2020 Fall Anime Season: Final Thoughts

2020 fall anime season final thoughts

It’s that time of the year again, so enjoy our Final Thoughts of the fall anime season that just came to an end. Hope you all have a happy and safe New Year~


Adachi to Shimamura
Length: 12 Episodes | Genre: Romance, School, Slice of Life, Yuri

adachi to shimamura yuri anime

For the first time in quite a while, this season gave actual yuri anime to get excited about, but I had some mixed feelings about the yuri headliner of the season. I should mention that I haven’t read the Adachi to Shimamura light novels or manga, so this assessment is solely about the anime. Before the season began, I expected this anime to be a nice middle ground between Kase-san. and Bloom Into You, yet after finishing the season, I was left feeling unfulfilled and like AdaShima lacked the magic of both of those series.

I think a lot of that stems from Adachi and Shimamura’s relationship itself. I was surprised that they just never actually started dating, despite them acting like they already were. It was frustrating that they seemed perpetually stuck somewhere between the friend zone and girlfriends, and the somewhat cute moments never led to anything more. For a chunk of the season, I thought it was depressing to watch Adachi long for Shimamura to the extent that she did. I can’t say it’s not relatable to a degree, but I still didn’t enjoy watching it. To me, some of the more introspective moments in this series didn’t hold up to the likes of Bloom Into You, which just seemed more thoughtful and had a depth and maturity about them that this show was missing.

I definitely wasn’t a fan of Yashiro, and while Nagafuji and Hino were cute together, I’d sacrifice them for more relationship progress from the two main characters. I guess I just wanted more real romance from this anime, instead of alternating between extreme skinship and extreme shyness, acting like girlfriends then acting like mere acquaintances. It’s probably not fair to compare Adachi to Shimamura to other yuri anime, but when so many of them share the same settings and situations, it’s impossible not to. Whether it was drama, cuteness, or just some sweet romance, I felt like AdaShima was ultimately a disappointment from what I had in mind. We should be reviewing this in the coming weeks, so more will be said about it then. 😛

Total Enjoyment: 6/10


Assault Lily: Bouquet
Length: 12 Episodes | Genre: Action, Fantasy, Magic

assault lily bouquet anime

Coming from Shaft—and not helped at all by the character designs of the two main characters—it’s impossible not to compare this to Madoka Magica, but this is a pretty different type of anime, though it’s obviously still nowhere near the quality of Madoka. From a story perspective, Assault Lily seems pretty generic and not too dissimilar from loads of other magical girl anime, “some monsters appear and only these select girls can fight them off bla bla”, though this show also includes a senpai/kouhai system a la MariMite, so it’s really throwing everything against the wall and hoping something will stick. There were some story elements that I found a little refreshing, yet this was still very much a monster-killing-magical-girls anime.

Mostly uninspired and cliche story aside, the action kept me somewhat interested, but I was surprised that so much time was spent trying to showcase the characters, because, to me, that wasn’t exactly the strength of this show either. Riri and Yuyu were as cliched as the story, though I found Yuyu to be a lot more interesting than Riri, mostly due to her dark past. Still, that wasn’t enough to get me to really like either one, however, there were a lot of supporting characters, and out of everyone, Kaede was the one who I found to be the most entertaining.

Most people had to be watching this for the yuri, and while there was a lot of subtext, actual romance was missing. That was pretty disappointing to me, as I expected a lot more than that from this show. Still, compared to most other anime with similar plotlines, the heavy subtext of this wins out and helped make this a lot more watchable than my previous gripes would suggest. Overall, I feel like this anime’s action and yuri-ish core were entertaining enough to overcome its other deficiencies, and if you’re wanting a guilty pleasure anime, look no further than Assault Lily.

Total Enjoyment: 6/10


Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Bloom
Length: 12 Episodes | Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life

gochiusa gochuumon wa usagi desu ka bloom

We knew exactly what to expect from GochiUsa, and I’m glad that this newest season once again delivered on all fronts. It seems like this series can do no wrong, and as long as they give us the cuteness overload that the series is known for, this will continue to be be as entertaining as ever.

