Summer 2020 Season Guide (Updating)

Poem by Empress Jitou from the series One Hundred Poems Explained by the Nurse, Hokusai, c. 1839.

We usually come out with a new season guide roughly halfway through the current season, so we’re running a little late. Depending on the state of Japan (and incidentally, the world) in July, many of the shows on this list may be further delayed or postponed…or they may all air on time! Only time will tell.

For now, here’s a brief look at the shows that have piqued our curiosity. We’ve only listed shows that have been confirmed to air or carry over this Summer. While sequels to heavy hitters like Re:Zero, SAO and  Oregairu are set to (finally) air, we’ll also be checking out as many new and original shows as time allows.

This list will be updated periodically. If you have any recommendations, let us know in the comments. And as always, thanks for reading!

RABUJOI STAFF

LAST UPDATED 2 Jul 2020: Removed series that won’t air until Fall 2020

Braverade

Fugou Keiji – Balance: UNLIMITED—Resuming from Spring
No Guns Life S2
SAO: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T—Resuming from Spring
Deca-Dence

Gibiate


sesameacrylic

Appare-Ranman!—Resuming from Spring
Shokugeki no Souma 5—Resuming from Spring

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Kan

Deokyuu Hentai HxEros
The God of High School
Kanojo, Okarishimasu (Kanokari)


MagicalChurlSukui

Fruits Basket 2nd Season—Spring Carryover
Re:Zero Second Season
Lapis Re:LiGHTs

The Misfit of Demon King Academy

RABUJOI’S Top 10 Anime of Winter 2020

10. Magia Record

The style, atmosphere, and whimiscal visual language of the original Madoka are there, but the narrative depth (not to mention novelty) are notably absent. Questions are often answered with more questions in a story that remains stubbornly opaque, the very Madoka-esque MC Iroha’s central quest leads to a dead end, and there are probably more magical girls introduced than needed. That said, it’s not terrible, and probably a must-see for Madoka completionist. Hopefully its second season will improve upon the shortcomings of the first.

9. BOFURI

It’s full title—i don’t want to get hurt so I’ll max out my defense—is its general premise, but the devil’s in the execution, details, and above all tone, and BOFURI excels at all three and kept me coming back, where a similar VRMMO game, Infinite Dendrodragon, lost me in its opening minutes. In addition to being cute as all get-out, Maple represents a bright (light-wise, not smarts) ball of optimism who values making friends and having fun together over winning…though she wins plenty!

8. Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun

While there are times when calling this “animation” is generous, the lushness of the painterly stills that suffuse Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun more than make up for the occasional lack of complex motion. Unlike other Lerche entries, it also benefits from a much smaller cast and an optimistic outlook that brightens its darker corners. Nene, Hanako, Kou & Co. are all beautifully drawn and voiced and easy to root for.

7. ID:INVADED

Drawing from a dizzying array of sources from Sherlock Holmes to Blade Runner, ID:INVADED makes up for it’s lack of solid resolution and occasionally scattered ideas with slick character design, a smattering of likable (or at least sympathetic characters with clear motivations, and some truly weird dreamscapes.

6. In/Spectre

A show that celebrates both traditional and modern forms of storytelling, Kyokou Suiri is anchored by it’s surpassingly spunky, takes-no-prisoners, pint-sized supernatural detective extraordinaire, the one-legged, one-eyed Kotoko. There’s a lot of talking in this show, but it’s almost never not thrilling, and often accompanied by just the right amount of action and comedy. Your mileage may vary when it comes to her likability or the show’s structure (half monster of the week, half final showdown), but I loved In/Spectre’s tendency to march to the beat of its own drum.

5. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T

We’re only nine episodes into a planned 25-episode series, but Railgun T marks a return to character-driven, (relatively) straightforward storytelling and planting a firm spotlight on the titular uber-heroine Misaka Mikoto, frightening and adorable in equal measure, depending on her mood. She finds herself and her friends in the middle of a squabble between factions of her city’s underworld, but (perhaps) with her sparkly-eyed frenemy Misaki she looks poised to make life inconvenient for all of them.

4. Fate/Grand Order: ADF – Babylonia

An “It’s All Down To This/Us” pervades every episode of F/GO, but while the future of human civilization is taken to the absolute brink, there’s never the slightest sense of nihilism or fatalism in its narrative. That’s thanks to the dogged bravery of its two leads Ritsuka and Mash and their galaxy of awesome-looking gods, goddesses, and kings doing increasingly awesome things by their side. A feast for the eyes with the capacity to warm the heart.

