20 Recommended Shows From 2020

Okay, so here’s the thing: this was initially supposed to be a “Top 10 Anime of 2020” post. I had every intention of doing that, but then someone made a dumb joke about 2020 and 20 anime and I am also dumb, so I resonated with that and ran with it. So here we are now. You have made it to General Tofu’s list of 20 great anime series from 2020 – congratulations!

I was absolutely not about to rank 20 different series, so what I have instead done is that I have organized them by the season that they initially released in. I have also not necessarily organized this as a list of only the absolute best anime – there are definitely shows that I watching this year that I have rated higher score-wise than some shows that appear on this list. I am quite sure that plenty of the shows that did not make the cut for this list have been talked about to death on other end-of-year posts, so y’all probably don’t need to hear about some of them again on this one. Instead, I focused on picking shows that I would readily watch again, because I felt that that would be a more enjoyable list to compile, honestly. The list is pretty beefy already, so for the sake of brevity, let’s get this show on the road!

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Trash Your Backlog: or, the Joy of Not Choosing

I have an anime problem.

Specifically, I have a problem with watching anime from my backlog. Years ago, when I had just gotten back into watching anime in earnest, anime felt like a wide open world, filled to the brim with all sorts of series that I would jump at the opportunity to watch. Now, years later, the situation is exactly the same – there’s tons of shows out I would love to watch, and the list only continues to grow. That, unfortunately, is where the anime problem comes in. Unsurprisingly, as part of the Backloggers, I do have a bit of a backlog of anime that I would like to watch at some point in time. I’ve been able to chip away at it, to be sure, but recently, I’ve encountered this issue where I look at my backlog, and I internally just grind to a screeching halt. What do I even watch from this list? What do I dedicate my time to? How can I possibly choose something from all of this?

That, friends, is where my secret weapon comes in. What’s the best way to choose a show and chip away at your backlog? 

Don’t.

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Backlog Busting – Kamisama Kiss

I’m not entirely sure why on a blog called “The Backloggers” it’s taken us a good five years or so to get a post series going about chipping away at our backlogs. Well, now we can’t say that we haven’t done it – this post marks the beginning of a series I’m dubbing “Backlog Busting,” where we, obviously, write about stuff on our backlog that we’ve recently knocked off the list (whether that means we completed it and loved it, ended up dropping it because it was surprisingly bad, or anything else in-between). As hilarious as it could have been to start this series out by talking about some hot garbage from deep in the backlog, I can pretty happily say that this post is about an absolute banger – Kamisama Kiss.

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Summer 2020 Mid-Season Rankings! (Week 7 Check-in)

Okay, folks – it’s here. It’s week seven, and all shows have at this point finally hit the middle of their cour, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for a mid-season ranking post!

I want to treat this post a little differently than the ones I’ve put together so far – I’m going to be giving a look at each show that I’m still watching this season and rank them according to…criteria. Magic stuff. You know. We’ll start from the bottom and progressively work our way to the top of my list for this season. I hope you’re ready, because, uh, I’m not.

Putting together a ranking for the shows I’m still watching has proved to be a genuinely grueling task. While I initially felt that it would be a simple task, once I got past the bottom two, the reality of the situation set in pretty hard when I found my list constantly switching shows around to hugely different positions. I think, however, that I’ve finally hit a spot I’m comfortable with, so join me, won’t you?

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No, this is not Fate – Summer 2020 Week 6 Check-in

Well, folks, here we are almost at the halfway point of the Summer 2020 season. This just feels…weird. The middle of a season always seems to creep up on me, and it always feels as though it gets here so much faster than anyone would really expect it to. And as a teacher, it took me by surprise even more than usual, since I’m preparing to be back in the classroom in a handful of days. However, I am pleased to say that everything I’ve stuck with has yet to really disappoint me, even this deep into the season. This week, as with last week, I’m going to highlight a few series that I want to give some special attention to. Check ‘em out!

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Growth, Beating It, and Despair – Summer 2020 Week 5 Check-In

I think we’ve lucked out in the seasonal anime department, y’all, because this is going to be another week where pretty much everything was rock-solid. While it would be fun as always to briefly highlight everything I watched, I think it would be more fun to switch things up a bit for this post, though, and focus on just a handful of shows that were really on point this week. So without further ado, let’s dig in!

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Kicking Things into Gear — Summer 2020 Week 4 Check-In

I always love week 4 in a seasonal rotation. We’re really starting to get into the meat of the shows, I’ve dropped what I’m going to drop by this point, and things are generally going at a pretty solid pace. Well, that’s true for many shows, but given the slew of series that we have here, most of them just kicked pretty hard into overdrive this week. That, and we see the return of two favorites from last season that got delayed, so I really don’t know how any week could possibly be better than this one. Let’s do it!

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The Beauty of the Haikyuu!! Dub – or, Why Dubs Matter Just as Much as Subs

This might be controversial to say, but whatever, here goes.

I love the Haikyuu!! dub. 

Until about two months ago, I hadn’t even touched Haikyuu!! as a series. As fate would have it, though, my partner stumbled upon a video of some highlights from the dub, and we collectively about pissed ourselves laughing – the script was just so good, and the voice actors really delivered. We basically took this as a good excuse to start watching the show – I had intended to watch it for a while now anyway, and she had wanted to catch up on it to be ready for the next cour coming in a few seasons, so after watching that video, we decided, hell, why not watch the first episode dubbed? The first episode went by, and then the next, and then the next, and suddenly, we’re at the end of season 2 and are scrambling to see who has the dub for season 3, because if it’s out there, it just wouldn’t feel right to not watch it dubbed, you know? What started as a “haha funny goof” turned pretty quickly into an unabashed admiration for this show’s dub. Somewhat unsurprisingly, given that the anime fandom is so often prone to “discussions” about subs versus dubs, a fair amount of people are of the opinion that the Haikyuu!! dub is some hot, steaming shit. And to that, I say “yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

This is not about to get into a subs versus dubs argument, because that shit is just tired, uninteresting, and, since it all stems from subjective viewpoints, pointless. What I do want to talk about, though, is the importance of great dubs, how subs and dubs are essentially serving the same purpose, but in different ways, and the need to axe the elitism inherent in subs vs dubs “debates”.

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Peeling Back the Layers — Summer 2020 Week 3 Check-In

Hey, welcome back to our weekly check-in! It’s hard to believe that we’re already about a quarter of the way through the Summer 2020 season, but here we are. We’ve got a lot of good plot and character development from a number of shows this week, a beach episode, and the first round of drops for the season, so this one’s a little packed. Hop on in!

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Bad Things Keep Happening to Good Characters: the Season — Summer 2020 Week 2 Check-In

Welcome back to the weekly check-in series! Now that we’ve got most of the premieres out of the way, the focus of these posts is going to be on what I think is still worth keeping up with, what’s lagging behind, what’s new (whether a series actually premiered later than others, or if I just started on it), and all that jazz.

All things considered, this was a pretty packed second week for most of the shows represented here, so hop on in!

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