Winter Anime 2020: Off to a Strong Start

Well, we’re a few weeks into the Winter season of anime. We’ve got a lot going on this time around! There are still a few stinkers (why is there a Nekopara show?) but that’s not what we’re here for! Today, we’re gonna celebrate the exciting and good ones!

Now, I’m going to be looking entirely at the shows premiering this season. No carry-overs from Fall 2019 allowed. Sorry, My Hero Academia and Chihayafuru.

Before we begin, let’s quickly blitz through the honorable mentions. These are the shows that people are excited about but I haven’t watched, either because I haven’t seen the previous seasons or I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. It’s time for a lightning round. Ready? Go!

  • Haikyu!! To the Top: I still need to watch Haikyu!! I’ve heard it’s amazing, but I still haven’t gotten around to it
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun S3: This series seems interesting to me, but I’ve heard almost nothing about it, so it’s a bit further down on my cue
  • ROOM CAMP: This show looks really cute. That’s the only reason it’s on here.
  • Asteroid In Love: Hey kid, do you like stars? How bout romance? How bout a bit of both? It seems cute and interesting

I’m sure there are more that I’m missing. Probably a lot more. Feel free to give me your recommendations if you have any. I need more material to talk about in the future. I can only talk about Dragon Ball so many times.

Now, let’s get started with my favorite shows of this season. Starting with:

Isekai Quartet Season 2

Isekai Quartet isn’t the most impressive show ever. The writing, while it is good at getting a chuckle out of me, is very simple and meaningless. The plot has no sense of progression, there are no stakes and no tension, and none of the characters develop in any impactful ways. The animation is very limited and far from visually stimulating, which is typical for a chibi show. So why am I excited for the second season?

Because every now and then, I need something stupid. Something that isn’t challenging or thought-provoking. Every once in a very long while, I need something that is easily digested and fun to watch. Isekai Quartet scratches that itch perfectly.

It also helps that the episodes are super short, which makes the show incredibly easy to binge.

Somalia and the Forest Spirit

This show is the polar opposite of Isekai Quartet. It’s far more stylish, it has an actual story with characters that develop and stakes, and it’s clear that the show has a message behind it. If Isekai Quartet is junk food, Somalia and the Forest Spirit is more like a healthy salad.

The premise is simple. A long time ago, humans were hunted to extinction, leaving the world in the hands of various mythical creatures. One day, a Golem, an overseer of the forest, finds a human child there who mistakes it for her father. Now, the Golem and its adopted child, titular Somalia, must search the world for any remaining humans, all while keeping the child’s true identity a secret.

This first episode was a perfect introduction to this world and the characters! It perfectly introduces both the Golem and Somalia’s characters, their relations to each other, and the setting. Sure, there is a hefty exposition dump explaining the history, which is annoying. But everything else is told to us entirely through the visuals and the actions of the characters, as any good anime should.

Speaking of visuals, this show is super fucking pretty! The environments are all bright and colorful, not to mention interesting and unique! The creature designs are incredibly bizarre but effective, making this world feel interesting, diverse, and distinctly alien! The animation, while not especially impressive, is certainly above average. This show is a treat for the eyes from the first frame all the way to the credits! Hell, even the CGI models (used almost exclusively in the ED, calm down) look great!

This show has a ton of promise. It’s unique, interesting, and visually distinct. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here, especially if the quality remains consistent!

Still, while it is a good show, I wouldn’t call it my current favorite for the season. Not by a long shot. That distinction goes entirely to the next show!

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

If Isekai Quartet was junk food and Somalia was a salad, then Eizouken is a delicious sirloin steak!

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken is the complete package! You’ve got a show with a distinct visual style and gorgeous animation! You’ve got interesting, relatable, and likable characters! You’ve got a story that is very simple but dripping with dramatic potential! You’ve got an OP that would make any stoned viewers lose their shit! This has everything that I look for in an anime!

Not to mention that this entire show is a love letter to anime! For god’s sake, it’s a show about making anime! Our characters are aspiring anime artists! So we get to see just how Japanese animation happens, from concepting to character designs to making a character look right in motion, so on and so forth. Not only are these scenes of anime-making super engaging, but they also make for some of the most visually engaging and well-animated scenes I’ve ever seen!

This is absolutely a show that I’ll need to talk about later on! If the rest of the show is as good as the first few episodes, then I can sense a classic in the making! This show will either set the standards for the year to come or set the bar so high that every show after this one will be a waste of time.

Either way, the Isekai genre has become even more intolerable now that I know this is what we could be getting instead.


This is a promising season for anime! If this sets the tone for the rest of the year, then I get the feeling we’re in for a good one! It’s yet to be seen whether or not it will reach the same heights as the previous years of anime. But things are certainly looking good!

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I need to go drool over every frame of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

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