Best anime in 2020 


2020 has been an unusual year for many, what with the COVID-19 pandemic that took us by surprise. Despite unavoidable delays, animation studios still managed to pull through and released many anime films and series over the course of 2020

These anime have helped to make staying at home more bearable as we could pass time watching the new releases. Here are the 20 best anime in 2020 that got us through the year.  


1. Haikyuu!!: To the Top – Part 1 & 2


Best Anime 2020 1 - haikyuu to the top part 1
Haikyuu!! To the Top – Part 1

Image credit: IMDb
 

Season 4 of Haikyuu!! sees Japan’s beloved volleyball team from Karasuno High School preparing for their upcoming fierce matches against various elite teams in the nationals. 

Best Anime 2020 2 - haikyuu
Image credit: IMDb

With just a few more weeks till the long-awaited nationals, Shoyo Hinata and the rest of the Karasuno volleyball team train rigorously in order to put their best foot forward in the upcoming matches. 

During this time, both Tobio Kageyama and Kei Tsukishima are invited to join separate training camps to practice with the nation and prefecture’s best players. 

Best Anime 2020 3 - haikyuu hinata shoyo
Image adapted from:  明 山瀬

To better himself, Hinata crashes the training camp attended by Tsukishima, but he’s reduced to being a mere ball-boy throughout the next few days. But don’t underestimate the usefulness of being a ball-boy. Watch to see the accelerated growth of the Karasuno volleyball boys in just a short time after their intense match against Shiratorizawa High School. 

Part 1 ends with a sneak peek of Karasuno’s next match against Inarizaki High School, the favourite to win this year’s nationals.
Best Anime 2020 4 - haikyuu to the top part 2
Haikyuu!! To the Top – Part 2
Image credit: IMDb
 

In Part 2, Karasuno High School battles it out in a relentless and epic match against Inarizaki High School. Their match stretches across 12 episodes, and various players from both teams get their time to shine and fight their hardest. 

Best Anime 2020 5 - haikyuu karasuno
Image credit: IMDb

To both teams, as long as the ball is still up in the air, they still have a chance to clinch a win. 

『ハイキュー!! TO THE TOP』第2クール放送直前PV
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『ハイキュー!! TO THE TOP』第2クール放送直前PV

 

Genre: Comedy, Sports, School life, Drama, Shounen
Length: 1 season, 25 episodes
Available on: Netflix, Crunchyroll


2. Somali and the Forest Spirit


Best Anime 2020 6 - somali and the forest spirit
Image credit: IMDb 

Somali and the Forest Spirit is a heartwarming tale of a young human girl and a stoic Golem. Humans have been attacked by various creatures and are currently in the brink of extinction. Somali, a small human girl, is found by Golem and taken under his wing. 

Best Anime 2020 7 - somali and golem
Image credit: IMDb

Having far more knowledge and experience, Golem knows of the dangers that await Somali in the near future, and he wishes to find a way to ensure her safety. Together, they learn what it means to be a family and how to take care of one another despite being of different species.

TVアニメ「ソマリと森の神様」第2弾PV
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TVアニメ「ソマリと森の神様」第2弾PV

 

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Slice of life
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Netflix, Crunchyroll


3. Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It


Best Anime 2020 8 - science fell in love so we tried to prove it
Image credit: IMDb 

Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It is a rom-com that follows the story of Ayame Himuro and Shinya Yukimura, 2 intelligent science geeks who are in love with each other. However, they refuse to casually admit it without first proving their love in a scientific manner. 

Best Anime 2020 9 - himuro and yukimura
Image credit: IMDb

The duo drags the entire Ikeda Lab team at Saitama University into their quest to determine the factors that lead to love. Follow this unusual pair as they try to understand love in their own hilarious but logical method.  

Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it | OFFICIAL TRAILER
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Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it | OFFICIAL TRAILER

 

Genre: Romantic comedy, School life, Slice of life
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Crunchyroll


4. Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun


Best Anime 2020 10 - toilet bound hanako kun
Image credit: IMDb 

The urban legend about the toilet spirit named Hanako-san is well-known and has been portrayed in many shows, films, and even video games. The first-ever on-screen portrayal of Hanako-san was in a 1995 film called Phantom of the Toilet. 

