For Crunchyroll, 2020 was a major year as the company produced and released seven original shows, including three Webtoon manhwa adaptations, under its Crunchyroll Originals name.
Reactions to these originals have typically been quite mixed so far, but they have at least some part of them that makes them worth watching.
Let’s look at all of Crunchyroll’s original series created in 2020, rating them from worst to best.
A deadly virus turns humans into monsters known as “Gibia” in 2030.
Sensui Kanzaki and his companions Kenroku Sanada and Yukinojyo Onikura, an exiled Edo samurai, move to a post-apocalyptic modern-day Tokyo.
A scientist and other human survivors are assisted by Sensui to find a cure for the virus and save civilization from destruction.
Gibiate is an original Yoshitaka Amano-produced anime series. There was big anticipation for Gibiate prior to its airing.
Owing to weak CGI animation, the series struggled to live up to its hype. What’s disappointing about this whole series, though, is the chaotic narrative that left many plot holes.
The characters lacked good judgment right from the beginning: they welcomed the odd time-traveling phenomena happily, and we were forced to embrace these narrative fallacies as spectators.
In the last two episodes, multiple plot holes were “resolved” with ridiculous assumptions that do not make any logical sense. A disappointing series, Gibiate is not worth your time.
6. Onyx Equinox
Onyx Equinox, produced by Sofia Alexander, is an American animated series.
Quetzalcoatl chooses to close the door to the underworld when the God of the Underworld, Mictlantecuhtli, begins stealing blood sacrifices from other gods.
However, because the gates are made from obsidian, a poisonous metal for the gods, he can’t do it himself.
With Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl makes a bet to find a human who will close the gates for him. The tale follows a young boy called Itzel, the “champion” chosen to do the task by the gods.
Its similarities to the Olmecs and the inclusion of Aztec, Maya, and Zapotec mythological deities are a unique feature of the series.
At that time, the mesmerizing and highly-detailed character designs for the gods paid tribute to the artifacts and sculpture.
While the show is an “adult animated series” packed with gore, profanity, and sexual content, for Izel and his comrades, the series does not bring about quality character development.
One might argue that the constant bickering is a reasonable representation of how kids will behave when given adult responsibilities, but the overbearing and immature moaning in each episode makes the protagonists unlikeable and irritating to different audiences, which greatly influenced the views of viewers on the entire series.
In/Spectre, by Kyo Shirodaira, is a supernatural mystery series.
In both the human and spiritual worlds, Kotoko Iwanaga is regarded as the “Goddess of Wisdom” who preserves order.
She falls in love with a guy called Kuro Sakuragawa, who, after being forced to consume the flesh of two separate yokai, possesses the power of near immortality and precognition. In/first, Spectre’s season focuses on resolving the Steel Lady Nanase mystery.
In/Spectre, there is a lot of deductive reasoning dialogue, which often makes each episode’s structure a little formulaic and boring.
However, it is fun to watch the humorous interaction between Kotoko and Kuro, who are total opposites of one another.
In an almost yandere way, Kotoko demonstrates her infatuation with Kuro, giving the series a light-hearted tone to its serious material.
So far, the only Crunchyroll series revived for a second season is In/Spectre; hopefully, in the next season, the pace of this show will pick up.
The anime, Noblesse, is based on Lee Kwangsu’s illustrated South Korean manhwa, written by Son Jeho.
The tale is based around a wealthy nobleman called Cadis Etrama Di Raizel, who, 820 years later, awakens from his everlasting sleep.
Raizel transitions to life in the modern world as a high school student, with the aid of his faithful servant, Frankenstein.
The anime series focuses on the manhwa’s second season, which is about the pursuit of Raizel by the Union and the Nobles.
If you are new to Noblesse, before watching the series, you must watch the ONA. You’ll end up getting confused about what’s going on if you don’t.
Due to the show cutting major subplots and using a formulaic and repetitive framework for the fight scenes, many faithful Noblesse fans were disappointed with the anime origin story.
It’s also disappointing that there wasn’t enough time for some main characters to be fleshed out. Despite these doubts, because of its combination of humor and action, the anime series was still enjoyable to watch.
3. TONIKAWA: Over The Moon For You
TONIKAWA: Over the Moon for You is based on a Kenjiro Hata-created Japanese manga series.
Nasa Yuzaki falls in love at first sight with a girl he sees at a bus stop on a snowy night.
Nasa almost gets hit by a truck while crossing the street, but luckily, the girl, Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, saves her life. Nasa expresses his love and asks him to go out with Tsukasa.
Only if they get married first does she want to be his girlfriend? Nasa accepts, and Tsukasa turns up with a marriage registration at his apartment on his 18th birthday.
Like novice love birds, Tsukasa and Nasa behave, making every minute they share entertaining.
When it comes to romance, Nasa is inexperienced, and so he hires his childhood friend, Kaname Arisugawa, to help him get closer to Tsukasa, his wife. Many sequences are cringe-worthy at the same time, but cute.
Tsukasa and Nasa are such a sweet couple, enticing viewers to have a similar relationship to daydream about.
The only downside to this series is that in moving the main plot along, the supporting cast did not serve much of a reason, but still, TONIKAWA is a series worth watching.
2. Tower Of God
Tower of God is based on S.I.U’s South Korean manhwa. Bam lived much of his life in the dark before he was rescued by Rachel.
Rachel becomes a close friend of Bam’s, but one day, she decides to leave him for a chance to climb the Tower and obtain a wish. Bam also chooses to climb the Tower, in the hope of seeing Rachel again.
As evident in how we quickly surveyed past many battle scenes and game assignments, the plot felt a little hurried.
Many characters are introduced in the anime, but there was little time in the episodes to craft them into complex characters. However, in discussing the key parts of the main plot, the Tower of God did well.
1. The God Of High School
The God of High School is focused on Yongje Park’s South Korean manhwa.
A 17-year-old combat artist, Mori Jin, engages in a martial artist tournament funded by a mysterious organization known as “The God of High School.” The winner of the tournament receives his wish fulfilled by the company.
One of the most hyped-up shows of 2020, The God of High School was but received criticism because of how the main plot unfolded.
If you have not read the manhwa, you would have a hard time comprehending the general plot because the anime failed to provide detailed explanations for essential background material such as the three realms and the “charyeok,” the “Borrowed Power” system’s roots.
Critics argued that only the competition aspect should have been the subject of the series. There were so many essential subplots that it was appropriate to cut out the output.
The God of High School shows, despite these shortcomings, delivered on the action, making the series very fun to watch.
So far, Crunchyroll’s top original boasts some fantastic action scenes and a soundtrack of music that deserves listening.