3. Chihayafuru 3

Chihayafuru manga and anime fans alike probably found a lot to like about the long-awaited third season, arriving six years after the second with a lot to do. The primary gripe, then, is that we may have to wait another few years to return to this quirky world of intensely competitive karuta players more often than not finding the game a haven of clarity from their tangled relationships, emotions, and futures.

2. Somali and the Forest Spirit

Can a human child survive in a world that hates (and eats) humanity? More importantly, does her golem guardian love her? Yes and yes, as explored in a sumptuous fantasy anime packed with gorgeous painterly settings and equally colorful (and morally diverse) characters, in which the destination of the last human colony takes a backseat to the journey, which is educating for father and child alike.

1. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

An deeply satisfying and heartwarming anime about three startlingly different yet equally lovable young women coming together to create something amazing. A Yuasa Maasaki love letter not just to anime, but the creative process itself. Any other challengers for Anime of the Year will face an uphill climb: Eizouken is in the stratosphere.

Spring 2020 Season Guide (Updating)

Cherry Blossoms at Yoshino, Hokusai, c. 1833

Here we are, at it again. We’re halfway through Winter, so its time to prepare for Spring by taking a gander at what’s headed our way when the weather starts getting warmer.

There are were many huge shows returning (now postponed due to covid-19) and quite a few intriguing new ones airing. Only four sequels are locks so far: Railgun T Part 2, Kaguya-sama: Love is War 2, Food Wars 5, and Fruits Basket 2. We are currently reviewing 11 shows, right around usual.

RABUJOI STAFF

LAST UPDATED 30 Apr 2020

Braverade

Gleipnir
Tower of God
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T—Winter Carryover
No Guns Life Season 2—Postponed Indefinitely


sesameacrylic

Appare-Ranman!—Postponed Indefinitely
Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2

Kakushigoto
Wave, Listen to Me!
Shokugeki no Souma 5—Postponed Indefinitely
Sing “Yesterday” to Me


MagicalChurlSukui

Arte
Fruits Basket 2nd Season

Hamefura
Princess Connect! Re:Dive

Shironeko Project: Zero Chronicle—Dropped
Hachi-nan tte, Sore wa Nai deshou!—Dropped
LISTENERS—Dropped

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 10-1 – No Going Back

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Welcome to the final entry in RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, COMPLETE EXONERATION!—RABUJOI STAFF


10. One Punch Man

Fall 2015

Saitama’s hilarious adventures in boredom and easy victories provided some of the comedic highlights of the decade in this stylishly irreverent parody of hero shows

9. The Promised Neverland

Winter 2019

One of the scariest, tensest, dread-filled series of the decade, as well as one of the best underdog stories, its single season left us gasping to see what became of the poor kids

8. Shingeki no Kyojin 3 Part 2

Spring 2019

In just ten episodes, perhaps more stunning secrets were revealed than in the previous three seasons combined, creating potential the fourth and final season will be hard-pressed to meet

7. Monogatari Series: Second Season

Summer 2013

A giant tiger stalks the town, Araragi battles zombies with an aged-up Mayoi, Nadeko gets tangled up with the Polar Snake, Shinobu regales us with some her centuries-long history, and Hitagi and Kaishou form an uneasy alliance—there’s a little of everything and it’s all excellent

6. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen

Winter 2017

The first season of SGRS was amazing…the second was transcendent

5. Shigatsu wa kimi no uso (Your Lie in April)

Fall 2014

One of the saddest anime of the decade, but also one of the most beautiful, both visually and musically

4. Owarimonogatari Second Season

Summer 2017

While just seven episodes, this second season is the long-awaited culmination of eight years of supernatural stories, and it was worth the wait

3. Made in Abyss

Summer 2017

Very little before or since has quite looked or sounded like Made in Abyss, but even less FELT quite like it. Blending moments of whimsy, wonder and awe with primal horror and cruelty in a richly-detailed, fully-realized fantasy world. Desperately needs a second season to continue the story

2. 3-gatsu no Lion 2 (March Comes In Like A Lion)

Fall 2017

The first season was mostly about the MC’s personal traumas and depression, but the second story spreads out as he learns how to support others, exploring bullying, the struggles of a surrogate mom, and the ravages of old age

1. Steins;Gate

Spring 2011

With its twisting, churning time travel odyssey, central love triangle, and meditations on causality, inevitability, guilt, and obsession, Steins;Gate is the best anime of the decade.

