Best Anime Since 2020
Best Anime Since 2020
Anime

Best Anime Since 2020

Best Anime Since 2020

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2020 and the years following it have been great for anime fans. Many new shows debuted on screens, including several hotly anticipated adaptations of popular manga and light novel series as well as many anime-original series, not to mention several long-awaited continuations of old series.

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Some of these series are so highly praised and beloved that they’ll likely cement themselves as all-time anime classics by the end of the decade, becoming the series that define 2020’s anime in fans’ minds. But of all the shows released in the last few years, which ones are the best, and which should every anime fan go out of their way to see?

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10 Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Is Isekai Distilled

Mushoku Tensei Jobless Reincarnation anime art poster

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

A 34-year-old Japanese NEET is run over by a speeding truck and dies. Before he knows it, he is reborn as Rudeus Greyrat, and begins a new life full of adventure.

Release Date
January 11, 2021

Creator
Rifujin na Magonote

Cast
Yumi Uchiyama , Tomokazu Sugita , Ai Kakuma , Toshiyuki Morikawa

Seasons
2

Studio
Studio Bind

Debut

2021

Episodes

36

Studio

Studio Bind

Available On

Crunchyroll

Isekai is one of the most popular genres of the last few years, with each new anime season bringing several new isekai series to screens. However, of all these isekai shows, Mushoku Tensei is one of the best. Based on the novel series written by Rifujin na Magonote, Mushoku Tensei follows a 34-year-old NEET who gets hit by a truck while trying to save some teens. This NEET wakes up in a fantasy world, and, taking on the new moniker of Rudeus Greyrat, he sets out on an adventure, quickly becoming a skilled hero.

While Mushoku Tensei features all the tropes fans have come to expect from the isekai genre, it executes them all perfectly. The setting is deep, the characters are relatable, and the story is well-told, nicely paced, and full of twists, making this the perfect choice for those who want to dip their toes into isekai.

Key visual from Mushoku Tensei Season 2 featuring the main cast

9 Heavenly Delusion Is A Twisting Post-Apocalyptic Drama

Heavenly Delusion Anime Poster

Heavenly Delusion

A boy grows up behind the safe walls of an apocalyptic Japan full of monsters. Tokyo flourishes as a paradise, while outside the walls of hell dangers lurk. However, a small group searches for heaven.

Release Date
April 1, 2023

Creator
Masakazu Ishiguro

Seasons
1 Season

Studio
Production I.G

Franchise
Heavenly Delusion

Characters By
Nick Martineau, Gen Satô, Sayaka Senbongi

Main Characters
Tokio, Mimihime, Maru, Kiruko

Production Company
Production I.G

Writers
Makoto Fukami

Number of Episodes
13 Episodes

Debut

2023

Episodes

13

Studio

Production I.G.

Available On

Hulu

Based on Masakazu Ishiguro’s manga, Heavenly Delusion is set in a post-apocalyptic world and follows two unique groups. Maru and Kiruko are two young survivors hoping to reach a mythical place called Heaven. However, this trip is made difficult by both the things that lurk on the now-ruined streets and by the heavy trauma and secrets both of them carry with them. The second story focuses on a group of children living in a school facility that keeps them isolated from the outside world. However, Tokio, one of the students, dreams of getting out of the school, even though her friend implores her to wait, saying that someone is coming to rescue her.

Heavenly Delusion’s story is what makes it stand out. Featuring several layers of twists, turns, and surprises, it will keep viewers glued to their screen from the opening to the ending credits, making it one of the most memorable shows of the last few years.

Kiruko Reveals Her True Identity to Maru in Heavenly Delusion

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8 Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Is An Emotional Ride

Frieren: Beyond Journey's End

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End

An elf and her friends defeat a demon king in a great war. But the war is over, and the elf must search for a new way of life.

