My Five Picks of Fall 2020 Anime

Hello! Today, I want to do something a bit different from what I normally post. That is, I’d like to share my recommendations of the current anime season. There’s a lot of potential ground here, but to preface this, I’m only going to bring up the shows I like the most. These aren’t the only things I’m watching, but I wanted to keep the scope of this post narrow, so I’m only going to cover five. I hope you’re not too disappointed if one of your favorites didn’t make the cut. That being said, here are my top anime picks this season!

Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina
Majo no Tabitabi

As the title explains, this anime is about the witch Elaina, and her adventures flying through the land. It’s not really one single story, more so a compilation of the events she experiences on her journeys, each episode with their own underlying themes and morals. Think of it as an animated diary of sorts.

While Elaina’s name is in the title (the English title at least), this anime isn’t really about her, so much as it is about the world she lives in. In most of the episodes thus far, she’s portrayed as either a supporting cast member or a third-party observer, and is almost never the one to set major events into motion. Sometimes the episode has a happy ending, other times not. The world this anime depicts is a dynamic one which continues to exist and evolve, whether the protagonist is present or not.

There’s a certain beauty to that idea, equally matched by the show’s outstanding animation quality. Honestly, it’s hard to find anything bad to say about this anime.

A series of magical events.

TONIKAWA: Over The Moon For You
Tonikaku Kawaii

Meet Nasa Yuzaki. Named after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, he’s worked his whole adolescent life so that when people see his name, they think of him first, and not NASA. One day, he crosses paths with Tsukasa, and is immediately struck by love… and a truck. She saves him, he confesses his love to her, and she’ll return his feelings only if he immediately agrees to marry her… which he does, right before fainting of blood loss.

A few years later, she returns to see if Nasa still remembers that promise. He does, even having gone so far as to quit school and take on various part-time jobs in the hopes of crossing paths once more. They immediately get married, as was promised on that fateful day, and they start living together as newlyweds.

Normally, this kind of thing is outside my range of interests. I picked it up only out of curiosity, and ended up pleasantly surprised by what the anime had to offer. It’s entertaining, not overly sappy, and mixed with a dash of wholesomeness.

Tonikaku Kawaii (TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You) -
Speedrunning love to proposal%

Moriarty The Patriot
Yuukoku no Moriarty

I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume you know of Sherlock Holmes, even if you haven’t read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books. If you have, however, you may also recall the name Moriarty. Well, this anime takes the Napoleon of Crime (as Sherlock once called him) and takes a different spin on Doyle’s work, in which a young Moriarty rebels against the class-based discrimination of Victorian England high society.

To do so, he and his brothers turn to evil, carrying out questionable acts for the sake of reaching the greater good. Thematically, this anime brings up some interesting points, such as the inherent imperfections of man and the necessity of evil in an ideal world.

I can’t say it’s completely faithful to the original lore of the Sherlock Holmes books, and I’m fairly sure some creative liberties were taken, but it’s a good watch if you’re into moral philosophy and mystery. Just note that with a morally-gray protagonist, it can get pretty dark at times, even more so than the next pick.

Yuukoku no Moriarty (Moriarty the Patriot) -
Can a greater good be achieved through the use of evil?

Talentless Nana
Munou na Nana

In the future, people with superpowers start to pop up throughout the world. Special island schools popped up as a result, with the aim of training these young talents to fight against the mysterious Enemies of Humanity, who aim to destroy our way of life.

Skip the rest of this entry if you want to avoid spoiling the twist reveal at the end of Episode 1

At least, that’s what they want you to think. In reality, the students are the true Enemies of Humanity, at least according to the world powers. These superpowered teens in the past had violently rebelled, causing massive damage and loss of life. That’s why these schools were built, so these potential threats could be destroyed before they have the chance to develop.

Enter Nana Hiiragi. Posing as a telepath, she’s been assigned to assassinate every Talented teen in her class. Not an easy job, considering she herself is Talentless, and must instead rely on wits alone. Is this mission even possible, considering she’s up against individuals with clairvoyance, elemental powers, and even just straight-up immortality?