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 20-11 – Things are Starting to Get Real

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals.—RABUJOI STAFF


20. Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)

Winter 2016

Maybe the best representations of being transported into your younger self, and given the opportunity to save someone who didn’t have to die

19. Shingeki no Kyojin 3 (Part 1)

Summer 2018

The curtain is pulled back on many mysteries (though not the basement), and the Scouts must rebel against the powers that be to protect Eren and Historia, culminating in an epic Titan battle that eventually serves as the stage for the Historia’s ascension

18. AnoHana

Spring 2011

Very few anime this decade achieved as much in a scant eleven episodes, as a circle of childhood friends grow, change, and reconnect over the loss of their friend

17. Steins;Gate 0

Spring 2018

We didn’t know the original needed a sequel to continue Rintarou & Co.’s story—until we watched it. New faces and alliances help the mad scientist achieve what he could not in the previous show

16. Vinland Saga

Summer 2019

Thrilling and at times heartbreaking pseudo-historical tales of revenge, hatred, betrayal and redemption made this the best Wit Studio offering to date to  challenge the Attack on Titan juggernaut’s dramatic hegemony

ks123

15. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (Season 1)

Winter 2016

Plunged us into a previously unknown and unimaginably rich world of traditional Japanese raunchy storytelling, we go back and forth through time as some of the art’s best living performers rose to fame—and paid the costs of that fame

14. Fate/Zero 2

Spring 2012

As the battle for the grail intensifies, F/Z’s second half elevates the tension and quality of storytelling, action, and character to even greater heights

13. Violet Evergarden

Winter 2018

A beautiful and heart-wrenching tale of an elite instrument of unspeakable violence and war trying to heal and find a new purpose in a world at peace

12. Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (The Tatami Galaxy)

Spring 2010

Filled with wistful tales of campus nirvana and romance deferred, resetting timelines and different clubs joined and choices made, Tatami Galaxy is a gorgeous freeform, often bizarre ride no anime enthusiast should miss

11. Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further than the Universe)

Winter 2018

Four girls with very different personalities and paths in life all find themselves on an Antarctic expedition in a brilliant exploration of friendship, love, grief, self-exploration, and growth

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 30-21 – The Kids Are All Right

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals.—RABUJOI STAFF


30. 3-gatsu no Lion (Season 1)

Fall 2016

Shaft and Shinbou delved into the life and mind of a depressed and traumatized shogi prodigy discovering family, home and happiness with three sisters as he traverses his fiercely competitive sport

29. Bunny Girl-Senpai (Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai)

Fall 2018

Smart, mature, and engaging romantic comedy done right, BGS combined ordinary high school life with clever supernatural phenomena

28. Bakuman. 2

Fall 2011

Few shows captured how life and love went on as countless hours of hard work either amounted to a hit manga or an absolute dud. We’ve always regretted not continuing with the third season

27. Barakamon

Summer 2014 

A distinguished young calligrapher seeks refuge in a small town, and instead meets a spunky young girl and other characters who lend color and warmth to his black-on-white world

26. Houseki no Kuni

Fall 2017

A brilliant, moving, and visually dazzling tale of gems in human form, focusing on one unremarkable gem who has one hell of an arc. Desperately in need of a sequel

25. Owarimonogatari

Fall 2015

Araragi’s discussions with Oshino’s mysterious “niece” Ougi and exploration of a classmate he somehow forgot makes for some of the most emotionally complex and nervy interactions of the sprawling Monogatari series

24. Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

Spring 2013

When it all started in 2013, I watched the first episode, was put off by the naked man-eating giants, and…put it aside. Two years later, before the second season, I gave it another try and was not disappointed

23. Food Wars! (Shokugeki no Souma)

Spring 2015

The wonderful combination of shounen battles, ecchi elements, and culinary education has been going strong for years, but it all started with Souma terrorizing his childhood friend with peanut butter octopus

22. Usagi Drop

Summer 2011

A single salaryman’s life is changed forever when he takes in a girl no one else will. Heartwarming and detailed in the practicalities of childcare

21. Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu (Parasyte -the maxim-)