The unique cafe workplace setting sort of sets this series apart from other slice of life anime, and my favorite scenario had to be the Phantom Thief Lapin scenes involving Sharo. Sharo’s a close second in terms of being my favorite character in the series, and since there weren’t enough Lapin scenes, I’d kill to see an OVA centered around her and that character. I love it when all of the girls are together, and this season did a good job of bringing everyone under one roof and just letting their chemistry shine.

Over the years, there’s been little to no yuri from this series, and the same can be said of this season. There are the usual Kokoa big sister antics involving Chino, but the subtext isn’t very strong at all. Ever since the first season, I’ve been wanting to see more Sharo x Rize cute moments, yet my hopes were once again dashed. They had a few scenes together, but nothing particularly noteworthy. Still, another season of this anime was the perfect way to bid adieu to 2020, and without question, Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Bloom was my favorite anime of the season. I don’t know if there’ll be another season, but if this is the final time we see these girls on the small screen, they certainly went out with a bang.

Total Enjoyment: 8/10


Dropped: Hanyou no Yashahime: Sengoku Otogizoushi, Iwa Kakeru!: Sport Climbing Girls

15 thoughts on “2020 Fall Anime Season: Final Thoughts

  1. I share your pain with regard to “Adachi and Shimamura” but I enjoyed it for what it was, which was a cute tease. The tension that Adachi is under being unable to express her true feelings is almost universal and easily understood. In Oregairu, when Hachiman realizes he is way in over his head trying to handle the joint Christmas Party, and he is forced to return to Yukino and Yui and ask for their help in the “Genuine Scene”, we can easily identify, especially that night, at home where Hachiman rolls around on the couch and floor having a “realization of naked embarrassment” moment. People hide behind masks for good reason. Perhaps the problem you had with this season was the character of Shimamura who is about as dense as a brick. Also every anime seems to need at least one ultra cute loli character and we got that in Yashiro who doesn’t seem to play any real role in the story, other than “Look I’m cute and I’m here!”. When she was first introduced, I thought Cupid, but then she doesn’t play that role so what the frack? Certainly not the quality of “Bloom into You” (but then few are)! Perhaps at the beginning you were high on it, and I was really low, so your viewing could only drop, while mine could only rise. Happy New Year to you!

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    • It would’ve been nice if Shimamura weren’t so dense. I don’t know that I’ve seen a yuri anime that stretches out the main courtship for so long and still doesn’t see the two characters seal the deal. Some other shows dealing with unrequited love had a lot of other things going for them, but I just wasn’t a fan of the other characters or the comedy in this one. 😛

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  2. I agree with you completely. I had high hopes for “Adachi to Shimamura.” I enjoyed the first couple of episodes, but right around the mid-point, I dropped it because it did not feel like it was going anywhere. From your review, it sounds like it never did get anywhere.

    I felt that the director was afraid to commit to a full-blooded yuri plot so instead skated around the edges of a real relationship. They did not commit because the director could not commit. As a result, the anime skated around the edges of being good.

    IMHO, Kase-san, Aoi Hana, and Bloom were all vastly superior.

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    • The director has nothing to do with this. AdaShima is not an original anime, it’s an adaptation of a Light Novel. The actual reason is, 12 episodes is not enough to reach the point in the novels where their relationship progresses. Just like how the Bloom Into You anime ended without any real conclusion. This kind of thing happens often in anime that are adaptations of pre-existing material. The people who write said material usually aren’t thinkinh about an anime when they decide the pacing.

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      • I disagree with you on your Bloom assessment – while yes technically they werent a couple at the end of the adaptation, it was *very* clear that Yuu was finally returning Touko’s feelings, and that it was pretty inevitable, which left things feeling very positive uplifting. That Aquarium Date was pretty great, and the scene on the train at the end, with Yuu taking the initiative to hold Touko’s hand and the symbolism of their shadows merging together, thats *practically* conclusive regardless of whether it literally is or not. (BTW, you can tour that exact same aquarium on google maps, its pretty cool – Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa; unfortunately I couldnt find the penguin walk, but the other key scenes were there!)

