, assassinations, and commit all sorts of unsavory acts, more often than not at the expense of innocent lives and their own fractured psyches.

The dialogue can be frustratingly obtuse at times, with crucial terms like “peaks” and “valleys” thrown out of the left field with little if any formal explanation and the initial episodes can be a bit hard to follow with regard to what is being seen or perceived by whom at any given moment. Hang in there, though—it’s a story that gradually makes more sense the longer it goes on and rewards the closer you pay attention. And barring even that, it’s still worth a watch for the psychedelic visuals alone. Think of it as a more freakish take on Christopher Nolan’s Inception by way of Philip K. Dick’s Ubik.

Available on: Amazon Prime

19. In/Spectre


Date of Release: January 11 2020

Directed By: Keiji Gotoh

Animation production: Brain’s Base

Supernatural mystery series are a dime a dozen when it comes to anime, so it’s refreshing when one comes along that has as intriguing a premise and personality as In/Spectre. Based on Kyo Shirodaira’s novel series, In/Spectre follows 15-year-old Iwanaga Kotoko, a university student who four years prior to the series’s start was anointed as the “Goddess of Wisdom” of the spirit world at the cost of her left leg and right eye.

Acting as an intermediary between the human and spirit world, Kotoko is tasked with solving disputes and discrepancies between the two. There’s just one problem: Kuro Sakuragawa, Kotoko’s fast-made companion and boyfriend is a surprisingly fearsome entity with mysterious powers that strike fear in the spirits that Kotoko is charged with protecting. A serial mystery crossed with an odd-couple rom-com that occasionally pokes at the fourth wall, In/Spectre is a gorgeously animated series with fun twists, delightful characters, and engrossing cases that’ll keep you hooked to the end.

Available on: Crunchyroll

18. Darwin’s Game


Date of Release: January 03 2020

Directed By: Yoshinobu Tokumoto

Animation production: Nexus

If you were to cross Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s adrenaline-charged social thriller Nerve with the mystery-driven ultra-violence of Hiroya Oku’s Gantz, it’d probably look something like Darwin’s Game. Based on artist “Ginko” and writer Yuki Takahata’s manga of the same name, the anime centers on 17-year-old Kaname Sudō, who, after accepting an mysterious invite from a recently deceased friend, is thrust into a deadly supernatural bloodsport known only as Darwin’s Game.

Pitted against a cadre of sociopaths and with no way to seek help from the outside world, Kaname must rely on his wits and will to survive while searching for a means to escape this living nightmare. Produced by studio Nexus, the 11-episode series is penned entirely by series author Yuki Takahata, resulting in an adaptation that’s a near one-to-one match with the source material. If you’re looking for a taut action series with serious mystery drama, Darwin’s Game is a solid choice.

Available on: Crunchyroll

17. Somali and the Forest Spirit


Date of Release: January 09 2020

Directed By: Kenji Yasuda

Animation production: Satelight

If your tastes veer more towards the whimsical fare of Studio Ghibli than explicitly action-oriented titles, Somali and the Forest Spirit is a perfect choice. Set in a world of magic and sorcery populated by spirits, goblins, and all sorts of creatures, the series follows the journey of a forest-protecting golem and their companion, a precocious child named Somali. Together, the two embark on a search for a home for Somali among the last of the humans, a race of beings previously thought to have been persecuted and hunted to the brink of extinction ages ago.

Think Alphonse and Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, but instead of two brothers in search of the philosopher’s stone to restore their bodies, it’s a father figure and their adoptive ward searching for safety and security in a world of dangers at every turn. With exquisite backgrounds, disarming humor, and a story with genuine emotional pull, Somali and the Forest Spirit is a spirited fable of parenthood and love found in the most unlikely of circumstances. 