Fall 2014

An adaptation of a manga from the 80s, Parasyte is an often deeply dark and messed up, always thrilling story of a once-normal high school kid whose body is infiltrated and augmented by an alien parasite

 

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 40-31 – Heroes Come in Many Forms

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals.—RABUJOI STAFF


40. Boku no Hero Academia

Spring 2016

We would eventually drop this colorful shonen series about young supernatural heroes taking up the mantle of the previous generation, but the first season was unquestionably zany fun

39. Shokugeki no Souma 2

Summer 2016

Once the Autumn Elections were over, it was nice to see the young chefs test their skills in the real world, particularly Souma being paired with Hisako at a run-of-the-mill family restaurant

38. Shokugeki no Souma 3

Fall 2017

The start of a major coup in which Central takes control of Totsuki and threatens the culinary creativity of all. What had been a show about food skirmishes becomes all-out war between an authoritarian regime and a plucky rebellion

37. Fate/Zero (First Half)

Fall 2011

In our opinion, the best of the Fate anime continuum, plunging into the personalities, passions and vulnerabilities of Servants and Masters alike like no Fate before or since

36. Katanagatari

Winter 2010

The unique art, eclectic Iwasaki score, engrossing story, twisting, clever dialogue, and epic action made this a show to look forward to each month

35. Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon)

Spring 2012

In a sleepy Kyushu town in the 60s, kids from disparate backgrounds find harmony in jazz and dissonance in love in a captivating Watanabe/Konno collab

34. PSYCHO-PASS

Fall 2012

A futuristic cop show in which invasive technology determines the latent criminality of all citizens. Introduces one of the decade’s baddassest women, Tsunemori Akane

33. Shingeki no Kyojin 2

Spring 2017

In the first sequel to Attack on Titan megaseries, the world is expanded with the arrival of the Beast Titan and the revealing of Krista’s true identity

32. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Winter 2011

A seminal series that subverted and heightened the Magical Girl genre popularized by Sailor Moon, turning inward on the struggles and sacrifices of said girls and the cruelty of their fate like never before.

31. Shinsekai yori (From the New World)

Fall 2012

Quite simply one of the darkest, strangest, and most haunting explorations of our species’ possible eventual future ever put to the screen, animated or otherwise

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 50-41 – A Little Better All The Time

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


50. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (Oregairu) 2

Spring 2015

Things get a little more complicated and dramatic, but with this show, those are both good things

49. Tsuki ga Kirei

Spring 2017

With all its awkwardness, false starts, devastating setbacks and ecstatic victories, we’d be hard-pressed to find a more detailed, relatable, and downright heart-swelling depiction of falling in love for the first time. Great voice work too

48. Fate/Stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Fall 2014

Our entrance into the vast world of Fate was a ufotable masterpiece that often left other great-looking shows looking 5-10 years older. We’d eventually find Fates that, while not as good-looking, told a better story with stronger characters

47. Hibike! Euphonium 2

Spring 2015

Who ever thought band could be so serious, so dramatic…and so dang good?

46. SKET Dance

Spring 2011

A sprawling high school epic (78 episodes) bursting with quirky characters you can’t help but grow to love. While usually a comedy, some of its best outings are played straight

45. Shokugeki no Souma 3 – Totsuki Train Arc

Spring 2018

There’s Food Wars, and then there’s Food Wars on a train, baby!

44. Fruits Basket 1st Season

Spring 2019

A show that explores all manner of social and psychological disorders with compassion, through the lens of character who transform into Zodiac animals when hugged. Some of the best characters of the year can be found in this anime

43. No Game No Life

Spring 2014

A shut-in and his sister brave a video game world in this lush, colorful early-ish entry in the decade’s Isekai explosion

42. KonoSuba 2

Winter 2017

Picks up where the first season left off and improves our motley crew’s living conditions…and builds on the zany comedy

41. Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

Spring 2016

Owner of some of the highest emotional highs and lowest emotional lows, Re:Zero is at times endearing, triumphant, and terrifying…but it’s almost never boring

 

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 60-51 – The Soaring Fifties

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


60. Nagi no Asukara

Fall 2013

P.A. Works’ moving depiction of two adjacent worlds—one by the sea, one under it—and one of the most complicated and compelling love polygons of the decade

59. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou (Girls’ Last Tour)

Fall 2013

Austere and hauntingly gorgeous, as charming and life-affirming as it is devastatingly bleak and cruel

