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The 13 Most Disappointing Anime of 2020

Updated March 5, 2021 6.3k votes 1.6k voters 55.2k views13 items

2020 was a great year for anime, but there were some shows that seemed like they were going to be awesome but didn't live up to fan expectations. Getting hyped for a series only to have your hopes come crashing down is the worst. 

Some disappointing shows aren't all bad, they just weren't as good as they could have been, or made some weird mistakes. Yashahime isn't horrific and it still has the chance to live up to its predecessor Inuyasha, but for a lot of folks, it's not getting the job done so far. But the same can't be said for shows like Gibiate and Plunderer - those are just straight up disasters. 

What was the most disappointing anime of 2020? That's up to you. Vote up the shows that left you cold, and vote down the ones that you think aren't getting enough credit. 

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  • 1. Gibiate

    Photo: Studio elle, l-a-unch・BOX

    2020 might not have been the best year to debut an anime about a pandemic, but that's not the only problem there was with Gibiate. With a stunningly low score of 4.00 on MyAnimeList, people are not loving this show. It combines poorly done, inconsistent animation with boring fight scenes and stiff, unlikeable characters. The premise, which involves a virus that transforms people into monsters with features that differ based on their individual characteristics could be cool, but there are few examples of this that are actually interesting. Also, the characters attempting to deal with this are a samurai and a ninja from the past - again, this could be cool, but the series barely does anything with the whole time travel thing. Really, it doesn't seem like Gibiate knows what it's trying to accomplish at all. 

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  • 2. Plunderer

    Photo: GEEK TOYS

    Plunderer takes place in a world where everyone has a number related to something in their life, and when that number reaches zero they're sent to the Abyss. The number can be about anything from the number of steps you'll take to the number of girlfriends you'll have, but they determine one's social rank and power. It's a ridiculously cool premise with a lot of room to expand on.

    Sadly, the creators don't seem all that interested in actually doing anything interesting with the idea. Jokes that took about two panels in the manga get extended to half the episode, and more time is dedicated to the protagonist being a pervert than on actually advancing the story or developing him as a character. The series has gotten a little better since its mess of a debut episode, but it's still a disappointing show. 

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  • 3. Sing "Yesterday" for Me

    Photo: Doga Kobo

    Sing "Yesterday" for Me follows Rikuo Uozumi as he tries to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He starts off working at a dead-end job, pining over a college classmate who isn't interested in him while fending off the advances of a teenage girl who has a huge crush on him. Meanwhile, his college classmate Shinako is trying to grieve her ex's untimely death while also dealing with his teenage brother's crush on her. 

    The conflicts in these characters' lives are fascinating, and it's easy to get swept up in the drama, as well as to root for the protagonists to figure themselves out...at least, for a little while. As the series progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to put up with the fact that almost nobody takes any meaningful actions to move things forward. Emotional paralysis is a real problem, but it's too complex a subject for such a short series to deal with in a meaningful way. 

    The ultimate conclusion, which involves both adult characters caving to the pressure from their teenage paramours and deciding to date them, is excruciatingly bizarre. Taboo relationships can work in fiction if handled right, but this series did not do the work necessary to make it believable.  

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  • 4. God of High School

    Photo: MAPPA

    God of High School is another Crunchyroll exclusive that adapted a popular webtoon. It follows a group of Korean students who are competing in the 'God of High School' tournament for battle supremacy, with the winner having a single wish granted. 

    It suffered from basically the same problem that Tower of God did - too much important context was left out, and the whole thing felt rushed and nonsensical. Multiple characters are introduced and then immediately discarded or barely fleshed out, battles happen so fast it's impossible to actually enjoy or keep track of them, and many of the more nefarious dealings on the sidelines of the tournaments are barely explained. The animation and art are great, but those don't make up for poor storytelling. The webtoon itself is generally well-rated, but this adaptation, sadly, fell flat. 

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