Available on: Crunchyroll

16. Food Wars! The Fifth Plate


Date of Release: April 11 2020

Directed By: Yoshitomo Yonetai

Animation production: J.C.Staff

The horniest cooking anime to ever exist comes to an end in its fifth season as Yukihira Soma and his band of world-class talented teenaged chefs compete and spectate in the most prestigious cooking competition for chefs under 25 during the Totsuki culinary academy’s summer break. Though Food Wars!, aka Shokugeki No Soma, has turned into more of shōnen battle manga with food, taking on the seedy chefs of Noir, than the groundbreaking technique explainer of its past, it’s no less celebratory of the art and joy of cooking in all its trial and error, failure and success.

Available on: Crunchyroll

15. BNA: Brand New Animal


Date of Release: June 30 2020

Directed By: Yoh Yoshinari

Animation production: Studio Trigger

In the future, the centuries-old existence of a race of animal-human hybrids known as “beastmen” has been made known to humanity. Faced with the threat of social unrest and undue persecution by the humans, the beastmen are granted “separate but equal” coexistence within an autonomous zone of Japan where they established Anima City, the sole sanctuary for beastmen in the human world. Michiru Kagemori, a teenage girl who has been mysteriously transformed into a beastman, comes to Anima City in search of answers and a cure to her curious condition and is thrown headfirst into a world of adventure, intrigue, and conspiracy.

You Yoshinari’s latest series has everything you’d come to expect from the legendary animator-director behind FLCLGurren Lagann, and Little Witch Academia: dazzling animation, whimsically elastic physical comedy, great music, and GOAT-tier background and character design, courtesy of up-and-coming animator-illustrator Genice Chan. BNA: Brand New Animal is yet another excellent addition in Trigger’s body of work, a visual evolution of the studio work on 2019’s feature film Promare, and one of the year’s most enjoyable anime to watch.

Avalable on: Netflix

14. Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World (Season 2)


Date of Release: July 08 2020

Directed By: Masaharu Watanabe

Animation production:  White Fox

Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World is the tale of Subaru Natsuki, a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) who’s suddenly transported to another world during a routine trip to the convenience store. He’s dazed and confused upon arrival, but a silver-haired half-elf girl comes to his aid, and before he knows it, he’s involved in an engrossing fantasy quest. It’s a mixture of magical and medieval themes that most anime fans have seen before, but what makes this particular show stand out is the characters.

If you’re aware of Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World, you’ve probably heard the term “waifu wars” before. For the uninitiated, “waifu” is fandom slang for a fictional female character who inspires obsession (both borderline and full-blown) in male fans. Waifus Rem and Emilia emerged as the two favorites in season 1 of Re:Zero, but Crunchyroll put an end to the popularity debate when it ran a poll — Rem won with almost half the total vote.

Needless to say, a lot of people were upset when Rem was put into a coma in the first episode of season 2, but fans quickly took to new character Echidna and got over it. Studio White Fox gives a lesson in how to do a follow-up season here, shaking things up without totally alienating fans. And don’t worry Rem lovers, chances are she’ll be back when the show recommences in 2021.

Available on: Netflix, Crunchuroll

13. Tower of God


Date of Release: April 01 2020

Directed By: Takashi Sano

Animation production: Telecom Animation Film

Tower of God has been one of the most talked-about new series of 2020, and for good reason. A collaboration between Crunchyroll and digital comic publisher Webtoon, the series is an anime adaptation of the online ‘manhwa’ (Korean for ‘comic’) by artist S.I.U. and the latest in Crunchyroll’s recent push into producing its own original anime content.

The series follows Bam, an amnesiac youth who is mysteriously teleported into the eponymous Tower of God, a metaphysical structure that seemingly encompasses the entire world and is designed to bestow immense powers upon those capable of reaching its heights. On his journey to reach the tower’s peak in search of his beloved friend Rachel, Bam must surround himself with allies in order to overcome the Tower’s deadly trials and even deadlier adversaries. A gorgeous fantasy-adventure with rich characters, dense mythology, and beautiful animation, Tower of God will satisfy anyone hungry for a new shonen series to binge on

Available on: Crunchyroll

12. Haikyuu!! To the Top


Date of Release: January 11 2020

Directed By: Masako Satō

Animation production: Production I.G.