Munou na Nana
Superhuman boarding school, but there’s 1 Impostor among us.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
Maoujou de Oyasumi

This story starts out much like many others. A peaceful kingdom exists, ruled over by a benevolent monarchy… when one day, evil strikes! The princess has been captured by dark forces, and is locked up in a tall tower. A hero hears the call to action, and embarks upon an epic voyage to defeat the Demon King, so that peace may be brought to the land once again. You’ve no doubt heard the story from the hero’s side…but while he’s on his long and dangerous quest, what’s the princess up to?

This is the story of Aurora Sya Lis Goodereste, a princess who will do whatever it takes to get a good night’s sleep. After all, there isn’t really much else she can do, isolated from all forms of human entertainment. This anime is based on an RPG framework, incorporating common gaming elements such as quests and respawning. One such consequence of this is that death is nothing more than a minor inconvenience, thus exchanging dramatic potential for comedic potential.

The color palette is quite vibrant in this show, effectively blending cute with scary. If you like comedy, this may be a good watch for you, as it’s a fun subversion of standard gaming practices and classic storytelling elements.

10 new fall anime series that our Japanese reporter recommends you watch |  SoraNews24 -Japan News-
Can’t a captive princess just sleep in peace?

Honorable Mentions

There you have it, my Five Picks of Fall 2020 Anime. Go ahead and check them out if anything interests you!

(Hi, it’s me, Future Tyler. I’m doing some formatting updates, and I’m just gonna squeeze in one honorable mention. There wasn’t much else I cared about this season, but I just want things to be consistent, ya know? That’s fine by you, right? Okay, cool.)

No franchise embodies the school idol trend better than Love Live!. I’m not a huge fan of the concept, as its very hit-or-miss, but Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club (Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai) is a good deconstruction of the standard formula, emphasizing the individual over the group.

(Sorry for the interruption, Past Tyler. Please, continue.)

To wrap up, I’d like to introduce a set of awards, which I will dub the Tyde Awards. The name comes from a portmanteau of my first and last name, in case you were wondering. Each award covers a different creative aspect of the five picks, decided by what I believe performed the best in each category. Keep in mind that this idea is still experimental, so the details may change in the future, but there are currently seven awards to give:

The TyDe Awards

Best Opening: Dying Wish by Tasuku Hatanaka (Moriarty the Patriot)
This one is a close call between TONIKAWA and Moriarty the Patriot, at least in terms of the song, but I had to give it to the latter on account of its visuals being so much better than the former.

Best Ending: Tsuki to Hoshizora by KanoeRana (TONIKAWA)
The decision for this one was easier, I gave this one to TONIKAWA. The second choice would’ve been Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle for its fairy tale aesthetic, but the soothing quality of Tsuki to Hoshizora (translation) won me over.

Best OST: No Clear Victor
After some deliberation, I can’t really say that any of the picks do a better job with the soundtrack than the others. They all set the stage well for their respective atmospheres, and none of them particularly stand out above the rest, so I can’t give any of them a clear victory this season.

Best Animation: Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina
This category, however, has a clear winner, that being the Wandering Witch. It’s a clear step above everything else, with great attention to detail in even the smallest areas and so few corners cut.

Best Story: Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
There’s always merit in creating new stories, but you can’t deny the classics have their own appeal. This anime is great in that it takes a classic formula, and comedically subverts it beyond expectations.

Best Main Character: Nana Hiiragi (Talentless Nana)
This one was another close race, this time between Moriarty and Nana. Both characters fill similar roles, but I gave it to Nana for two reasons: she’s more proactive in the face of overwhelming odds, and she gets more character development.

Best Supporting Character: The Demon King (Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle)
What’s a castle without a king? A Demon King is usually seen as an evil force to be reckoned with… but the job really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Between properly scaling the difficulty of the hero’s journey, cleaning up the messes the captive princess leaves behind her, and dealing with the ever-looming threat of a coup d’etat, this king’s got a lot of work cut out for him.

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