Best Anime 2020 11 - hanako kun and nene
Image credit: IMDb 

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun tells the tale of 15-year-old Nene Yashiro, who manages to summon Hanako-san, the famous toilet-haunting spirit said to grant the summoner’s wish at a cost. To Nene’s great surprise, Hanako-san turns out to be a boy and his spiritual duties go far beyond the dumb rumours that have been spread for years. 

Due to a curse, Hanako-kun and Nene end up linked spiritually, causing Nene to get dragged into the world of paranormal activity. 

TVアニメ「地縛少年花子くん」第2弾PV
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TVアニメ「地縛少年花子くん」第2弾PV

 

Genre: Comedy, Shounen, School life, Supernatural
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Netflix


5. A Certain Scientific Railgun T


Best Anime 2020 12 - railgun
Image credit: @myanimelist 

A Certain Scientific Railgun is a spin-off series from A Certain Magical Index, a science fiction anime series. The protagonist of this spin-off is Academy City’s 3rd strongest Level 5 esper, Mikoto Misaka, who specialises in electricity. A Certain Scientific Railgun T is the 3rd season of the series.

Misaka and friends participate in the annual Daihaseisai, a public sports event across all the schools in the city. They get themselves involved in skirmishes against the ruthless groups lurking in Academy City and those who have infiltrated the city as members of the public during the ongoing sports event. 

Best Anime 2020 13 - misaka mikoto
Image adapted from: GMB1590

Misaka becomes aware of the scientific experiments and villain groups lurking in the city. She is willing to risk her own life to protect her loved ones and to put a stop to the unethical experiments, which includes human cloning and mind control, that occur in the city. 

TVアニメ『とある科学の超電磁砲T』天賦夢路(ドリームランカー)編 PV
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TVアニメ『とある科学の超電磁砲T』天賦夢路(ドリームランカー)編 PV

 

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Drama
Length: 1 season, 25 episodes
Available on: Crunchyroll, Funimation


6. Fruits Basket – Season 2


Best Anime 2020 14 - fruits basket 2
Image credit: IMDb 

Fruits Basket follows the story of Tohru Honda, a high school girl who finds herself entangled with the Soma family. 

She ends up living in the Soma household after moving out of her grandfather’s place. Tohru discovers that 13 members of the Soma household are spiritually connected to the 13 Chinese zodiac animals. 

Each of the 13 men is cursed to turn into their animal form when touched by a member of the opposite gender or when put under tremendous pressure, which is inconvenient. 

Best Anime 2020 15 - tohru and kyo
Image credit: IMDb

Tohru grows close to the different members of the Soma family, especially Kyo and Yuki, and wishes to set them free from their family curse. They delve deeper into the secrets of the Soma household and try to find a way to lift the curse.   

TVアニメ「フルーツバスケット」2nd season先行映像
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TVアニメ「フルーツバスケット」2nd season先行映像

 

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Slice of life, Shoujo
Length: 1 season, 25 episodes
Available on: Crunchyroll, Funimation


7. Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: The Fifth Plate


Best Anime 2020 16 - food wars
Image credit: @thisisnothumi 

The 5th season of Food Wars! sees Soma Yukihira, Erina Nakiri, and their friends in the Totsuki Culinary Academy battle against other chefs in The BLUE, a prestigious culinary competition. Soma, Erina, and their friends compete against Asahi Saiba, Monarch, Yunosuke, Sarge, Don Kalma, and Kou Shiou – fierce opponents who make up a group called Le Cuisiner Noir.    

『食戟のソーマ 豪ノ皿』放送直前PV
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『食戟のソーマ 豪ノ皿』放送直前PV

 

Genre: School life, Shounen, Food
Length: 1 season, 13 episodes
Available on: Netflix, Crunchyroll


8. Kaguya-sama: Love is War – Season 2


Best Anime 2020 17 - kaguya sama
Image credit: IMDb 

Kaguya-sama: Love is War is a rom-com story about the seemingly perfect student council president and vice-president of Shuchiin Academy, Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya. Everyone in school views them as a power couple. 