58. Nisemonogatari

Winter 2012

Puts Araragi’s two sisters in the spotlight, and features such memorable risque scenes as the bathroom scene, the Twister scene, and…the toothbrush scene

57. Dororo

Winter 2019

A imaginative 50-year-old tale is updated and expanded with truly powerful results. The party is ovah…

56. Kamisama Hajimemashita

Winter 2015

Before we learned about Fruits Basket, there was Kamisama Kiss, a charming and heartwarming tale of a down-on-her-luck human girl and her supernatural friends

55. Angel Beats!

Spring 2010

An early, stylish P.A. Work that explores life after death and the battle to right the wrongs of one’s life, fulfill what had been unfilfilled, and be remembered

54. Bakuman.

Fall 2010

The first part of an epic series in which young creative people take a chance on careers writing and drawing manga, just as much about their growing and evolving lives and relationships than the manga itself

53. Durarara!!

Winter 2010

The first, accept-no-substitute original that painted such an absorbing portrait of Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district, we were inspired to visit the place IRL. We found no headless couriers, but it was still pretty cool

52. Kanata no Astra

Summer 2019

Episodic space adventure anime were hard to come by this decade, but Kanata no Astra scratched that itch well, providing twist after twist to its serial arc while juggling a large cast we came to like and root for one by one

51. Chihayafuru

Fall 2011

Before Chihayafuru: What even is Karuta? After Chihayafuru: “Oh, that’s Karuta! I could never play that because both my Japanese and my memory suck!” Still, it’s fun to watch pretty young people kick ass at it

 

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 70-61 – There’s Something Happening Here

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


70. Oregairu (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)

Spring 2013

Not all high school harem rom-coms are created equal…this one’s pretty good

railgun17

69. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S

Spring 2013

We actually watched Railgun before Index…and still kinda like Railgun more due to the focus on Misaka

working48

68. Working!!!

Summer 2015

The third season of the family restaurant sitcom finally resolved will-they-won’t-they situations with “they wills”—and did a really good job doing it

67. ReLIFE

Summer 2016

If you could go back to your high school days, what would you say and do differently? ReLIFE, the first 13 episodes of which released all at once, Netflix-style, brilliantly explored every facet of that question

dr311

66. Durarara!! x2 Ketsu

Winter 2016

The third and best of the Durarara!! sequel cours

kill223

65. Kill la Kill

Fall 2013

Studio Trigger dazzles the stage with a completely ludicrous action/sci-fi/adventure odyssey involving sentient—and often extremely skimpy—clothing

kami11

64. The World God Only Knows 3

Summer 2013

The third season that gave us hope that maybe the MC would actually end up with a real-life girl in the end. It wasn’t to be…maybe the upcoming Season 4?

znt34

63. Zankyou no Terror

Summer 2014

Two human experiments with numbers for names meet a neglected girl from a broken home, and as the title suggests, there is a bit of terrorism

ks36

62. KonoSuba

Winter 2016

One of the most consistently hilarious isekai anime ever made, KonoSuba commits to laughs like no other show in its genre

61. Kuragehime

Fall 2010

Squid. Princess. Any questions?

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 80-71 – Hibike! at the Disco

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


80. Shiki

Summer 2010

The character design is…interesting, but you get used to it, and I even grew to enjoy it—what strange hair color or style would show up next?—Because the bottom line is, Shiki made anime vampires scarier and more sympathetic

79. Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

Winter 2018

Or: How I Learned to Stop Trying to Beat the Adorable Teasing Master and Just Fall In Love With Her Already

78. Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld

Fall 2019

Move over Kirito, Asuna, Sinon, and Eugeo: Alice is currently the shining star of SAO, and it would be a crying shame to lose her

77. Working’!! 2

Fall 2011

Working!! 2: Work Harder is more of the same great restaurant slice-of-life, only slightly better because our connection to the characters comes built-in

76. Mawaru Penguindrum

Summer 2011

A manic, dizzying feast for eyes, ears, and mind, as Ikuhara’s anime tend to be

75. Hibike! Euphonium

Spring 2015

High School life, love, fierce competition, and stirring brass music, beautifully presented as always by the incomparable KyoAni

74. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Fall 2015

In our opinion one the best entries in the vast Gundam continuum, IBO centered on scrappy underdog heroes fighting for freedom with low-tech equipment…and the odd friend in high places

dr2246

73/72. Durarara!! x2 ShouDurarara!! x2 Ten

Winter/Summer 2015

After a solid 26-episode first season, we asked if a sequel to the Ikebukuro-set story about stories was needed, but the first two of three cours answered that in the affirmative

71. Kokoro Connect + Michi Random

Fall 2012

An example of a show that didn’t impress us much at first, but got better and better and drew us in deeper and deeper. Body-swapping is only the beginning

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 90-81 – From Family Restaurants to Generation Ships

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


90. Knights of Sidonia

Spring 2014

One of the only full-CGI animes that works better because it’s CGI, owing much to its futuristic sci-fi setting. Gritty, bleak, and awe-inspiring, its characters don’t inhabit the uncanny valley, but the infinite void of space.

89. Mirai Nikki

Fall 2011

A cute but murder-happy stalker and a battle royale to determine who inherets immortality and omnipotence from a character literally named Deus Ex Machina…what’s not to like

88. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Fall 2010

Notable for its distinctive American cartoon-style look and general raunchiness, this was the last great anime Gainax made before Trigger split off

87. Working!!

Spring 2010

An absorbing slice-of-life centered on the eccentric staff of a run-of-the-mill Japanese family restaurant, filled with wit, humor, and a couple will-they-won’t-they situations that would take three seasons to resolve

86. O Maidens in Your Savage Season

Summer 2019

Took an strong unblinking look at the lives of a group of very different young women and men approaching their respective sexual awakenings in different ways

85. Golden Kamuy

Spring 2018 and Fall 2018

Part treasure hunt using human pelts as maps, part documentary of Ainu life, culture, cuisine, and spiritualism, all badass

84. Inuyashiki

Fall 2017

The story of the world’s most depressing salaryman finally gaining the power to protect family and strangers alike (thanks to aliens) is full of body horror and black humor in equal measure

83. Knights of Sidonia 2

Spring 2015

Like Knights of Sidonia 1, only Sidonia-er. Things get a bit darker, a bit weirder, and, at times, a bit funnier. The only mark against the series is that it needed a third season

82. The World God Only Knows

Fall 2010

In one of the first harem anime we watched that we enjoyed, an dating sim expert must reluctantly date girls IRL to capture the evil spirits hiding in their hearts. It’s much better than it sounds

81. Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)

Spring 2010

An unglamorous but absorbing drama in which a timid ronin joins a group of bandits making their own way in gritty Edo-period Japan

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 100-91 – The Worst of the Best

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


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100. Sword Art Online II

Summer 2014

Asuna is finally able to reach détente with her strict mother, and a terminally ill girl receives a fitting sendoff from her fellow gamers. A lot more happened, but that was some memorable stuff

99. Yuri Kuma Arashi

Winter 2015

Using heavy symbolism and vibrant iconography to promote LGBTQ advocacy and critique a nation notoriously weak in that area

98. Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil)

Spring 2013

Animating a popular manga with live action rotoscoping was bold as hell, but not too popular, crossing a boundary between anime and reality

97. Darling in the FranXX

Winter 2018

An admirable bid to bring Evangelion into the 21st century, depicting a harsh world where too heavy a weight is placed on the slender shoulders of the young

96. Sword Art Online

Summer 2012

Not the first, not the best, but the show that launched a thousand isekai, anchored by a compelling central love story that endures to this day

95. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano)

Winter 2015

A witty and attractive self-aware harem rom-com that explored artistic talent, collaboration, and the practicalities of making a video game as much as cute outfits and compromising situations

94. Re:Creators

Spring 2017

An anime that brought colorful characters from anime, books, and games of many genres—all fictitious, in-world works—into the real world, resulting in an Avengers-style fish-out-of-water crossover epic, a tantalizing premise

93. Sword Art Online: Alicization

Spring 2018

Crippled IRL, Kirito dives deeper than ever before, starts over in a new virtual world utilizing tech coveted by governments and organizations the world over, and makes friends along the way

92. Kekkai Sensen

Spring 2015

In a premise that combines Men In Black, Hellboy, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, universes and realms collide in the former NYC in a stirring feast for eyes and ears

91. Akame ga Kill!

Summer 2014

A majority-female assassin guild-vs.-empire bloody slugfest that managed to became surprisingly emotionally resonant as it went on