It's been a strange year, and an even stranger Summer season of anime, but what ended up being the best anime of the Summer 2020 season? Due to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer season was undoubtedly hit the hardest as not only did many long running shows go on hiatus, but several of the newest premieres had been held back to later releases. But the Summer season still has its fair share of gems, and the anime staff here at ComicBook.com wanted to break down some of our favorites.
The anime team of Megan Peters, Evan Valentine, and Nick Valdez all broke down some of their favorite (and least favorite) anime from the last few months along with highlighting some of the best and brightest characters, moments, and other fun things that you might have missed over the season.
Read on for a breakdown and review of the Summer 2020 anime season, and let us know your favorite and least favorite Summer choices! Did you use the time to watch through an older show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter, or Evan Valentine at @EVComedy or Megan Peters at @meganpeterscb!
Did Summer 2020 Hold Up Despite the Pandemic?
Nick Valdez: It was a rough couple of months for sure, and while this pandemic has definitely had an impact on the entire year, the Summer 2020 season was definitely hit the hardest. Then again, it's like we got quality instead of quantity this time around. Rather than have 20 or so new anime to check out and keep track of, we got a handful of really, really stand out choices. The fact we had any new anime at all was certainly a miracle, so I'll just take the win and go.
Evan Valentine: I don't think there was any standout that was able to carve its way into the public zeitgeist like say Demon Slayer or Dr. Stone had last year, but as Nick mentions, there were definitely some solid hits that are worth your time.
Megan Peters: It was difficult to get a handle on things which felt weird? The general abysmal nature of 2020 made it hard to focus on all the anime as it came out. Luckily, a lot of the shows debuting this summer were returning ones, but I definitely struggled investing time in new series. However, the ones that I did check out became quick favorites for the season.prevnext
What Was Your Favorite New Anime of Summer?
Nick: Special shout out to Oresuki's OVA finale, but in terms of full series it's between Rent-A-Girlfriend and The Misfit of Demon Academy for me. Misfit honestly wins it out because Rent-A-Girlfriend has an episode I absolutely despised. It's so bad (as it sees Kazuya stalk Chizuru for an entire episode and face no consequence for it) that it knocks it out of that top spot. It's almost distressingly bad considering how much I liked the rest of it. As for Misfit, I've been having a dumb and fun time all the way through.
Evan: I've actually been digging Gibiate, as I've been a fan of series like Vampire Hunter D and Fist of the North Star, and this series feels like the spiritual successor to a lot of those. It seemingly has been released under the radar for many folks, but it's worth checking out as it's put together by some of the biggest names in anime working today.
Megan: Deca-Dence became my surprise of the season. The show has everything I like in a fantastical adventure series. There were compelling characters, a unique setting, and a whole lot of villains to fight. Not only did NUT do a great job with the show's animation, but I felt the pacing was particularly impressive out the gate for a brand-new title.prevnext
What Was Your Favorite Returning Anime of the Summer?
Nick: Sure most of the returns aren't finished yet, but I feel confident in saying that I've oddly been enjoying Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld the most. I was most looking forward to My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU's final season going into things, but even that series is letting me down in some small way. War of Underworld has been capitalizing on several years of build up, and it's honestly shocking to me just how much fun I have with it each week. Also, Digimon Adventure's new series has been interesting to see evolve.
Evan: Definitely Fire Force. David Production has been killing it with this one, capturing the insanity of the series with some high octane action. Now confirm JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean already!
Megan: I feel like I speak for so many when I say I was hyped for Re:Zero to return for a second season. It has been so long! Like, I have been dying for more updates. I was not disappointed as poor Subaru was put through some deliciously heartbreaking drama from episode one. And with plenty more episodes to go, Re:Zero season two has got me hooked.prevnext
Do You Have a Favorite Character this Summer?
Nick: Rent-A-Girlfriend might not be a perfect anime, but it's got the perfect heroine. Chizuru Mizuhara is a gift to the Summer season, and she's probably the "best" of best girls. She's an adult who makes decisions that play out like a real adult's decisions would. She doesn't have a ton of patience for Kazuya's guff, and she's kind but not a pushover. She's such a breath of fresh air in a genre that is often filled by paper thin heroines, and she'll probably be the best girl of the year if the Fall doesn't make a huge splash.
Evan: Kirito because he finally woke up! Just joshing, I'd probably give it to The God of High School's Jin when all is said and done.
Megan: I just want to say Subaru because someone needs to take that poor boy out of Re:Zero and protect him. He may not be the most complex character, but no one deserves the whump he has endured.prevnext
Which Summer Anime Do You Want to See Another Season of?
Nick: One of my biggest problems with The God of High School was its pace, but a second season of the season will most likely fix this issue. I get the sense that it was trying to rush its way to the Charyeok filled fights we see in the latter half of the season, so a second round of episodes will be able to jump into all of this madness from the start. Why build up to this stuff if it's not worth it, right?
Evan: Gibiate for sure. I love the stranger side of the anime world and this definitely fits the bill.
Megan: The God of High School. This is my only and final answer. I loved the show's animation, but I wanted to know so much more about the characters and their worlds. A season two filled with slice-of-life content would be a dream come true.prevnext
What Was the Worst Anime of the Summer?
Nick: There's really only one answer here, Peter Grill and the Philosopher's Time. Not only does it have a strangely pornographic narrative set up, it's just so dreadfully boring. There's nothing wrong with going all in with sexual themes and adult situations, but if you're going to do it, go wild with it and make a statement like the now infamous Interspecies Reviewers. But Peter Grill isn't that. It's slow paced, "characters" are flat, and you'll find better fan service in shows like Rent-A-Girlfriend.
Evan: I've become pretty adept at dodging things I wouldn't really like, but I do agree on The God of High School's pacing problems, even though it's still all around solid.
Megan: This is not the worst show by far, but Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens has left a lot to be desired. I like that the show is giving its characters a chance to be silly kids, but I honestly have forgotten most of each episode after watching it.prevnext
What Anime Are You Most Looking Forward to this Fall?
Nick: There are a ton of options (unlike the Summer), but right now I'm leaning more toward Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?'s third season. Ask me again next week, and it'll probably be a different anime because we've got some major potential juggernauts like Jujutsu Kaisen and Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon on the way.1comments
Evan: It's tough to decide between Jujutsu Kaisen and Yashahime, but I'd probably give it to the former for going down what seems to be a darker route.
Megan: YASHAHIME: PRINCESS HALF-DEMON. You all don't understand my loyalty to this franchise. I am the number one stan for Kagome, and I am so excited to see where this new feudal tale will lead. And I guess I am also excited for Noblesse because Crunchyroll's originals have been fire.prev