The best anime series of 2020


Even though the studios struggled to adapt to the ever-changing conditions of 2020, the animators still managed to produce a landmark year for anime.

We have seen even more investment in productions from international streamers like Netflix. Sony is expected to complete its purchase of Crunchyroll soon, adding it to its growing anime empire that already includes Funimation and Aniplex. And hundreds of new series were created even as animation studios transitioned to remote working.

Despite all these changes and hurdles, we have seen new shows that could possibly be added to a list of the best anime of all time. So, in order to help you tell the wheat from the chaff, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best anime of 2020. I’ve narrowed the list down to seventeen shows, most of which could easily be watched in their entirety in just a few days.


art tells the story of a young woman pursuing her dream of becoming a painter in 16th century Florence. The series finds drama and character in the gender politics of the time, class privilege, and the thoroughness of how Renaissance art was created. Both poignant and encouraging, it balances the wish-fulfillment and reality of someone pursuing a creative life.

Available on Funimationand Hulu.

Ancestry of a Bookworm (Season 2)

The second season of Bookworm continues to find new and fascinating complications for Myne’s seemingly simple ambition to want to make books. This arc pushes against the societal challenges of pursuing his professional pursuit. Myne has to wonder if she’s comfortable using her intelligence and power for selfish reasons, or if she can find a way to get what she wants while improving the lives around her.

Available on Crunchyroll.


Beastars is the Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse animated series. His visual flair wouldn’t be possible without the blending of animation techniques and the talent to use these tools in inventive ways. The creators inject tension, nuance, and depth into Paru Itagaki’s brilliant drama/murder mystery manga.

Available on netflix.


Decadence is the antithesis of the “mystery box style” of storytelling. What would normally be the defining climax/twist of any other sci-fi show, its creators refuse to hide from the public. The show features unprecedented character animation and spectacular, multi-dimensional action scenes. It’s a masterpiece of a top-down show.

Available on Funimationand Hulu.


There’s nothing like it Dorohedoro. IIt’s like someone writing a fantasy horror story and then turning it into a comedy. Although the series is full of body horror and often grotesque violence, the characters are written and acted with such charm that you can’t help but find the entire cast endearing. (Not necessarily forgivable, but nice nonetheless.)

Available on netflix.

Fruit Basket (Season 2)

Fruit basketThe unique blend of romance, comedy and drama in what is often a very sad show, dealing with the emotional issues of a cursed extended family, gives unexpected hope. With the second season, the actors begin to find ways to work through their issues even as the gravity of their family and their curse continue to complicate their lives.

Available on Crunchyroll, Funimationand Hulu.

Golden Kamuy (Season 3)

Golden Kamuy always felt a bit like a Coen Brothers movie, a wild mix of serious and absurd moments that still feel grounded. Whereas the previous seasons were rather turned towards the O brother, where are you? end of the spectrum, this season has come closer to the tone of There is no country for old people. The creators began to fill in the tragic stories of the show’s supporting cast, but without losing the show’s unique sense of humor.

Available on Crunchyrolland Funimation.

good suitor

good suitor pulls off an inspired trick: It makes you think the show is about smart heists when it’s actually focused on the real personalities behind each thief’s cool facade. Striking a balance between comedy and drama, the show’s story is as unpredictable as its heists. And with beautiful animation and art direction, the show is fun to watch in multiple episodes or across multiple viewings.

Available on netflix.

Haikyu! to the top

As the series sinks into the national tournament at the heart of its history, Haikyu continues to show why it stands head and shoulders above other sports anime. Haikyu finds ways to make each character relatable, and each team is not just an enemy to defeat, but another group of teenagers trying to get better at a sport they love. The shows humanize everyone, giving them their own struggles.

Available on Crunchyroll.

Identifier: Invaded

While Identifier: Invaded could be described as “a crossover detective series with Creation” this elevator pitch does a disservice to the show’s range of ideas. Each case is full of mind-bending conceits, underpinned by immensely interesting characters. The creators take a very conceptual sci-fi idea and use it to tell a grounded story.

Available on Funimationand Hulu.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen takes a strong manga series and elevates it further with a stellar anime presentation. All of the animation, acting, and writing choices convey the emotional drama of high school teenagers on the verge of adult responsibility. Plus, unexpected comedic moments make the heroes and villains endearing.

Available on Crunchyrolland HBO Max.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War (Season 2)

The first season of Kaguya was a breath of fresh air in terms of rom-coms thanks in large part to some brilliant choices in its animation style. Season 2 finds new ways to surprise and defy expectations, refusing to repeat what worked in the first season.

Available on Funimation.

Don’t Touch Eizouken!

Eizouken is a love letter to animation in both story and style. While unafraid of the less than ideal realities faced by professional animators of being overworked and underpaid, it celebrates the magic of the craft. The series explores how end products are often a compromise between what the animator wants to do, what the investors want, and what they can produce in the time they have. And yet, the show is so brimming with imagination and creativity that you can’t help but feel inspired.

Available on Crunchyrolland HBO Max.

Moriarty the Patriot

The series transforms Sherlock Holmes’ greatest enemy from a criminal mastermind into a revolutionary anti-hero who constructs his perfect crimes for those seeking justice against the normally untouchable wealthy and powerful British society. Most episodes play out like a mix of a crime drama and a heist. Moriarty and his brothers piece together who they should target and then how. The creators show just enough to make the reveal and the final twist on crime so satisfying.

Available on Funimation.

My Hero Academia (Season 4)

The fourth season of the series is MHA both the darkest and the strongest, as it further explores the complications of a world where nearly everyone is super-powered. It draws attention from big bad guys (who are often more caricatures of super-villains than characters) to smaller-scale issues. The season is more personal for Deku and the UA students, but no less dramatic.

Available on Crunchyroll, Funimationand Hulu.

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Roads Lead to Death!

Bad’ a unique charm sets it apart from other “reincarnated-into-another” global shows, a fairly well-worked and overused genre at this point. Basically, Catarina, unlike similar protagonists, is a well-meaning doofus. She succeeds not because of her delusional machinations, but rather because of her surprising kindness and odd personality. This makes for a rather low-stakes, but enjoyable, spectacle. It’s good when the episodes are so funny and heartfelt.

Available on Crunchyroll.

Wave, listen to me!

WaveMinare Koda is a walking disaster, with every step forward in her life accompanied by at least one step back and one to the side. Its charm completely lives and dies on its voice actress Riho Sugiyama’s performance, which makes Minare likable because of (rather than despite) her cheeky and rude demeanor. It’s a love story that constantly forgets it’s a love story, but manages to keep you on your toes with some wild twists and turns that feel uncharacteristically plausible.

Available on Funimation.

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