Spring 2020 End of Season Rankings

The last three months were no doubt the weirdest of my life so far, so I feel more thankful than ever to the creators of these series for the role they played in keeping me entertained and sane throughout lockdown.

…that won’t stop me from tearing into the shows I didn’t like, though. 😛

8: Listeners

Listeners (401)

Listeners clearly wasn’t for me. Some of the early individual episodes were entertaining, but I struggled to follow or care about the wider plot, and zoned out for most of the weaker second half of the series. Fortunately, the finale was mostly action and a heartfelt declaration of love – while far from original, it was the most fun the series had given me for weeks.

7: Gleipnir

Gleipnir (425)

The fanservice in Gleipnir was cringeworthy at times – girls getting naked to climb into Shuichi’s living fursuit is one thing, but was Koyanagi’s ‘initiation ceremony’ scene with Clair really necessary? Thankfully, this also went through a change in its second half – less ecchi, more action, backstory and plot, and all of it interesting. But no true ending or closure, as is usually the way with 12 ep adaptations of long, ongoing manga.

6: Jashin-chan Dropkick’

Jashin-chan S2 (330)

You’d think that the final episode of Jashin-chan Dropkick’ would be the worst of the lot, given that it was just a clip show… but that 10 minute extended version of Jashin-chan’s Jinbocho song was a thing of beauty. Maybe not quite as good as the first series for me, I’m not sure all the new characters added much, while taking screentime away from the fantastic S1 cast, but still a decent gag comedy.

5: Arte

Arte (404)

Now this is how to do a 12 episode series! The pacing in Arte felt fine, I enjoyed the change of scenery to Venice for the second half, and we got something resembling closure despite the fact the manga is still ongoing. After being told constantly that a woman couldn’t be an artist, to suddenly hear the opposite (that being a woman and a noble was an unfair advantage) must have been a weird but equally unpleasant shock!

4: Tower of God

Tower of God (406)

Kami no Tou slips out of my top 3, as while I love fighting tournament / survival game series, I feel as though there was supposed to be more to the tower than what the anime went into – something that comments from those who’ve read the webtoon seem to confirm. I didn’t understand the different roles the characters were sorted into either. Ah well, the fights were good, and the final ep twist was decent, I’d watch a sequel.

3: Kakushigoto

Kakushigoto (398)

A fantastic series from Kumeta Kouji, better even than Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei IMO – on top of the usual gag comedy and clever wordplay, we got meaningful character relationships, insights into the manga industry, and a series of cliffhanger endings hinting at a tragic finale. When we finally got there… well, it may have been a cliche plot development, but the fact they knew it and did it anyway made it work somehow. 😛

2: Wave, Listen to Me!

Wave, Listen to Me! (399)

I’m not usually a fan of dialogue-heavy series, but Wave, Listen to Me! held my interest throughout – Minare is a brilliantly written protagonist. I’d happily listen to her improvise scripts for hundreds of weird and wonderful scenarios. The earthquake broadcast was an unexpected way to end the series, though I guess that’s not an uncommon occurrence in Japan. Original, and highly recommended!

1: Kaguya-sama: Love Is War?

Kaguya-sama S2 (387)

And finally, the second series of Kaguya-sama holds onto its top spot. This was even better than the first series, adding new fantastic characters to the mix, pushing the jokes and misunderstandings further… and after all that, giving us an episode and a half of serious character drama that didn’t feel out of place at all! All this without any actual crude fanservice. This series is a masterpiece, and one of my all-time favourite anime.

2 Responses to Spring 2020 End of Season Rankings

  1. Dawnstorm says:

    Considering I replied to the mid-season post very near the end of the season (me, taking my time), little has changed for me.

    If I were to look back over the season I’d say:

    Listeners had a decent first episode, peaked at the second episode, and then was on-and-off. I actually thought the finale was decent, for what the series was, but what the series was was not very good. I’d say steady falling tendencies for this one.

    Gleipnir, for me, peaked in the middle. I spent the beginning feeling suspiscious and cautious, until I got on board. I was pretty involved near the middle, but that then fizzled out and went nowhere. I’d watch a second season, with neither bonus nor malus carrying over.

    Jasshin-chan Dropkick was pretty much steadily itself all season, and I love that stupid show. It’s the Kill-Me-Baby trash bracket, where I just believe the people making the show had as much fun as I did. Ah, ah, that sepia coloured anime experience…

    Early on, I was pretty suspicious of Arte, but I got over my misgivings fairly quickly. Then some episodes were better than others, and when Arte left for Venice it’s pretty much reached its ceiling, but I also enjoyed the show more consistently. All in all, I end up moderately fond of the show.

    Tower of God had me curious in the beginning, and then I quickly settled into a lowered-expectations bracket. (Not expecting less in terms of quality, just expecting the entire season to amount to not much more than a prologue; an expectation which panned out, IMO.) It was fun. I’m hoping for a second season, but then again, I’m fully expecting a never-ending story here, and I nearly always drop out at some point with those. Still, among the recent batch of standard shounen fighters, it’s probably my favourite.

    Kakushigoto started adorable and funny, and ended that way, and beyond that there’s little to say. It’s probably the show I enjoyed the most consistently all season; no real highs, no real lows – what you get is what you see. I’m surprised the plot wrap up worked it for me, but it did.

    Wave Listen to Me is the most confusing show this season when it comes to my reaction. I have very little feelings about the show, and yet, with the exception of some isolated scenes, I enjoyed every single episode. I actually like the characters, too, and there’s not much bad I can say about it. So why didn’t I end up more fond of the show? I don’t know.

    And Kaguya-sama was it’s glorious self all season. I didn’t find this season better than the first, but neither was it worse. Could have been a two-cour, the way I reacted to it. I’m hoping for season 3.

    I’m not the world’s best ranker, so I’m not even going to try to rank these shows. Except that Listeners makes the bottom of the list; that much is pretty clear.

    • The second ep of Listeners was definitely one of the highlights. I looked forward to seeing more of the three Noise Sisters, assuming they would be recurring antagonists on μ and Echo’s journey… nope.

      I dislike series that end on cliffhangers, or big buildups to future events, when there’s no guaranteed sequel announced. I know that in many cases they’re meant to just be flashy adverts for the source manga, and that a sequel could be announced later if sales are good, but without that the lack of closure will always leave a bitter taste.

      Interesting to hear your thoughts on Wave, Listen to Me! I find series like that occasionally, which bizarrely I enjoy while I’m watching them, but don’t look forward to new episodes or back on with much enthusiasm despite that. Wave wasn’t one of those for me though, it won me over quickly and totally.

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