However, their lack of experience in the romance department causes them to act childishly when it comes to showing affection. For some strange reason, both Miyuki and Kaguya believe that confessing first is an act of submission. Both refuse to admit their love and try to trick the other into surrendering first. 

Best Anime 2020 18 - miyuki and kaguya
Image credit: IMDb

In the 2nd season, Miyuki and Kaguya strive to keep their positions as elections for the 68th student council begins. In the midst of the busy elections, Miyuki and Kaguya continue to use their wit to manipulate the other into professing their love first. 

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War? Season 2 Trailer
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Kaguya-sama: Love Is War? Season 2 Trailer

 

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Psychological, Seinen, School life
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Funimation, Netflix


9. Kakushigoto


Best Anime 2020 19 - kakushigoto
Image credit: IMDb 

Kakushigoto tells the tale of a father named Kakushi Goto and his daughter, Hime Goto. Kakushi, whose name means “secret”, is hiding a secret from his daughter. In order to protect his daughter, Kakushi pretends to be an office worker so as to hide his real job – a manga artist who draws explicit content. 

Best Anime 2020 20 - hime goto
Image credit: IMDb

This is a comical yet touching series that talks about family, honesty, and acceptance. 

TVアニメ『かくしごと』本PV
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TVアニメ『かくしごと』本PV

 

Genre: Comedy, Slice of life, Shounen
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Netflix, Funimation


10. Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World – Season 2 Part 1


Best Anime 2020 21 - re zero 2
Image credit: @MKashion 

Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World Season 2 follows Subaru Natsuki as he journeys alongside Emilia to help her become ruler of Lugnica. Subaru, Emilia, and company are forced to complete 3 trials at the Sanctuary in order to save the people of Irlam Village. 

Threats begin to surface at the mansion where some of their allies are at, adding to their troubles.  Subaru fights relentlessly to make good on his word to Emilia and to protect his loved ones. But after countless deaths and resurrections, Subaru is mentally and physically drained, and he wallows in despair. 

Best Anime 2020 22 - subaru
Image credit: Pancakes

Subaru tries his hardest to retain his sanity and fight on for the sake of his loved ones, even in the depths of his despair.

TVアニメ『Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活』2nd season|2020.7.8 ON AIR START
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TVアニメ『Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活』2nd season|2020.7.8 ON AIR START

 

Genre: Drama, Psychological, Fantasy, Thriller
Length: 1 season, 13 episodes
Available on: Crunchyroll


11. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, Climax!


Best Anime 2020 23 - snafu
Image credit: @sgcafe 

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, Climax! is the 3rd and final season of the anime series that started 7 years ago. The dramatic high school lives of Hachiman Hikigaya, Yukino Yukinoshita, and Yui Yuigahama finally reaches its conclusion. 

As graduation looms near, the characters start to understand their feelings for one another and are forced to confront each other. The complicated love triangle between the trio will finally be resolved. 

The thought-provoking series has great character development as the 3 friends mature and begin to take charge of their own lives over time. It also has effective dialogue between characters, and curveballs to their storyline leave the audience surprised but satisfied.  

【Animation】My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax (English subtitles Trailer)
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【Animation】My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax (English subtitles Trailer)

 

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama, School life, Slice of life
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Crunchyroll


12. A Whisker Away


Best Anime 2020 24 - a whisker away
Image credit: IMDb 

A Whisker Away is a touching story about finding one’s sense of belonging, understanding love and relationships – be it between humans or animals – as well as finding the courage to speak out about one’s dreams and feelings. 

Life as a human may not be easy 90% of the time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth living. Miyo Sasaki, the female protagonist, learns this the hard way. 

Best Anime 2020 25 - miyo sasaki
Image credit: IMDb

Miyo struggles with day-to-day life with her family and schoolmates, and she goes through a rebellious phase in middle school. She finds solace in the form of Kento Hinode, her crush, but is only able to get close to him in the form of a white cat nicknamed “Tarou”. 