Release Date
September 29, 2023

Creator
Tsukasa Abe, Kanehito Yamada

Cast
Atsumi Tanezaki , Kana Ichinose

Seasons
1 Season

Production Company
Aniplex, Dentsu, Madhouse, Shogakukan, TOHO animation, Toho

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Debut

2023

Episodes

28

Studio

Madhouse

Available On

Crunchyroll

Some shows take a while to grow an audience. Others instantly explode, gathering praise and fans the second the first episode is released. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is an example of the latter category, as despite debuting near the end of 2023, the show has already established itself as a modern success story. Based on Kanehito Yamada and Tsukasa Abe’s manga, Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End follows Frieren, an elven mage who lives in a fantasy world. After defeating the Demon King with her party, Frieren went on a quest to learn more about magic, promising she would meet her friends again one day. But when she returns fifty years later, she finds that her human friends have aged dramatically. When one friend dies, Fren, keen to make amends, promises to travel to the resting place of souls to give her former friend a proper sendoff.

It’s easy to see why Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End has quickly become so popular. The show’s unique take on the fantasy genre, mixed with its surprisingly nuanced meditation on the nature of time and loss, make this a moving anime that will have viewers reaching for the tissues more than once.

Frieren reads a grimoire with Fern in Frieren Beyond Journey’s End anime

7 Jujutsu Kaisen Defines Dark Shonen

The cast pose together on the Jujutsu Kaisen Anime Poster

Jujutsu Kaisen

A boy swallows a cursed talisman – the finger of a demon – and becomes cursed himself. He enters a shaman’s school to be able to locate the demon’s other body parts and thus exorcise himself.

Release Date
October 2, 2020

Creator
Gege Akutami

Cast
Junya Enoki , Yuichi Nakamura , Yuma Uchida , Asami Seto

Seasons
2 Seasons

Studio
MAPPA

Production Company
Mappa, TOHO animation

Number of Episodes
47 Episodes

Debut

2020

Episodes

47

Studio

MAPPA

Available On

Crunchyroll

Based on Gege Akutami’s manga, Jujutsu Kaisen follows Yuji Itadori, a young boy living an average life. However, this life is forever changed when his friends at the school’s Occult Club unseal a rotten finger talisman, drawing untold curses to the school. Keen to save his friends, Yuji swallows the finger, making him the host of a curse called Ryomen Sukuna.

Due to this, Satoru Gojo, a teacher at a school for Jujutsu Sorcerers, takes Yuji to the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School and proposes a plan to his superiors: Rather than killing Yuji, they let Gojo train him until he can eat all ten fingers, letting them finally rid the world of Ryomen Sukuna for good. A fun twist on the magic school setup, Jujutsu Kaisen is filled with excitement and drama. Because of this, Jujutsu Kaisen became known as one of Shonen’s Dark Trio, a testament to its wide-reaching popularity.

6 Bocchi the Rock! Is A Relatable Rags-To-Rock-Riches Tale

Bocchi! The Rock Anime Poster

Bocchi the Rock!

Hitori “Bocchi-chan” Goto is a lonely high school girl whose heart lies in her guitar; she meets Nijika Ijichi and joins “Kessoku Band.”

Release Date
October 8, 2022

Creator
Aki Hamaji

Cast
Yoshino Aoyama , Sayumi Suzushiro , Saku Mizuno , Ikumi Hasegawa , Maaya Uchida

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
1

Studio
CloverWorks

Franchise
Bocchi the Rock!

Characters By
Aki Hamaji

Distributor
Crunchyroll

Main Characters
Hitori Goto, Nijika Ijichi, Ryou Yamada, Ikuyo Kita, Seika Ijichi

Producer
Shota Umehara

Production Company
CloverWorks, Aniplex

Story By
Aki Hamaji

Writers
Aki Hamaji , Erika Yoshida

Debut

2022

Episodes

12

Studio

CloverWorks

Available On

Crunchyroll

Hitori “Bocchi” Gotoh is a shy and socially anxious girl who struggles to make friends. Despite this, she dreams of playing with a band and spends all her time practicing her guitar. However, one day, Bocchi’s life is turned upside down when she meets Nijika Ijichi, the socially outgoing drummer. Ijichi invites Bocchi to join her band, Kessoku Band, because they recently lost their guitarist, forcing Bocchi to fight her anxiety head-on.