The men’s high school volleyball anime Haikyuu!! has gained an obsessive fandom over its four seasons, and it’s a no brainer why: While the show is, of course, about high-level volleyball, where one show-stopping match could take up practically an entire season’s arc, the real draw are each of the teams that make up the ongoing rivalries. But we’re forever rooting for Karasuno High School, and the setter-hitter dynamic of all-star Tobio Kageyama and rising star Shouyou Hinata, prepare for and compete in the national tournament. With every ace, diving save, big block, and perfect spike, Haikyuu!! will make you care deeply about volleyball even if you don’t know the first thing about the sport.

Available on: Crunchyroll

11. Japan Sinks: 2020


Date of Release: July 09 2020

Directed By: Pyeon-Gang Ho, Masaaki Yuasa

Animation production: Science SARU

Pyeon-Gang Ho and Masaaki Yuasa’s adaptation of Sakyo Komatsu’s 1973 disaster novel takes the original premise and updates it for the modern era. When Japan is rocked by a major earthquake, the Mutō family is forced to band together to weather the cascade of subsequent disasters and perils that follow in its wake. Japan Sinks: 2020 is a harrowing survivalist watch, particularly in a post-Fukushima disaster, post-COVID-19 world. As they journey across the country in search of refuge and safety amidst an onslaught of environmental dangers and malicious opportunists, death comes swiftly and indiscriminately for both loved ones and strangers alike. With a gorgeous theme song composed by the inimitable Ryuichi Sakamoto and a pulse-pounding score by composer Kensuke Ushio, Japan Sinks: 2020 is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unfathomable adversity and unprecedented environmental horror.

Available on: Netflix

10. Aggretsuko (Season 3)


Date of Release: August 27 2020

Directed By: Rarecho

Animation production: Fanworks

Rarecho and studio Fanworks’ Aggretsuko comes roaring back for another exciting season of drama, love, and guttural death metal. Retsuko and co.’s journey through young adulthood takes some sharp turns as they navigate the pressures of predatory microtransactions, budding office romances, idol groups and sinister fanboys, the death march of a debt-driven society under the iron rule of capitalism, and the tough but necessary choices that come with growing as both a professional and as a person. As harrowing and full of heart as the series has ever been, Aggretsuko Season 3 is wild enough to give Bojack Horseman’s emotional rollercoaster a ride for its money and without a doubt a must-watch.

Available on: Netflix

9. Kaguya-sama: Love is War (Season 2)


Date of Release: April 11 2020

Directed By: Mamoru Hatakeyama

Animation production: A-1 Pictures

Student council president Miyuki Shirogane and vice president Kaguya Shinomiya return for another season of machiavellian shenanigans and romantic hijinks! The first season of Kaguya-sama: Love is War was one of last year’s standout new series, a devious and hilarious twist on the classic ‘will-they-won’t-they’ formula of high school rom-com anime. Season 2 has even more in the way of lovestruck mishaps between Miyuki and Kaguya, as well as more time spotlighting old and new breakout favorites such as the Kaguya’s hyper-capable assistant Ai Hayasaki and Miyuki’s icy cool sister Kei. And better, the second season is just self-contained enough that viewers new to the series could pop in to watch this one without missing a beat. Kaguya-sama: Love is War is uproariously hilarious, stylistically inventive, and easily one of the best anime rom-coms to come out this year.

Available on: Netflix

8. Attack on Titan (Season 4)


Date of Release: December 7 2020

Directed By: Jun Shishido, Yūichirō Hayashi

Animation production: MAPPA

The highly celebrated and fiercely debated anime Attack on Titan returns for its fourth and final season with new horrors, greater perils, and a new studio behind the scenes. With the true nature of the Titans finally revealed, the rightful heir to the throne of the Walled City properly seated, and the series’ true antagonists unveiled in the form of the mysterious mainland country of Marley.

