The Top Ten Animation of 2020
Although Anime Hajime’s policy is to view a series animation as secondary compared to its story and characters. Still, it can’t be denied how some shows are more eye-catching than others. An anime’s position on this list says nothing about its overall quality (incidentally, every one of these winners received a high recommendation in the end).
The following entries had the best examples of vibrant colors, swift and fluid movements, and were unquestionably stunning. Unlike other forms of visual-media, animation is only limited by imagination; and these series simply had no limitations. They are sure to leave your jaw on the floor with their visual beauty.
These are the top ten best examples of animation from 2020.
10. TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You
Studio: Seven Arcs
To read the TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You Review review, please click HERE.
Despite its slice-of-life status, TONIKAWA: Over The Moon For You managed to be breathtaking.
With its clean and crisp character designs and impressive backgrounds, there was never a moment in the show that looked dull or bland. With no big action pieces to speak of, TONIKAWA focused more on simple beauty – to great effect.
Much of this show’s charm came directly from its animation.
9. Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina
To read the Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina review, please click HERE.
Magic and animation go hand in hand. Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina took full advantage of that.
Although this was a show about a humble traveler (who happened to be a witch), when the visuals went big, they went BIG. Fire, winds, storms, and sunsets; there was so much force behind every scene and moment.
And for a series that was comfortable being cutesy and dark, there was always a chance to impress.
8. Fruits Basket 2nd Season
Studio: TMS Entertainment
To read the Fruits Basket 2nd Season review, please click HERE.
Following its predecessor’s footsteps, which ranked 2nd in animation last year, Fruits Basket 2nd Season was gorgeous.
This series can be calm, friendly, and warm one minute, then dark, freighting, and bleak the next. Much of that credit does belong to the show’s story and characters, but we cannot ignore the role the animation played.
When all goes silent and a moment is allowed to exist, it is the visuals that become the storyteller. Fruits Baskets 2nd Season understood this concept well.
7. A Certain Scientific Railgun T
To read the A Certain Scientific Railgun T review, please click HERE.
The Academy City series can always be counted on to look great; to BE great, though, is never certain. A Certain Scientific Railgun, on the other hand, has proven to be both, and Railgun T solidified that reputation.
With some of the most powerful espers being highlighted, it should be assumed things would get crazy. “Crazy,” it turned out, would be an understatement.
This was the third installment of the Railgun storyline. Thus, there were expectations. The animation, among other aspects, exceeded those expectations effortlessly.
6. Toilet-bound Hanako-kun
To read the Toilet-bound Hanako-kun review, please click HERE.
Most anime are based on manga, so this is going to sound strange. Nevertheless, Toliet-bound Hanako-kun was like a comic come to life.
This show had striking visuals, vibrant colors, and powerful imagery, both heartfelt and frightening. Don’t forget that this is a ghost story through and through, and ghost stories have a tendency to go dark.
When Toliet-bound Hanako-kun went dark, the animation was there to back it up in force.
5. Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2
Studio: White Fox
To read the Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2 review, please click HERE.
If there were ever an isekai anime to dabble in horror, it would be the Re:Zero series. While the show’s setup and story build the foundation for its success, the animation brings everything to another level entirely.
There is joy in Re:Zero and the visuals bring this to life. But when things turn south, which happens all the time, the animation hits much, much harder.
Re:Zero Season 2 art style might make you feel uncomfortable, but know that is the whole point.
4. The God of High School
To read The God of High School review, please click HERE.
The God of High School was a martial arts heavy series. Thus, the animation needed to be fluid, flashy, and impactful; otherwise, what would be the point? This series took what had to happen and ran with it.
“[T]he animation, particularly during the many, many fight scenes, was thrilling at this show’s weakest and awe-inspiring at its best.“
–The God of High School review
Any old-school fan of Dragon Ball will find a home in The God of High School’s animation.
3. Tower of God
Studio: Telecom Animation Film
To read the Tower of God review, please click HERE.
Although a series can (and should) build atmosphere with its story and characters, this is where animation can become an indispensable tool. Of course, this isn’t to say Tower of God had a poor story or characters; it did, and the visuals added more to them.
Plus – this probably shows some bias – in an age where anime CGI animation is still working out its kinks, any series that has a hand-drawn feel gets a few extra points.
Tower of God mastered its visuals and delivered something remarkable.
2. Great Pretender
Studio: Wit Studio
To read the Great Pretender review, please click HERE.
Spots 1 and 2 were difficult to decide. Both shows had remarkable visuals. In the end, Great Pretender claims the penultimate rank.
“[M]other-of-everything, Great Pretender was a gorgeous spectacle for the eyes…“
–Great Pretender review
This series knew how to use color and movement. It was flashy and bright and utterly amazing; there is no doubt it is a marvel of anime’s visual prowess. Great Pretender gave us an animated version of our world fit for the modern-day.
1. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken
Studio: Science SARU
To read the Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken review, please click HERE.
Keep Your Hands of Eizouken was one of the first 2020 series to be reviewed on the site, and it set a standard no other show could match.
It’s fitting that the show about animation would be the top animated anime of the year. This series highlighted the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into a single frame of animation, not to mention a completed project.
It is hard to appreciate what goes on in the mind of creativity, but we got a pretty good glimpse of it here.
Anime Hajime names Keep Your Hands of Eizouken the anime with the Best Animation of 2020.
3rd Annual Anime Hajime Highlights – Top Animation
The competition was so close. It often the slightest mistake had to be the justification for a show not making this list. Still, we feel these were the cream of the crop when it came to the best uses of color, movement, design, visuals, and art.
If there is a series you feel should have been mentioned, please let us know in the comments below.
The 3rd Annual Anime Hajime Highlights continues tomorrow with the first half (entries 20 to 11) of the Top Anime of 2020. Be sure to follow here on Anime Hajime and on all our social media sites, so you don’t miss out.
For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and we will see you next time.