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Bocchi quickly became a popular character in anime circles, and it’s easy to see why. Her story of facing down anxiety and trying to grab your dreams is immensely relatable and beautifully handled. Plus, the entire show perfectly captures the feeling of young people taking their first steps to live their dreams, cataloging the ups and downs with charm, humor, and pathos.

Hitori Goto Struggling with Anxiety in Bocchi the Rock

5 Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Is A Fun Story About Making Art

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken anime cover art

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

A group of strangers come together to work on creating the greatest anime series ever.

Release Date
January 6, 2020

Creator
Sumito Ōwara

Cast
Monica Rial , Jessica Boone , Olivia Swasey

Seasons
1

Studio
Science Saru

Number of Episodes
12

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Debut

2020

Episodes

12

Studio

Science Saru

Available On

Crunchyroll

Based on Sumito Ōwara’s manga series Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! follows Midori Asakusa, a high school anime fan who loves to doodle. When Midori and her friend Sayaka Kanamori befriend young model Tsubame Mizusaki, they discover that Tsubame dreams of being an animator and loves drawing people. Seeing a chance to make her anime dreams a reality, Midori, Tsubame, and Sayaka set up a school anime club and start to turn their dreams into reality.

Eizouken! was highly praised, winning the Grand Prize for Television Animation at 2021’s Tokyo Anime Awards Festival and taking home the animation grand prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival. While the concept may not resonate with every anime fan, for those who can relate to Midori and love stories about the struggles of creating art, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is a must-watch.

The main cast of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken

4 Chainsaw Man Is An Action Epic

Chainsaw Man Poster

Chainsaw Man

Following a betrayal, a young man left for dead is reborn as a powerful devil-human hybrid after merging with his pet devil and is soon enlisted into an organization dedicated to hunting devils. When his father died, Denji was stuck with a huge debt and no way to pay it back.

Release Date
October 11, 2022

Creator
Tatsuki Fujimoto

Cast
Kikunosuke Toya , Ryan Colt Levy , Tomori Kusunoki , Suzie Yeung

Seasons
1

Studio
MAPPA

Main Characters
Denji, Makima, Pochita, Power, Himeno, Kishibe

Number of Episodes
12

Network
Crunchyroll

Debut

2022

Episodes

12

Studio

MAPPA

Available On

Crunchyroll

Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man manga quickly gained a large and devoted fanbase. So, when the anime was announced, there was a lot of excitement. Thankfully, the series managed to live up to the hype. The series follows Denji, a poor young man trying to pay off his debts by working as a Devil Hunter. However, one day, the Yakuza double-crosses Denji and kills him.

In his dying moments, Denji makes a pact with Pochita, his dog — and the Chainsaw Devil. This pact allows Denji to turn into a Devil-human hybrid called Chainsaw Man. After getting revenge on his killers, Denji is recruited by the Public Safety Division, a government devil-hunting squad. MAPPA’s animation shines in this show, capturing the manga’s violence and excellent monster designs. Plus, the characters are handled well, with Denji being one of the most surprisingly loveable protagonists in anime history.

Denji tugs on his cord in the Chainsaw Man anime.

3 Odd Taxi Is A Modern Urban Mystery

Pictures of the animal characters in the Odd Tax anime cover art

Odd Taxi

In a city which should be familiar, there is the feeling of something a little different.

Release Date
April 5, 2021

Creator
Kazuya Konomoto

Cast
Natsuki Hanae , Mike McFarland , Kappei Yamaguchi , Kenji Hamada

Seasons
1

Studio
OLM Team Yoshioka P.I.C.S.

Number of Episodes
13

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Debut

2021

Episodes

13

Studio

OLM, P.I.C.S.