A series of events leads Miyo to give up her humanity to become “Tarou” and stay by Hinode’s side. It is up to Hinode to save Miyo before the latter becomes a cat, permanently.     

本予告『泣きたい私は猫をかぶる』公式 (6/18配信スタート)
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本予告『泣きたい私は猫をかぶる』公式 (6/18配信スタート)

 

Genre: Romance, Drama, Magic, School life
Length: 1 hour 44 minutes
Available on: Netflix


13. Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel III. Spring Song


Best Anime 2020 26 - spring song
Image credit: IMDb 

Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel III. Spring Song is the 3rd and final film in Heaven’s Feel trilogy and it will finally wrap up the darkest and most gruesome route in the Fate/stay night game series. 

Shirou Emiya is desperate to save Sakura Matou from becoming one with the Holy Grail, succumbing to the overwhelming magical forces and turning ruthlessly evil. Shirou recruits the help of Rin Tohsaka, Illyasviel von Einzbern, and Rider – Sakura’s servant – to fight alongside him and put an end to this Holy Grail war. 

Best Anime 2020 27 - emiya shirou
Image credit: IMDb

The film boasts spectacular animation, action-packed scenes, and great theme songs. Out of the 3 films, Spring Song has gotten the best reception and it made ¥1,000,000,000 (~USD9,625,450) in just 11 days after its theatrical release on 15th August 2020. 

Fate/stay night [Heaven's Feel] THE MOVIE III. spring song Teaser Trailer 2
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Fate/stay night [Heaven's Feel] THE MOVIE III. spring song Teaser Trailer 2

 

Genre: Action, Magic, Supernatural
Length: 2 hours 2 minutes


14. Great Pretender


Best Anime 2020 28 - great pretender
Image credit: IMDb 

Great Pretender boasts intelligent and effective storytelling, colourful and realistic characters, and well-thought-out scams delivered by the main leads. The story follows Makoto Edamura, a con artist who partners up with an even craftier conman, Laurent Thierry. 

Best Anime 2020 29 - laurent and makoto
Image credit: IMDb

Together with other smart and manipulative individuals, Makoto and Laurent take their con business across the world. The series might sound unwholesome, but Makoto and Laurent only target despicable people to bring their evildoings to light.       

TVアニメ「GREAT PRETENDER」(グレートプリテンダー)ティザーPV
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TVアニメ「GREAT PRETENDER」(グレートプリテンダー)ティザーPV

 

Genre: Action, Crime, Psychological, Adventure, Comedy
Length: 1 season, 23 episodes
Available on: Netflix


15. Fly Me to the Moon


Best Anime 2020 30 - fly me to the moon
Image credit: Imgur 

Fly Me to the Moon is a love story between Nasa Yuzaki and Tsukasa Tsukuyomi. Their peculiar romance begins one fateful night when Nasa falls in love with Tsukasa at first sight. 

Nasa gets into a serious traffic accident as he carelessly crosses the road to get to Tsukasa. He manages to confess his love for Tsukasa before succumbing to his wounds and she surprisingly accepts on one condition – if they get married before dating. Nasa wakes up to find that Tsukasa has disappeared and he is unable to find her anywhere. 

Best Anime 2020 31 - tsukasa and nasa
Image credit: IMDb

3 years later, Tsukasa suddenly re-appears in front of Nasa to begin their newlywed life. They get to know each other better, grow closer, and fall deeper in love after becoming husband and wife.

TVアニメ『トニカクカワイイ』30秒ティザーPV
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TVアニメ『トニカクカワイイ』30秒ティザーPV

 

Genre: Romance, Comedy
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Crunchyroll


16. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Infinity Train


Best Anime 2020 32 - demon slayer mugen train
Image credit: IMDb 

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Infinity Train is the highest-grossing film in Japan and the 5th highest-grossing film of 2020.

Tanjiro and Nezuko Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma, and Inosuke Hashibira have been tasked to work alongside Kyojuro Rengoku, the Flame Hashira, to investigate the mysterious Mugen Train and hunt down a demon who has caused multiple deaths on the train. 

