High school girls, sleepy princesses, and outlaws — this fall is bursting with creative anime.

While this year has brought us many cancellations of anime convention and events, that hasn’t stopped creators from making even more great, new shows for us to watch.

Japan’s latest batch of 2020 fall anime started airing in October, and we’re here to give you the down-low on 10 series that we decided to review for you.

Our Japanese language reporter Seiji Nakazawa watched the first episode of all of these series and wrote down his impressions of them. You can tell how much he liked it by checking out his star ranking out of 3 stars. Take a look and see if any of them pique your interest!

10. Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina — ★


Creator: Jougi Shirashi
Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka
Animation studio: C2C

This anime centers around Elaina, a professional witch living in a medieval world. The first episode was okay, but Seiji thinks it could get better as long as the plot spices up a bit in coming episodes. It definitely has potential.

9. Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You — ★


Creator: Kenjiro Hata
Director: Hiroshi Ikehata
Animation studio: Seven Arcs

Made by the creator of Hayate the Combat Butler, the shotgun-wedding plot of Tonikawa seems like it’s made for an older audience, though the characters are only 18.

Compared to the original manga, Seiji thought the heroine character of Tsukasa Yuzaki was brushed up rather well, and the first episode was pretty good overall. It has a certain mysterious power to make you fall in love with it.

8. Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear — ★

Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear

Creator: Kumanano
Director: Yuu Nobuta
Animation studio: EMT Squared

The plot of this anime revolves around the main character basically living her life in a video game world. Personally, Seiji didn’t see the appeal of watching someone else play a game, but it makes you think about stuff like, “What if we’re all characters in a game being played by someone else?”

Overall, Seiji thought the main character dressed in a bear costume was cute, but that was about it. If you’re looking for a light anime to watch, he’d recommend it.

7. The Day I Became a God — ★★

Kamisama Day

Creator: Jun Maeda
Director: Yoshiyuki Asai
Animation studio: P.A.Works

The same team that created the supernatural Charlotte series is back with another story. It’s about student Youta Narukami meeting a mysterious girl Hina that calls herself “God” and predicts the end of the world. She chooses Youta to watch over until that day comes. In typical abstract Maeda style, Seiji could tell from the first episode that this is going to develop into a magnificent story.

6. I.W.G.P (Ikebukuro West Gate Park) — ★★


Creator: Ira Ishida
Director: Tomoaki Koshida
Animation studio: Doga Kobo

The story of Ikebukuro West Gate Park centers around main character, Makoto Majima, who solves tricky cases around Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood in order to keep the peace.

Seiji already knew about the manga that this anime series was based on, and he was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn’t have the old-fashioned vibe he was expecting. He also found it strangely nostalgic seeing the sites of West Ikebukuro since Seiji used to live there. He especially liked the chic animation style and thinks you’d be able to watch it even if you’re not super into anime.

5. Assault Lily Bouquet — ★★

Assault Lily

Creator: Acus Obanazawa
Director: Shoji Saeki
Animation studio: Shaft

The first episode of this anime almost felt like a smartphone game to Seiji. It’s definitely made in Shaft-anime style (think Bakemonogatari and Madoka Magica) with its sharp twists and turns, so if you’re into that, you’ll definitely like it. Seiji wasn’t too sure what direction the series will head in based on the first episode, though perhaps that’s part of its appeal.

4. Akudama Drive — ★★

Akudama Drive

Creator: Pierrot TooKyoGames and Kazutaka Kodaka
Director: Tomohisa Taguchi
Animation studio: studio Pierrot

The outlaw-like characters in this hardboiled, near-future sci-fi series reminded Seiji a bit of Cowboy Bebop. While these outlaw-style anime series tend to gather a strong following, Seiji thinks it’s easy for the general public to label them a bit tacky unless they have a well-formed plot. It’s hard to tell how much substance the plot has from the first episode, but he’s hopeful.

3. Talentless Nana — ★★★

Talentless Nana

Creator: Looseboy, Iori Furuya
Director: Shinji Ishihara
Animation studio: Bridge

The manga series was created by Looseboy, a popular bishojo game scenario writer. It’s also a hit in Square Enix’s monthly shonen manga magazine Gangan. It follows the story of Nana, a girl sent to a faraway school where children with supernatural powers are trained for an upcoming battle against the “Enemies of Humanity.”

Looseboy has a knack for making stories turn on their axis depending on how you look at them, so Seiji was intrigued. He’s looking forward to the next episodes.

2. Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle — ★★★


Creator: Kagiji Kumanomata
Director: Mitsue Yamasaki
Animation studio: Doga Kobo

Seiji thought this was a really good laid-back comedy. The Japanese version is narrated beautifully by Saori Hayami in an almost healing way as she tells the story of a human princess kidnapped by a demon. It’s something that Seiji thinks you can zone out to and escape reality for a little while.

1. Adachi and Shimamura — ★★★


Creator: Hitoma Iruma
Director: Satoshi Kuwabara
Animation studio: Tezuka Productions

This is the story of the relationship between two high school girls who often skip class to hang out on the second floor of their school gym. Seiji thought the animation style was absolutely beautiful with just the right amount of whimsy to perfectly depict the subtle and delicate feelings that high school girls typically experience.

▼ You can watch out a preview of it here if you’re interested in checking it out.

And that’s a wrap for now! Hopefully you found something you like, and if not you can always watch some tried and true classics that Japanese people could watch over and over again.

Top image: YouTube/TBS Animation
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[ Read in Japanese ]