It’s hard to look back on this dumpster fire of a year and get enthusiastic about anything, but hey, at least there was some good anime? And so we are kicking off our annual look back at all the GLORIO anime and anime adjacent things we watched in 2020.
To kick things off, I’ve put together my list of favorite anime moments from the past year. The perfect thing to read while you are responsibly not traveling and enjoying your holidays at home! Keep safe out there, and stay tuned as the rest of the GLORIO crew chimes in throughout the week.
Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle – Rhyme Anima Episode 2
Hypnosis Mic is bad but at least it gave us a few laughs. My favorite was the scene where a man holds a woman hostage by holding a microphone to her head. For context, this is a world where guns no longer exists and conflicts must be resolved via rap battle and magic microphones. But even in-universe, holding a mic to a person’s head would do absolutely nothing. It’s a silly stunt that plays with how ridiculous this series’ premise is, something they should have done more often.
The Bear Fight
Wave, Listen to Me! Episode 1
I had no idea what to expect coming into Wave, Listen to Me! but it certainly was not a cold open featuring the main character fighting a bear. This was supposed to be a series about radio broadcasting, right? That turned out to be true in the long run, but this was a great way to grab our attention and introduce us to type of charm and humor the series would deliver.
Gal and Dino Episode 1
I still maintain a chill series like Gal and Dino was the wrong manga to adapt as a spiritual sequel to Pop Team Epic. But you can’t say they didn’t try! The appearance of actor/idol Shouta Aoi as a time traveling hero was the first and best of many bizarre live action segments the series would feature in the second half of each episode. Unfortunately his time on the show was short lived, but it was fun while it lasted.
Talentless Nana Episode 1
Most of the first episode of Talentless Nana makes you believe you’re watching a low budget My Hero Academia knock off. Then this twist happens and you realize that is entirely intentional. I don’t want to spoil details, but needless to say the series does not go in the direction I expected. I’d suggest checking it out and seeing for yourself.
The Other Side
DECA-DENCE Episode 2
The Epsiode 1 Twist seems to be a recurring theme on this list, and you could argue DECA-DENCE has the biggest one of all… well, it’s actually an episode 2 twist but you get the idea. I was really skeptical of both the plot implications and the dramatic shift in art style that came with this particular twist, but after finishing the series I think they pulled it off.
The Train Heist
Akudama Drive Episodes 3 & 4
My favorite part of Akudama Drive is the chemistry between the cast members. This peaks in episode 4 as the gang has to work together to pull off an inter-dimensional train heist. There are bigger, more important individual moments later in the series, but it was this scene that made me fall in love with it.
Kakushigoto Episode 12
There’s no question that Kakushi Goto loves his daughter. It’s the entire point of the series, and we are reminded of it every episode. And yet when it comes time to say it out loud, in the most ridiculous of circumstances, it really hit home for me. Maybe it’s the lack of good living anime parents or my own dad-aged instincts kicking in, but it was a real feel good moment that I’d love to have more of.
Ishigami Opens His Eyes
Kaguya-sama Love Is War Season 2 Episode 11
Ishigami redemption arc epitomizes what makes Kaguya-sama better than most shows of it’s kind: progress. No, Kaguya and Shirogane may not be officially dating yet, but all the characters have grown and the student council is in a different place than it was when we started. There are many examples of this, but I particularly love Ishigami’s story because it runs counter to the nerd persecution complex that haunts so many other anime.
The Baseball Episode
Dorohedoro Episode 7
Has there ever been a bad anime baseball episode? We’ve discussed this many times on the podcast, but it really is a perfect showcase for a big, ensemble cast. Adding Dorohedoro’s bizarre style and sense of humor to this classic anime setup somehow endeared me to our gang of lovable serial killers even more.