As the official Commandant of Anime here at Prima Games, it should come as no surprise that I’m showing off my power level for our 2020 holiday guide series. Chances are, if you’re into videogames, you’re either into anime, friends with anime fans, or related to one. When it comes to holiday gift shopping, you might be looking to spend some cash on some anime stuff. Anime fans can be pretty savvy depending on how hardcore they are, but that doesn’t mean they can keep up with everything new.
Here are a few different categories of anime-adjacent media, all released at some point this year.
Not everything that comes out of Japan is anime. However, the crossover both in storytelling and art style between anime and JRPGs is often apparent. Tropes are tropes, y’all. There were certainly more examples of JRPGs in 2020, but these are some of the best.
- 13 Sentinels:Aegis Rim
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore
- Death end re;Quest 2
- Persona 5 Royal
Maybe turn-based combat or RPG stuff in general isn’t the right wheelhouse. If real-time action is more appropriate, there are plenty of options in that arena as well. From fighting games to cornball hack ‘n’ slash cheese, you have several hell-raising videogame choices.
- Granblue Fantasy Versus
- Daemon X Machina
- Nioh 2
- Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle
- OneeChanbara Origin
One of the coolest rising trends in the anime-slash-gaming space is visual novels. Over the past ten years I’ve watched visual novels grow from a non-presence in North America outside of fan translations, to major releases running all throughout the year. If you like to read, especially when it’s paired with music, visuals, and VO, here are 2020’s offerings:
- Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen
- Robotics;Notes Elite (and sequel DaSH)
- Collar x Malice
- Spirit Hunter: NG
- Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue
Literal Anime Games
Okay, now here are the actual anime games that are literal adaptations of anime series. Shonen Jump typically hogs the glory here, but a surprise Gundam arcade port and a Gust-developed Fairy Tail JRPG mixed things up a bit.
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
- My Hero: One’s Justice 2
- Fairy Tail
- One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4
- Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxiboost ON
Manga for Gamers
Games are based on manga and anime all the time, but sometimes it goes the other way around as well. Some of these are ongoing series, but I was able to fudge the criteria here thanks to individual volumes dropping this year. Nintendo has more of a presence in the manga world than you might think!
- Super Mario Manga Mania
- Final Fantasy: Lost Stranger
- Pokemon Adventures: Collector’s Edition
- Persona 5
Anime based on video games is less common, but somehow I was able to find five that were relevant in 2020. That’s largely thanks to The Adventure of Dai, which is actually a remake of an old school Shonen Jump manga/anime inspired by the classic games. The rest of these entries are interesting and worth checking out too, of course.
- Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai
- Pokémon: Twilight Wings
- Dragon's Dogma
- Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna
- Sakura Wars the Animation
Like usually, this isn’t a comprehensive list of everything released and arguably under these categories. I like to try and pick at least five examples, or cut it down to that many if there are more. Especially in the videogame world, there are tons more options, as we have several active publishers bringing stuff over from Japan all the time. I think these will be the most well-received gift options, but maybe you think I missed something! In that case, hit us up on the Prima Games Facebook or Twitter with any questions or comments.