        While Shimamura’s soliloquy at the end of episode 12 was probably supposed to be similarly uplifting, for myself (and lots of others I am discovering) it was so much of a letdown considering the buildup of episodes 9-11; Adachi kept swearing to herself that she ‘wont run away’ and yet continually runs away. On the one hand, I *can* relate, somewhat – I was stupidly shy/introverted when I was in my mid-teens, and it did take me a long while to finally work up the courage to confess to my crush, but even I managed to do so before spring break (ie, within the first 3/4 or so of the school year), and I didn’t even have the shield of being in private when I did so :S In some ways it reminds me a fair bit of Citrus, in that it started to come across as melodramatic (and even cringy a few times, like with Adachi’s possessive jealousy). I started to find Nagafuji and Hino more interesting, though of course there is no guarantee that would go anywhere either – Nagafuji was much more overt in her interest, though at times it seemed as if Hino might not have been interested – its hard to say since we don’t get to see very much of them 😦

        I do intend to eventually read the LNs – I plan on starting with volume 5, since the anime adapted volumes 1-4 (I have this on good authority) – but right now that anime ending sucked all the energy for the series out of me 😦 Other than the OP and Merry-Go-Round that is.

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        • Wonderful review and accurate. The Bloom into You Anime is excellent, and highly enjoyable for all the reasons you state, but the problem is that it is highly incomplete. The play is the core of Ms Nio Nakatani’s story. Up to the play, Touko has been on a full court press courtship of Yuu, and Yuu has begun to Bloom. But Touko thinks this is safe because Yuu is aromantic and will not respond. Yuu uses the play to flip the dynamics, and she now begins her full court press courtship of Touko which causes Touko to change, and then to Bloom into Yuu. And in an unexpected way, we see that Yuu is top in the relationship. None of this applies to Adachi and Shimamura. While there is some character development with Adachi, dense Shimamura never changes. When the Bloom anime ended, I went to the manga. I am not sure that I will go to the LN’s for Adachi unless someone gives a glowing review of the story. Please tell how the story continues in the LN’s, or maybe The Rock will write a review of the LN (hint, hint)

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  3. Adachi to Shimamura was definitely my personal highlight of last season, it had it’s moments that made me go fan out a lot for sure and Adachi really is super relatable and I don’t blame her whatsoever for not pulling the trigger and telling Shimamura her true feelings. I really definitely enjoyed it in the end and honestly have to pick up the LN again cause it has been so long since I’ve read it. Also I definitely would love to see a season 2 for sure!

    As for Assault Lily, it was alright to me. It wasn’t too amazing or anything but I did enjoy it to an extent that I finished it, also I can’t help but like the OP and ED songs for it since they’re pretty good lol but yeah overall one of the okays for me of last season, not anything special.

    Gochuumon season 3, I was so happy with this, it definitely was another fun season of Chino and co and their antics at Rabbit House and such and I absolutely adored it! Complete fun and just so adorable!!! Really hope for more for sure!

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    • Overall, it was a pretty good season, at least compared to ones from recent memory. Quite a few yuri/yuri-ish shows, so much that it’s going to be depressing going back to the normal amount. 😀

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  4. I absolutely loved Adashima, and I think a lot of the disappointment in it comes from having the wrong expectations of it. It’s very much not your typical yuri anime in that it has largely believable and realistic characters. Adachi and Shimamura are both young teenage girls who aren’t yet settled in themselves and aren’t really even completely thinking about being in a relationship (never mind a relationship with another girl). Also, it’s not really an easy adaptation to make given that a lot of the content is very internal, particularly in the case of Shimamura. Not saying everyone has to like it but if you were looking for another Kase-san then it’s pretty clear why it wouldn’t have lived up to your expectations because it’s not and wasn’t intending to be another Kase-san.

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  5. It makes sense that people expecting a more typical romance may be disappointed with Adashima since it wasn’t really ever trying to fully be one in the way that for instance Bloom into you mostly is and didn’t really market itself that way either to the same extent, but since I personally really loved Adashima here’s how I interpreted some things differently from how some people have: (I make some comments on things that I’m not sure if the anime cut from the light novels or not, in case anyone is planning to read those and wants to avoid spoilers for such details).

