Gimmick Awards 2020 – Oops! Best Anime Write-Up

Oops All Anime looms large over Scanline Media. We made our Patreon page many years ago for people who wanted to help us keep the lights on, and then just kinda left it to languish. When it finally came time to focus on it, we needed a banner project for the Patreon. What we came up with was Oops All Anime: a podcast where we watch different anime every week from every genre and era, sampling here and there to get an understanding of the genre at large. Ever since, we’ve had strong feelings about what makes anime good. Here are the best anime we watched this year.

The Winner
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

To be honest, before the discussion even began I think all three of us knew what was going to win. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken is just a wonderful show. Beautiful, imaginative, a love letter to the process of animation. I highly doubt we’ll ever see a second season, because there’s no need: the twelve episodes they made say so much, and end so perfectly.

I still can’t get over the last note: after debuting their anime movie before the world, they get some rest, get up the next day, and think, “it could be better.” If that isn’t what it feels like to create things, I don’t know what is.

The Runners-Up
Akudama Drive

One of the things that makes me grateful for the way we run Oops is that sometimes because of Jen’s taste and the need to have something to cover that week, I watch shows I wouldn’t otherwise. I would never on my own time have watched an anime by the Danganronpa man. No way, no how. And Akudama Drive has some problems, if you ask me. But it’s stylish as hell, its action is great, its world is engaging, and it tells a great story.

Armored Trooper VOTOMS

This is one of the OTHER things I’m grateful to Oops for. I have been meaning to watch VOTOMS for a long time. And probably without Oops to give me a push, it would have stayed a “oh yeah I need to watch that” show in perpetuity. But we made the jump, and I’m so glad. We have more to watch of it, and I can’t wait to have Crass back on to talk about another arc of Chirico’s adventures.

Baccano!

From the first moments with Baccano!, it’s clear you’re in for something special. The out-of-order story with eccentric characters immediately grabs your attention, and doesn’t let go. It delivers on that opening momentum, too, with satisfying conclusions to its characters and mysteries with style and panache that other anime can but envy. The OVA is a bit weak compared to the main series, but Baccano! is a really special anime.

—–

Anime is one of the bright spots of any year for me, and I’m glad we’ve settled into a rhythm of checking out shows new and old. It’s not intentional that our list here is two new shows and two old, but it does feel like a great reflection of the way we watch anime. I hope you enjoyed this last category of day two! Don’t forget to check out the discussion of this category over on the Scanline Talks feed. We’ll see you for three more days of Gimmick Awards!

A big thank you to Zwimmy (@zwimmy on Twitter) for our Game of the Year art!