It’s that time again – one anime season draws to a close as the next lumbers into motion. And as always, that’s a busy time for anime writers.

Fittingly, we’ve asked the RC team to look both forwards and backwards this week. Our Top 5 rankings represents the entire season (including carryover series, both from Winter and into Summer). There’s certainly no surprise as to the winner – it’s the series that’s been dominating the polls all year long. After that there may a couple of slightly unexpected turns…

The future? That’s our Ask the Writers segment this week. Our team shares their sleeper pick for the upcoming season (and believe me, this wasn’t the easiest season for that). Let’s see how we fare this time around.


Weekly Staff Poll

Dororo (2019) – 20 points, 2 first place votes (Stars and Enzo)
Kimetsu no Yaiba – 14 (Miss Simplice)
Fruits Basket (2019) – 9
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari – 8 (Takaii)
Sarazanmai – 7 (Choya)
Other first place votes: Isekai Quartet (Pancakes)


Ask The Writers

What’s your top sleeper pick for the summer anime season?

  • Choya:Dumbbell Nan-Kilo Moteru? – It might grab attention for the novelty factor of cute girls lifting heavy things, but with Doga Kubo behind the animation, I feel like this will wind up being a surprise hit.
  • Stars: Lord El-Melloi – Not sure how much of a sleeper this actually is, but from what I saw of the OVA that came out, this latest adaptation of the Fate franchise seems to have a nice balance of action and comedy, with Waver Velvet taking the helm. It’s always gratifying to see sidekicks and kid heroes grow to be legends in their own right.
  • Pancakes: Granblem – who seriously doesn’t want a 2D hand-drawn mecha anime original overwhelmingly succeed? We’ve been inundated with failures so far, but you know one will come through eventually!
  • Guardian Enzo: In addition to looking like a thin season generally, on paper this spring is as lacking in potential sleeper series as any I remember. There’s a clear divide between the shows that should be really good and those which seem ordinary or worse. So I’ll pick Kochouki: Wakaki Nobunaga – not so much because I expect it to be really good, but because no one seems to be expecting anything from it and it might just be decent. Noriyuki Abe is a solid warhorse of a director, and a relatively direct look at the adolescence of Oda Nobunaga (no bizarre gimmicks or crossovers) has some potential.
  • Zaiden: Mo Dao Zu Shi Season 2. People will inevitably sleep on and ignore this show, and I wouldn’t blame them, because Chinese productions have historically been meme-worthy. But this would most certainly be an exceptional exception. Mo Dai Zu Shi is the only Chinese show to have broached the Top 50 on MAL – which attracted my curiosity to begin with. I thought it was utterly excellent, and fans of the source material have indicated that the second season can only be better, as far as the story is concerned. Of course, maybe this show won’t be for everyone. But I sincerely believe that those reading this weekly column owe it to themselves, in terms of trying out this series. Otherwise, you could really be missing out.
  • Takaii: Isekai Cheat Magician or Maou-sama Retry.


  1. By sleeper you mean hit right? Some hits aren’t so easy to predict I think..

    JC Staff will have Accelerator as their best selling series with Danmachi a close second. I don’t think the Two hit mom series will make much of an impact. And I may regret saying this but Machikado Mazoku? I think that will flatline.

    Idol anime is an easy bet if you look at past hits, but not every idol show makes much of an impact. I know there have been countless seasons where an idol anime has been #1.

    1. Sleeper in this instance refers to a show that’s much better than most are expecting it to be. Vinland Saga will likely be good but I wouldn’t call it a sleeper, because it has very high expectations.

      I guess sleeper could refer to a show that’s either good or one that’s commercially successful (a “sleeper hit”) but in this context I think the writers were going mostly for the former.

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