By Liam Dempsey
I’ll be the first to say that statistics are very, very cool. They provide digestible information and charming visuals, but they also tell a story. And thanks to sites like MyAnimeList.net, we can read a lot about the many ways anime fans reacted to anime!
Settle in, because here’s a numerical tale about the stacked season that was Fall 2020 on Funimation.
The Hot Topics
Anime that generated a high volume of discussion in MAL’s forums, disproportionate to the number of users listed as “Watching.”
Fans have had years to play the visual novel and watch the original anime adaptation, but the latest installment in the grisly When They Cry franchise still had something to say. Or rather, things for others to say.
Right out of the gate, the “new” series was completely turned on its head. Funimation had a devious hand to play in the bombshell, breaking the news of the show’s “true” title and identity: It’s a continuation, not a remake. But it’s also a good jumping-on point for new fans!
RELATED: Higurashi: When They Cry Scores Special Commissioned Key Visual, “True” Anime Title
Though the first and final episodes tend to generate the most discussion, the highest honor (and bar) went to the whack-y bloodfest that was Episode 4—of course, many users also took a stab in the dark with their theories.
RELATED: Fans Shocked (Again) by Higurashi: When They Cry — GOU With Major Episode 4 Revelation
There’s still episodes remaining at the time of the writing, so who knows what other surprises may be in store for us!
Jun Maeda’s reputation precedes himself, having gone two-for-two with his successful original works. The man behind Angel Beats! and Charlotte returned from another five-year slumber to present The Day I Became a God, a trademark tearjerker steeped in teenage melodrama and mystery.
Discussion remained relatively high throughout the series, concluding in a rousing but contentious finale…as is the Maeda way.
If you’ve watched this bewitching anime, you’ll already know what the tall bars are for.
Unlike Higurashi‘s early buzz and The Day I Become a God‘s devoted prayers, three distinct legs of Elaina’s journey caused enough of stir to considerably bring up the average: “Bottled Happiness,” “The Princess Without Subjects,” and “A Deep Sorrow from the Past.”
Elaina was the second-most popular character of the season, gaining 6,339 favorites on MAL, but her actions were often up for debate.
The Surprise Hits
Anime that soared in popularity (i.e. the number of users with the anime on their list) between the start of the season and Episode 10.
Don’t let the cute and colorful poster fool you—underneath that bright pink hair lies a ruthless assassin tasked with taking out her classmates.
Armed with a 204% lead over #2 and a double-digit jump, the not-so-Talentless Nana was certifiably the biggest surprise hit of Fall 2020.
The humble story of Ordinary turned out to be quite the extraordinary ride!
A strikingly hued premiere put Akudama Drive in the fast lane, and it zoomed up the popularity highway to the #7 spot by Episode 10.
Anime that consistently increased in score from start to finish.
Golden Kamuy trekked its way up the charts in successive seasons, scoring 7.83 and 8.20 along the way. Then with Season 3’s non-stop twists and turns, the series reached its highest peak (yet?).
It started and finished at rank #2 in Fall 2020, but managed to narrow the gap behind Haikyu!!: To the Top 2nd Season from 0.61 points right down to 0.14.
Watson. Watch at once if convenient. If inconvenient, watch all the same.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s band of bohemians have travelled through all manner of time periods and mediums, making their way into mainstream anime with Moriarty the Patriot.
Starting strong with the story focusing on the brilliant William James Moriarty, it was a perfect crime until a small slip-up in Episode 5. But the meeting with his nemesis, Sherlock swiftly upended the temporary plateau.
Don’t press snooze on this cozy sleeper hit! After a sleepy shuffle and a leap, it’s now the highest-rated anime by studio Doga Kobo on MAL, surpassing longtime fan-favorite Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun.
And so they lived happily ever after, right here on Funimation.