In this strangest of times, I’ll be continuing on as normal and taking a look back over the winter 2020 season of anime and sharing all the things I really enjoyed about it. The shows I watched this season:
- 22/7 (nanabun no nijyuuni)
- A Certain Scientific Railgun T
- Aikatsu on Parade!
- Asteroid in Love
- BanG Dream! 3rd Season
- BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defence.
- BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS
- Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure
- If My Favourite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die
- Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
- Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story
- My Hero Academia Season 4
- One Piece
- ROOM CAMP
- Somali and the Forest Spirit
- SHOW BY ROCK!! Mashumairesh!!
- Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure
As ever, there will potentially be spoilers for any of the shows listed above. With that said and done, here are my winter 2020 anime awards.
Best Opening Theme
“Initial” by Poppin’ Party
Poppin’ Party with another stellar tune for the opening theme of BanG Dream! 3rd Season, which I think I might like a bit more than Tokimeki Experience and Kizuna Music. It is such a great tune.
Runners-up: “Easy Breezy” by chelmico (Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!); “Muzui” by 22/7 (22/7 (nanabun no nijyuuni))
Creating words of pure imagination
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! clearly had plenty of passion put into it, and that passion comes across so well with all the details that go into the animation – both what the audience see and what Eizouken create. The story may simply be about girls creating anime, but the love and care put into showing their work makes watching this show a pure delight.
Runners-up: Idols obey the will of The Wall (22/7 (nanabyun no nijyuuni)); Cute girls playing a VRMMORPG (BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defence.)
From BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defence., Maple is just a girl who is playing the VR MMORPG New World Online in a totally normal way. That “normal way” has her putting all her points into vitality, giving her monstrous defences. And then she manages to stumble upon all sorts of skills afterwards that make her incredible.
Runners-up: Miu Takigawa (22/7 (nanabun no nijyuuni)); Kasumi Toyama (BanG Dream! 3rd Season)
My Hero Academia‘s Gentle Criminal may not be as big a threat as the likes of One For All or Overhaul, but he does earn some sympathy. A streamer with a rather limited audience, Gentle Criminal is determined to gain infamy by breaking into U.A. High School during its festival.
Runners-up: Mii (BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defence.); Ophiuchus Star Princess (Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure)
Best Female Character
From Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, Kanamori knows how to get what she wants. She will also seize any opportunity to make some money. She also has to keep the Eizouken in line, which is no easy task.
Runners-up: Chiyu Sawaizumi (Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure); Moe Suzuya (Asteroid in Love)
Best Male Character
I suppose technically Golem from Somali and the Forest Spirit is genderless, but Somali calls him “Dad”, so that’s good enough for me. He decides to protect Somali upon finding her abandoned in a forest, and an unbreakable bond is forged.
Runners-up: Izuku Midoriya (My Hero Academia Season 4); Boruto Uzumaki (BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS)
Best Cast of Characters
Earth Sciences Club & Acquaintances
Picking just one favourite character from the cast of Asteroid in Love is next to impossible, so instead why not celebrate all of them? They all have great interactions with each other, even if their club does have a split focus.
Runners-up: 22/7 (22/7 (nanabun no nijyuuni); Eizouken club (Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!)
From the very beginning of the season, it was pretty evident that Somali was destined for this award. She is adorable. Her circumstances before meeting Golem hasn’t seem to have had any adverse effect on her, which means Somali is always full of energy and getting up to some mischief or other. It is heart warming to see her just do her thing.
Runners-up: Delmin (Show By Rock!! Mashumairesh!!); May & Yui (BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defence.)
Most Badass Character
Maple never really set out to become some kind of monster when she started playing New World Online, but that’s exactly what she ended up as. She just happened to come into possession of all sorts of skills that allow to do all sorts of things, and things kept snowballing until she could become an angel, a monster, a mech… Maple got really versatile.
Runners-up: Misaka Mikoto (A Certain Scientific Railgun T); Endeavor (My Hero Academia Season 4)
Howan & Himeko Mashima
There are plenty of great couples in this season, but the pair that had the most impact for me are Howan and Himeko from SHOW BY ROCK!! Mashumairesh!!. Himeko takes Howan, and their relationship just grows from there. It is such a sweet thing seeing the two girls grow closer to each other.
Runners-up: CHU2 & PAREO (BanG Dream! 3rd Season); Mira Konohata & Ao Manaka (Asteroid in Love)
Endeavor vs. High-End
The fourth season of My Hero Academia ended on an incredible high note as Endeavor proves he his worthy of the title of number one hero as he battles High-End Nomu (with a little help from Hawks). The animation of that entire fight is absolutely superb, and it also demonstrates some significant character growth on Endeavor’s part.
Runners-up: Maple vs. Payne (BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defence.); PreCure vs. Ophiuchus Star Princess (Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure)
BanG Dream! 3rd Season
Of course the anime about the bands will be the one I choose that has the best soundtrack. Whilst not every band gets an equal contribution to the soundtrack, the quality of the stuff we get from Poppin’ Party, Roselia and RAISE A SUILEN cannot be understated.
Runners-up: 22/7 (nanabun no nijyuuni); SHOW BY ROCK!! Mashumairesh!!
Performance at the Budokan
It was a challenge, but Poppin’ Party, Roselia and RAISE A SUILEN were able to stand on the stage at the Budokan, and they put their all into their respective performances. That is then capped off by an absolutely stellar collaboration.
Runners-up: 22/7 return to the stage (22/7 (nanabun no nijyuuni); Midi Rock festival (SHOW BY ROCK!! Mashumairesh!!)
Best Ending Theme
“Straight Through Our Dreams!” by Poppin’ Party
The third season of BanG Dream! features a Poppin’ Party song as its ending theme, and it is just a great tune. Some excellent upbeat stuff here, and it even works in the title of the franchise into the lyrics.
Runners-up: “The Sunshower” by Asaka (ROOM CAMP); “Miracle tto♡Link Ring!” by Machico (Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure)
BanG Dream! 3rd SeasonChoosing just one anime above all the others is tough, but my love of music means that BanG Dream! 3rd Season just about edges out the other anime for this season. Poppin’ Party, Roselia and RAISE A SUILEN steal the spotlight in the third season, but fortunately for me, they happen to be the bands I prefer most from this franchise. I adore BanG Dream!, and the third season of the anime only reinforced that fact.
Runners-up: BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defence.; SHOW BY ROCK!! Mashumairesh!!
A bit later than usual, but that wraps up my winter 2020 anime awards – it was definitely worth waiting to see what BanG Dream! 3rd Season had in store for its last couple of episodes.
An excellent start to an entirely new decade of anime. Seems like next season is going to be on the quieter side, but that is perfectly understandable. I’ll be doing this again at the end of the spring 2020 season of anime, but in the meantime, stay safe out there.