    I read the light novels, so I’m surprised that a lot of people that only watched the anime seem to think of Shimamura as dense since the impression I got more was that she probably knows but is lying to herself, due to how her thoughts and actions sometimes don’t really line up, how there’s a couple times she almost starts speculating about if Adachi actually wants something more but stops herself from thinking too deeply about it, as well as how you can see that she looks at things differently when she’s with Adachi compared to without Adachi. And this is just my personal interpretation, but she also came across as somewhat depressed since she consistently shows symptoms of something like that(I mean, I don’t remember if all of these were mentioned clearly in the anime, but she sleeps unnaturally much, is tired all the time, never takes the initiative for anything, thinks most things that aren’t Adachi are a pain, doesn’t put any effort into maintaining relationships, doesn’t really seem to find most things that fun, etc.), and then it kind of makes sense that she wouldn’t be up for a relationship, which is something that takes effort she doesn’t seem to know if she actually can put in.

    I also don’t really feel like there was no progress, because they’re both emotionally at a different point from at the start of the series, but I guess it depends on how well anime got that across as well as what you consider most important. I guess that I’ve noticed the same thing with light novel readers too though where some care more about the concrete events and some more about the character’s emotional development, with the first group liking certain volumes more and the second certain other ones more(I’m in the latter camp, but nothing wrong with either).

    Though, those are obviously only differences in opinion, but something I do find straight up odd is how some people (no one on here, but I’ve seen it elsewhere)seem to be describing it as queerbaiting when it felt pretty abundantly clear that at least Adachi is gay right from episode 2 of the anime/somewhere around chapter 2-3 of the light novels (Don’t remember if it made it into the anime, but to the point that even Shimamura internally basically goes “could she secretly be into girls? what would I do if she asked me… no, no way. I’m just imagining it, that’s all. There can’t be more to it.” ), so it was at the very least always pretty clear about being about gay stuff.

    That said, the anime adapted volumes 1-4 which were a 7/10 for me on average, but for me the the next 4 volumes(5-8) are an easy 10/10 – to the point that they beat Bloom into you by a tiny margin, since Bloom into you, as great as it is, still is a bit more melodramatic and I can’t relate to that as strongly personally because my life is very low on those kinds of drama(I still think both are absolutely amazing though, they’re by far my two favourite yuri series I’ve read out of quite a lot of them). So, anything else aside, I’ll be hoping for a second season since the first one ended just before the most important and easily best parts of the story(I’ve never seen anyone that liked the first half of the currently published volumes more than what comes after) 🙂

    (of course all of this is just how I feel, everyone else is free to interpret things differently and feel differently about it if they want to, just like there probably are stories other people love that I didn’t get as much enjoyment out of).

    Finally, I don’t think this should be surprising for something that’s still some kind of romance, but in case anyone wants to know if it ends up going anywhere(I think I saw at least one comment saying they want to know)

    LIGHT NOVEL SPOILERS below this point

    They do end up together about halfway through what a potential season presumably would cover 🙂 (but the development leading pretty directly up to it pretty much starts with the end of the anime)
    LIGHT NOVEL SPOILERS

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    • Wonderful comment on the differences between an anime adaptation and its source material. We go to a movie that we like. Do we read the novel upon which it is based? Well sometimes! And then only to find shocking differences. (The book was so much better, etc, etc) . There are quite a number between Bloom anime and Bloom manga so which is the correct interpretation of the story? That is probably a poor question because the only answer is “It depends”. Even agreeing that Bloom anime is highly incomplete because it ends before the core issue of the play. In one of the most dynamic and impressive single line deliveries, Japanese VA Yuki Takada as Yuu delivers an impressive and moving comment to the sleeping Touko on the train in the very last line about arriving at their station. A pedestrian line infused with such beautiful sound qualities of loving kindness and gentleness which literally defines the entire mythical S2 of Bloom anime. Be hard pressed to stuff that kinda stuff into written text.

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