The last season of the popular dark fantasy action series subverts expectations once again by shifting its perspectives to that of the Marley military as they mount one last desperate campaign to take Paradis Island and the power of the Founding Titan from Eren Yeager. With long-time AoT studio Wit having moved on following their work on Season 3, MAPPA and co-directors Jun Shishido and Yūichirō Hayashi have stepped up to bring the series’ finale to fruition. While it may be too soon to say how it compares to that of the series’ preceding season, what’s abundantly clear is that Attack on Titan Season 4 is one of this year’s biggest releases and certainly not one to be missed.

Available on: Crunchyroll, Hulu

7. Great Pretender


Date of Release: August 20 2020

Directed By: Hiro Kaburagi

Animation production: Studio Wit

Makoto Edamura is Japan’s greatest con-man. Or at least, that’s what he thinks until he’s bested by Laurent Thierry, a suave and masterful gentleman thief who eyes up the young Edamura to join his globe-trotting crew as his apprentice. Traveling the world from San Francisco to Singapore, London and beyond, Edamura learns the tricks of the trade as he cons the criminal elite’s most dastardly plutocrats while growing up along the way, all tinged with the same sense of humor that you’d find in any of the Ocean’s movies. Directed by Hiro Kaburagi (91 DaysSpeed Grapher) and written by screenwriter Ryota Kosawa, Great Pretender is a death-defying, high-wire heist drama packed with a dazzling art design, beautiful vistas, and an infectiously jazzy score that easily catapults it among the ranks of very best, most memorable, and exciting new anime to come out in 2020.

Available on: Netflix

6. Akudama Drive


Date of Release:  October 08 2020

Directed By: Tomohisa Taguchi

Animation production: Pierrot

Ever wondered what an anime version of Suicide Squad from the writer of Danganronpa and the studio behind Tokyo Ghoul would look like? That’s Akudama Drive in a nutshell. Set in an outlandish dystopian sci-fi world where the Japanese region of Kansai has been transformed into a vassal state under the rule of Kanto, the series follows an ordinary young woman who, after a chance encounter with a group of hardened criminals known as Akudama (literally Japanese for “bad guys”), is fitted with an explosive collar and tasked with performing a seemingly impossible heist at the behest of a mysterious benefactor in the guise of a robotic cat. What starts out wild only intensifies into an engrossingly over-the-top, visually abrasive, and unapologetically hyper-violent action show that lives and dies by the Rule of Cool. If you’re looking for a show that throws caution to the wind and acts like subtext is for cowards, Akudama Drive was made for you.

Available on: HuluFunimation

5. Dorohedoro


Date of Release:  May 28 2020

Directed By: Yuichiro Hayashi

Animation production: MAPPA

Based on Q Hayashida’s cult dark fantasy sci-fi manga of the same name, Dorohedoro is set in the Hole, a harsh derelict metropolis populated by humans and an ever-increasing number of unfortunate souls transformed into chimeric monstrosities by malicious sorcerers from another dimension. The series follows Caiman, an amnesiac bounty hunter and his best friend Nikaido as they scour the depths of the Hole in search of the sorcerer who cursed him with a lizard’s head. Oh yeah, he’s also got a sentient human head at the back of his throat that pops up Xenomorph-style whenever Caiman swallows his prey to search for the culprit. It only gets weirder from there. Packed to the brim with gnarly violence, leather-clad weirdos, pitch-black humor, and more than a few moments of light-hearted levity, Dorohedoro is a dark and impressive hybrid-CG anime that combines dystopian body-horror and slice-of-life comedy to make for one of the most exciting and unique new series to come out in 2020.

Available on: Netflix

4. Jujutsu Kaisen


Date of Release:  October 03 2020

Directed By: Sunghoo Park

Animation production: MAPPA

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An athletically-gifted high schooler (Itadori Yuuri) with tremendous physical strength and the ability to converse with spirits is whisked away from his ordinary life to become a highly specialized supernatural warrior (Jujutsu Sorcerer) under the careful tutelage of an eccentric masked mentor (Satoru Gojō) after he inadvertently becomes the vessel of an immensely powerful and evil entity (Ryoumen Sukuna). No, this isn’t Naruto or Bleach or Yu Yu Hakusho; it’s Jujutsu Kaisen, and it’s awesome.