Best Anime 2020 33 - tanjiro
Image adapted from: AniplexUS

On their demon hunt, Tanjiro and friends are ambushed by Enmu, the demon that they’re looking for, and are lulled into slumber. If they fail to wake up in time and stop Enmu, everyone on the train will become food for the demon. With powerful scenes, great action, and emotional parts, it’s not hard to see why the film won the hearts of viewers this year.

Demon Slayer - Kimetsu no Yaiba - The Movie: Mugen Train Official Trailer
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Demon Slayer - Kimetsu no Yaiba - The Movie: Mugen Train Official Trailer

 

Genre: Action, Supernatural, Demons, Shounen, Historical
Length: 1 hour 57 minutes


17. Violet Evergarden the Movie


Best Anime 2020 34 - violet evergarden the movie
Image credit: u/ArunavaSensei 

Violet Evergarden the Movie is the finale to the Violet Evergarden anime series.

Best Anime 2020 35 - violet and gilbert
Image credit: IMDb 

Violet Evergarden the Movie gives fans the closure they desperately need after the anime series ended 2 years ago. Violet has grown to become an independent woman who helps to write and deliver letters for people. However, deep down, she longs to reunite with Gilbert and believes that he did not die in the war. 

Although everyone persuades her to move on, Violet holds firm on her belief that Gilbert is out there somewhere. An anonymous letter seems to be the clue that will lead her to Gilbert’s whereabouts.

『劇場版 ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン』大ヒット感謝PV
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『劇場版 ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン』大ヒット感謝PV

 

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Slice of life
Length: 2 hours 20 minutes


18. Love Me, Love Me Not


Best Anime 2020 36 - love me love me not
Image credit: IMDb 

4 starkly different high school students – Yuna Ichihara, Akari Yamamoto, Rio Yamamoto, and Kazuomi Inui – end up becoming close friends after a series of encounters. With different personalities and perspectives on love, the 4 friends struggle with their feelings. 

Plagued with a love square, the quartet’s high school experience is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride of emotions and growth.

Omoi Omoware Furi Furare Trailer (English Subtitles)
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Omoi Omoware Furi Furare Trailer (English Subtitles)

 

Genre: Romance, Drama, Coming-of-age, Shoujo, School life
Length: 1 hour 43 minutes


19. Is the Order a Rabbit? BLOOM


Best Anime 2020 37 - is the order a rabbit bloom
Image credit: IMDb  

Is the Order a Rabbit? BLOOM is the 3rd season of the beloved slice-of-life series. Cocoa and her friends are back to entertain us with their daily life, from attending classes to working in cafes to various adventures. 

The simple and funny interactions between Cocoa, Chino, Rize, Chiya, and Syaro never fails to bring joy to the audience. Story and character development are particularly prominent in this new season, and we see the 5 friends have fun and bring us around their quaint town.

TVアニメ第3期『ご注文はうさぎですか? BLOOM』ティザーPV
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TVアニメ第3期『ご注文はうさぎですか? BLOOM』ティザーPV

 

Genre: Slice of life, Comedy
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Crunchyroll


20. Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina


Best Anime 2020 38 - wandering witch the story of elaina
Image credit: IMDb 

Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina follows Elaina, a witch who goes on a free-spirited journey of self-discovery and growth. She travels to different cities and meets people who impact her in various ways. 

Best Anime 2020 39 - elaina
Image credit: IMDb

The series will catch you off guard as the story develops, and the themes of the show – morality, self-preservation, and self-contemplation – begin to surface. It is a thought-provoking series that will test one’s morals and compassion. 

TVアニメ『魔女の旅々』PV第2弾(2020年10月放送開始!)
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TVアニメ『魔女の旅々』PV第2弾(2020年10月放送開始!)

 

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Crunchyroll


Best anime in 2020 to watch


2020 may not have been the best yea,r but the variety of great anime that have kept us company made it much better. Before the year ends, be sure to catch some of the best anime in 2020 on our list. 

Check out other anime-related articles:

Cover image adapted from: u/ArunavaSensei, IMDb, @thisisnothumi