Now that the year is about to end, it’s time to share some of the titles I really enjoyed this year. Given that not too many shows aired this year thanks to the pandemic, I will only focus on 7. Also, I will reflect on this year of blogging.
Top 5 Anime of 2020
1. Magia Record
I must admit that I anticipated the Magia Record anime when it received an announcement in 2019. Believe it or not, it’s been that long time since the Madoka Magica Rebellion movie, which came out in the first half of the 2010s.
Overall, I liked how the anime turned out since it’s mostly close to the actual game’s story. Sure, there are some changes to the story, but it’s mostly the same. Still, I wonder about Kuroe’s role in the story as she shows up fighting along with Iroha in the first episode. Afterwards, she disappears and later appeared to join the Wings of Magius in the last episode. Still, the scene with Iroha and Yachiyo in the last episode is what I expected. Not to mention, the animation looked great.
2. Adachi to Shimamura
Believe it or not, this is the best yuri anime of this year. This is not too surprising given how precious Adachi is. Sure, she faces struggles given how shy and introverted is. However, deep inside, it’s obvious that she has a huge crush on Shimamura. I like how she tries her best to become her best to her beloved, even coming so close to confessing to her. Of course, she holds herself back. Also, Shimamura is also an interesting character as well as she faces her own struggles in believing that relationships don’t last. However, as she gets closer with Adachi, she eventually doesn’t mind being close to her.
Aside from that, I liked the overall presentation as the animation looks great, especially in those special moments. Also, the other pairing, Taeko and Akira is also nice. I liked how they also received some development despite not being the main couple. Even so, I hope there is a sequel for this anime in the future.
3. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Bloom
As expected, Gochuumon still remains one of the most enjoyable Manga Time Kirara series. The third season brings a lot of the goodness from the previous two seasons. Also, I enjoyed the further development of Cocoa and Chino as Chino decides to figure out what school to go to. Also, there is Cocoa trying to get even closer with Chino by mastering Chino’s mother magic skills.
Not only that, other pairings receive the spotlight with some surprises like Rin and Midori/Aoyama, and surprisingly, Cocoa/Sharo. While I would like to see Mocha come to visit again, but at least she appeared in the last episode. Yep, she didn’t change at all.
Aside from that, I hope there will be a fourth season in the future. After all, like Hidamari Sketch, Gochuumonis another very popular Manga Time Kirara series deserving of a fourth season.
4. Ochikobore Fruit Tart
Yes, this one is on the list for obvious reasons. Besides the hilarious premise of girls becoming idols to save a dorm, which sounds very familiar to the first two Love Live installments, the yuri is turned up to 11. When I read the first volume, I knew that this show has high yuri potential. This is not too surprising when Ino admits that she is into girls, Hemo developing a crush on Ino while Riri have a huge crush on Hoho. Top that off with Tone writing and sneaking in tons of love/fan letters for Ino and Hayu just adds to this. Not only that, the girls are quirky in their own way, even their rival, Cat Productions, which adds to the comedy.
5. Koisuru Asteroid
As expected, Koisuru Asteroid is another solid Manga Time Kirara title with the official pairing looking for a star. Besides the main pairing, I do like the characters quite a lot. As the title suggests, this show has yuri. Yes, while Mikake obsesses over rocks and of course, Moe flirting with Mira and her friends. Sadly, Moe couldn’t win over Misa’s heart, but at least she tried. I can say the same with Ino since her relationship with Mikake didn’t progress any further than just being best friends. In the end, Mikake ended up being with Mari.
Still, it’s not too hard why I enjoyed this show. After all, Doga Kobo is the master of producing these types of shows, and this was no exception. However, it faced some delays with few of the episode thanks to Covid19 impacting productions.
6. Assault Lily: Bouquet
Given its title, Assault Lily was a treat to watch. Sure, it’s a bit different compared to Shaft’s previous works, but the overall production looks great. Yes, some may not like it for things like the rushed pacing or having too many characters, but I still enjoyed it. Yes, the cast is big, but the focus is thankfully on Riri’s legion. Also, I liked the development between the Riri and Yuyu pairing. Not only that, the yuri pairings do not disappoint.
Sure, the cliché of pink haired girls going for dark long haired ice queens apply here, but the result turned out great in the end. After all, Riri has the power to defrost Yuyu and help her get over her struggles in the past. Not only that, the fights are pretty good.
7. Nanabun no Nijuni
While I didn’t watch this when this aired initially, Nanabun no Nijuni is an interesting idol anime. It’s mostly for the fact that all the decision making is done by “the wall.” In other words, the wall is basically artificial intelligence making the decisions for the idol group, even if some are irrational. Even so, the character’s backstories are interesting with dramatic to funny moments. Of course, Miu and Sakura pairing will always remain precious.
Year in Review
When 2020 started, I thought this year would be a great one. After all, I spent months finding a house to buy, I finally settled down. Not only that, I started my new job on February 3rd in Washington, DC. I was looking for possibly attending conventions now that I am working again.
Sadly, things do not work out thanks to Covid19, which pretty ruined everything. The impacts are wide with anime productions getting severely delayed during the spring and summer season. Not only that, in person events are being cancelled left and right and people losing their jobs. Thanks to the pandemic, it became difficult to import CDs from Japan without paying for expensive express shipping. To make matters worse, the pandemic has impacted the amount of money I earn from advertisements.
Moreover, I have lost one of my family members on my father’s side. Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Despite this, I am very fortunate I still have a job since I work for the federal government.
2020 is probably one of the most difficult years in terms of anime blogging. Thanks to the delays, there weren’t many titles to cover during the spring and summer. Comments took a huge hit, which impacted my motivation to blog. Even on editorials and reviews I spent hours working on, it’s very difficult to receive even one comment on them. This of course adds to the frustration. As a result, I almost came very close to giving up. Thankfully, we managed to catch up and got near the total amount of comments received last year. In other words, crisis is finally adverted. However, the underlining problems are not fully resolved.
I feel that the main problems are that WordPress likes disincentives people to leave comments. It’s frustrating since WordPress likes are pretty much worthless as it does very little to promote your content or improve engagement. Engagement is one of the most important aspects of blogging as it gives one’s ideas to create content. Not only that, it shows that readers are reading your content.
With that, I completely remove the like button from my blog to try to encourage readers to comment or retweet/like my tweets promoting my posts on Twitter. We are seeing some improvement on the Twitter side as we managed to raise our followers count after it declined earlier this year. Also, I am seeing a few retweets/likes of our tweets.
In the end, there is a lot of work to be done since despite telling people not to leave likes via WordPress Reader, people still do it against my wishes. I ask you, do not like posts through WordPress Reader. Instead, leave a comment on my posts if you like them or share my tweets posting. You aren’t doing any favors doing this as it adds to my frustrations. This in turns hurt my motivation to continue to blog.
Aside from that, I am happy that 2020 is finally coming to an end. Sure, there were great shows, but overall, this year was terrible. Yes, not only blogging wise, but also in real life for obvious reasons. Sure, the next several months will be one of the darkest, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, 2021 won’t become a train wreck as long people follow the guidelines by wearing a mask, avoid gatherings, and socially distance. Most importantly, people need to take the vaccine when it becomes available. Maybe in 2022, I will finally get the chance to attend anime conventions, safely without the fear of contracting the virus among other things.
With that, feel free to share your favorite shows this year has to offer.