In 2020, losing oneself in TV shows, movies, and/or games was one of the only ways to get through that whirlwind of a year. But, even the media industry wasn’t spared from the pandemic. Fans were spoiled for choice, but not many made a big splash.

MyAnimeList (MAL) is the go-to website to list almost every anime and manga that has ever been created. In the shoujo genre—explicitly aimed at young women—2020 was still able to deliver a solid number of shows and movies.

10 Majo Minarai Wo Sagashite (Movie) (6.0/10)

Mire Yoshitsuki, Sora Nagase, and Reika Kawatani, three young women, who are brought together by their love for Ojamajo Doremi, a magical girl anime from the mid-2000s. By bonding over the magic bead toys from the show—emphasis on magic—they embark on a journey of friendship that will change their outlook on life.

It earned a 6 on IMDb and was well received. Anime News Network’s Richard Eisenbeis praised the movie’s message and stated that even viewers with no knowledge of the Ojamajo Doremi franchise could enjoy it.

9 Aikatsu On Parade (ONA) (6.42/10)

 

This spin-off series was aired as an Original Net Animation (ONA). It follows idol Noel Otoshiro as she represents her school, Dream Academy, in the ‘Dream School Grand Prix.”

The Aikatsu series is based on an interactive card game that involves players using various clothes to pass idol auditions. MAL users gave the series a 6.42. One reviewer heavily criticized Noel as a character and the writing. However, they praised the music.

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8 Kiratto Pri-Chan (Second Season) (6.5/10)

Mirai’s adventures with her friends continue as they enter the “Princess Cup,” a competition that will determine the next group of Pri-chan idols. Taking place in the brand new “Pri-chan Land” amusement park, the goal is to become the “Illuminage Queen.”

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The series is directed by Hiroshi Ikehata, who has acted as a director for Kill la Kill, Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You, and Black Bullet. So far, the current season has been rated 6.5 on MAL. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the season was postponed in spring 2020 but resumed in July 2020.

7 Aikatsu On Parade (6.84/10)

Aspiring idol Raki Kiseki transfers to Star Harmony Academy to follow her dreams of being a performer. When she borrows a special pass from her older sister, she gains access to another idol school, Four Star Academy. Raki meets other aspiring performers such as herself and learns to improve as an idol.

Aikatsu On Parade ranked 6.84 on MAL. One reviewer praised the series’ art style but criticized the lack of story and the characters, recommending it to “only to the most loyal of fans.”

6 Healin’ Good Precure (6.87/10)

This series follows Nodoka Hanadera as she moves to the town of Sukoyaka for a fresh start in life. One day, she meets three fairies who are desperate to protect their home, the Healing Garden, as well as the planet, from an evil group of magical beings known as Byogens.

The series is rated 6.87 on MAL, receiving generally positive reviews. One reviewer praised how the show covered more mature themes, but also showed how “love, hope, and friendship can change the world.”

5 Precure Miracle Leap Movie: Minna To No Fushigi na Ichinichi (6.92/10)

When Hikaru meets three aliens named Prunce, Lala, and Fuwa, she learns that their way of life is in jeopardy. After learning that there are beings known as “Star Princesses” that control the balance of the Earth, she sets off on an adventure to resurrect them by collecting “Princess Star Colored Pens”.

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The movie was rated 6.92 on MALIt is the most recent addition to the Precure franchise, a magical girl series about magical warriors known as the “Pretty Cure” as they fight against threats to the Earth.

4 Kiratto Pri-Chan (Third Season) (7.07/10)

This series centers around three high school students, Mirai Momoyama, Emo Moegi, and Rinka Aoba, as they work towards becoming idols by producing their own content on the idol streaming channel “Pri-chan.” During the second season, the trio is involved in auditions to become the next “Jewel Idol”.

Reviews for the second season were overall positive, as the series received a 7.07 on MAL. One reviewer described the series as an “ugly duckling of an anime [that] spread its wings and flew off a beautiful swan.”

3 7 Seeds (Second Season) (7.18/10)

This series takes place in a dystopian future where the Japanese government, predicting the end of the world, created the Seven Seeds project to ensure humanity’s survival. After being revived from cryogenic storage, five young adults must depend on each other to survive in this new world.

The second season has been pretty well received by MAL users, who rated it a 7.18 on the website. Reviewers stated that many improvements were made to the overall story, including improved character development and expansions on ideas that were initially introduced.

2 Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare (8.2/10)

This movie follows four high school students as they grapple with their own differing views of love. Yuna and Akari are hopeless romantics and realists, respectively. Their classmates, Kazuomi and Rio, struggle with the concept of love.

The movie was well-received, receiving an 8.2 on IMDb. The manga was also well received, with its fifth and third volume peaking at #2 and #1. It also won the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2017.

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1 Fruits Basket (8.54/10)

 

Tohru Honda’s adventures with the Sohma family continue in this second season of the beloved series. Tohru made a special place for herself among the Sohmas during the first season. But, when she agrees to spend the summer with them, she comes face to face with the family’s dark past.

The second season was largely well-received by MAL users, who gave it an 8.54 on the site. One reviewer stated that “if there’s one anime that gave hope for a chance to rise up […] it’s Fruits Basket.”

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