Available On

Crunchyroll

Odd Taxi was one of 2021’s sleeper hits, quickly generating a massive fanbase via social media word-of-mouth. The show follows Hiroshi Odokawa, an anthropomorphic walrus who drives a taxi. While he is an antisocial loner, Hiroshi does talk with the people who ride in his cab, learning about their lives and situations as they travel around Tokyo. However, this takes a turn for the worse when a high school girl goes missing, and some of the evidence seems to point to Hiroshi, leading to various groups hunting him.

What makes Odd Taxi so memorable is how distinctive it is. The show has a unique atmosphere and a clever story that will draw viewers in and hold them to the end. The show’s unorthodox look at modern urban life is surprisingly grounded, touching on many common anxieties and issues, making it a fascinating commentary on contemporary city life.

Odokawa and Kabasawa from OddTaxi

2 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury Is Made By Its Characters

Gundam Witch from Mercury Poster

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury

humanity has been split between those born on Earth (Earthians) and those in space (Spacians), with those inhabiting Earth living in poverty. On Mercury, the development of a format known as GUND to allow people to better survive in space is underway.

Release Date
October 2, 2022

Cast
Kana Ichinose , Lynn , Yōhei Azakami , Natsuki Hanae , Makoto Furukawa , Yume Miyamoto , Miyu Tomita , Mamiko Noto

Seasons
1

Studio
Sunrise

Franchise
Mobile Suit Gundam

Cinematographer
Shôta Kodera

Distributor
Sunrise, Crunchyroll

Main Characters
Suletta Mercury, Miorine Rembran, Guel Jeturk, Elan Ceres, Shaddiq Zenelli, Nika Nanaura, Chuatury Panlunch, Elnora Samaya / Prospera Mercury

Producer
Naohiro Ogata

Production Company
Bandai Namco Filmworks, Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS), Sotsu, Sunrise

Writers
Ichirō Ōkouchi

Number of Episodes
13

Debut

2022

Episodes

24

Studio

Sunrise

Available On

Crunchyroll

The latest entry in the legendary Gundam mecha franchise, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury, follows Suletta Mercury. Suletta is a young girl who leaves her home planet Mercury to go to the Asticassia School of Technology, a school that encourages tensions between students. While there, Suletta encounters Miorine Rembran, a girl who wants to escape her controlling father, pulling her into a tangled web of intrigue and revenge — a web that only becomes more tangled when she finds the Gundam Aerial, a mobile suit with a strange history.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury’s characters make it memorable. Suletta and Miorine are deep and well-realized, perfectly capturing the confusing sensation of trying to find yourself while stuck somewhere you don’t fully understand. This is combined with a deep, multi-layered plot packed full of twists and turns, making the show a roller coaster from start to finish.

1 Spy X Family Is A Modern Legend

Loid, Anya and Yor walking side by side in Spy x Family

Spy x Family

A spy on an undercover mission gets married and adopts a child as part of his cover. His wife and daughter have secrets of their own, and all three must strive to keep together.

Release Date
April 9, 2022

Creator
Tatsuya Endo

Cast
Takuya Eguchi , Atsumi Tanezaki , Saori Hayami

Seasons
2

Studio
Wit Studios / Clover Works

Debut

2022

Episodes

37

Studio

Wit Studio, CloverWorks

Available On

Crunchyroll

Spy x Family is a cultural phenomenon. The anime adaptation of Tatsuya Endo instantly cemented itself as a modern classic, pulling in even non-anime fans. The anime is so popular that the show’s cast has become some of the most instantly recognizable characters in the world — especially Anya, the psychic little girl.

The series follows Twilight, a secret agent for the country of Westalis. He is tasked with gathering intel about the shadowy Donovan Desmond, who may be keen to draw Westalis back into war with neighboring Ostania. To do this, Twilight has to form a fake family. He adopts a young girl called Anya and talks a shy local woman, Yor, into marriage. But what Twilight doesn’t know is that Anya is a mind reader and Yor is an assassin, meaning all three are hiding secrets. Spy X Family is packed with excellent storytelling and a memorably lovable cast, meaning it’s easy to see why it has so quickly become a massive success story.

A disgruntled Loid carries Yor and Anya who are asleep in Spy x Family

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