Adapted from Gege Akutami’s ongoing Shonen Jump manga and helmed by an exemplary host of animators, including series director Sunghoo Park (Garo: Vanishing Line), key animator Shingo Yamashita (Birdy the Mighty Decode), and animation director Tadashi Hiramatsu (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Jujutsu Kaisen is perfect for any fan of deftly animated action anime searching for a new favorite series while patiently waiting for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba to return. With an exhilarating blend of supernatural horror-action, dizzying fight scenes, oddball characters, and charming slice-of-life humor, Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the most promising new anime to premiere this year.

Available on: Crunchyroll

3. Beastars


Date of Release:  March 13 2020

Directed By: Shinichi Matsumi

Animation production: Orange

Set in a world of anthropomorphic animals, Beastars is the story of Legoshi, a benevolent if dour young lupine who crosses paths with Haru, an emotionally aloof and promiscuous dwarf rabbit, through serendipitous circumstances and begins to develop complicated feelings for her. Legoshi’s primal and emotional awakening is exacerbated by his status as a carnivore, forcing him to confront the terrifying question of whether what he feels for Haru is simply his instinctual urge to hunt and kill, or something more. From a technical and creative standpoint, everything about Beastars is masterful.

From its sincerely nuanced depiction of a society frayed between different competing castes of carnivores and herbivores, to its inspired sense of composition and lighting, Beastars is an absurd, terrifying, horny, and heartfelt anime that stands head and shoulders above the pack.

Available on: Netflix

2. Deca-Dence


Date of Release:  July 08 2020

Directed By: Yuzuru Tachikawa

Animation production: Nut

Is it really any surprise that director Yuzuru Tachikawa (Death ParadeMob Psycho 100) and screenwriter Hiroshi Seko (Attack on TitanBanana FishVinland Saga) are behind not only one of the best anime of 2020, but one of the biggest anime twists of the year? Deca-Dence follows the story of Natsume, a young girl living aboard a massive mobile fortress in a post-apocalyptic world who dreams of becoming one of its defenders, and Kaburagi, her taciturn mentor figure whose past and nature conceals an unfathomable secret about the nature of their world and Natsume’s very existence. What starts out as an impressively executed, if boiler-plate, mash-up of Attack on Titan by way of Mortal Engines quickly transforms into a cerebral sci-fi drama resembling a cocktail of WestworldMonster Hunter, and mutant hybrid of Pixar’s Wall-E meets Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph. With dazzling action, beautiful animation, and a deliriously high-concept premise that’ll leave your head spinning, Deca-Dence is an unquestionable must-watch for any anime fan in 2020.

Available on: HuluFunimation

1. Keep Your Hands off Eizouken!


Date of Release:  January 05 2020

Directed By: Masaaki Yuasa

Animation production: Science Saru

Based on Sumito Ōwara’s manga series of the same name, Keep Your Hands off Eizouken! follows high schooler Midori and her friends Sayaka and Tsubame as they attempt to establish an anime club on their school’s campus and produce their own animated film. What follows is a wild odyssey of the highs and lows of trying to break into animation, the type of comedic and disarmingly earnest portrayal of youthful ambition in the face of opposition, and inexperience that reaffirms why you fell in love with anime in the first place. Brimming with meticulous nods to some of the medium’s finest creators and a mischievously meta sense of creativity that’ll have even the most stone-faced of viewers grinning ear to ear, it’s the kind of show you could only expect from the likes of Masaaki Yuasa (Devilman CrybabyPing Pong the Animation, etc.) and the team behind Science Saru. Top that with an infectiously trippy title theme and score courtesy of rap duo chelmico and experimental producer Oorutaichi and you’ve got one of the most memorable and hilarious anime of the year.

Available on: Crunchyroll


>>Need help finding Best Anime Movies to watch, Click Here<<

Share On

Leave a Reply