Hello dear readers and welcome to the final Seriously Geeky Sunday of 2020! Today we are doing a bit of a review of 2020 in fandoms, so why not join me as I share my highlights of the year!
I am planning to do a couple of other review posts over the next few days, but thankfully Heather’s questions have allowed me to spread my wings a bit so you shouldn’t see too much repetition!
Whilst 2020 has undoubtedly been a terrible year in a lot of ways, one thing it has done is give me more time to enjoy fandoms, whether they be video games, anime or music. Therefore I found a wide range of things to write about here so hopefully there is something for everyone!
Don’t forget to check out Just Geeking By to find out more about the Seriously Geeky Sunday event and read all the other answers that have been submitted this week!
Which fandom was the highlight of your year?
I don’t often write about music here on Shoot the Rookie, but it is a huge part of my life and the fact that I haven’t been able to go to any live gigs this year hit me hard. A few bands I like put together live-streamed events and stuff, but Metallica are the ones who really stood out with their weekly Metallica Mondays series which saw a new video uploaded to YouTube every Monday containing a whole live show from their back catalogue. This stuff hadn’t been widely available before and yet they still made it all available for free for people to watch at any time. Watching these shows became a regular part of my week and I even ended up buying a T-Shirt as I grew to like the band much more over this period. It was a really nice way to provide people with a bit of structure in these crazy times and I’m really grateful to have been a part of it!
Which one surprised you the most?
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
The first way in which the Tony Hawk’s series surprised me this year was with the announcement of the remakes of the first two Pro Skater games. This was not something I’d seen coming at all and I knew how popular these games were with people. The second way in which it surprised me was that I actually really enjoyed playing it! I’d never tried the games before and thought it wouldn’t really be my kind of thing, but even though I’m not very good at it I find it really fun and I’m glad I’m finally getting to experience it after years of not really knowing what it was like or what was so good about it. The stages and the soundtrack are all excellent and whilst getting good at it is tough, it does an excellent job of making landing even fairly simple moves satisfying!
Did you revist an old fandom?
There’s been a few this year but Cowboy Bebop is the one that stands out the most as I revisited it in a couple of different ways. A while back I decided to rewatch the series on Crunchyroll, but unlike the first time I watched it I decided to watch it in Japanese with English subtitles rather than opting for the English dub. I watch anime almost exclusively subbed, however I don’t think there was Japanese audio on the DVD set I watched it on originally and the English dub is really excellent. I haven’t actually finished rewatching it yet, mostly because it is so strange watching the characters with different voices. Therefore I think I might restart it again but go back to the dub. I also recently got a very cool vinyl soundtrack for the series. Cowboy Bebop has absolutely amazing music, so listening to that has been great, not to mention the superb artwork featured on the cover.
What was the best new release of this year for you?
Deadly Premonition 2
Turns out I haven’t played or watched that many 2020 releases, but this one is brilliant! It was quite a surprise when the game was announced last year and an even bigger surprise when it got its release in July – much earlier than I expected. I wrote recently about my experience with the original Deadly Premonition and the sequel is an equally bizarre game which has a lot of the same pros and cons as the first one. It is highly divisive amongst critics, but for all its flaws I thought Deadly Premonition 2 was a fantastic game with highly memorable characters, an interesting story and an excellent soundtrack. One of its best qualities is that despite being a horror game it is hilariously funny, and it is solely responsible for the fact that I now refer to Arnold Schwarzenegger as Arnold S.
What fandom was the biggest let down?
I don’t really like calling out negatives in things that I like and don’t really pay attention to things I don’t and therefore I’m going to swerve this question and say that the biggest let down of 2020 has been that all physical events in all fandoms have had to be cancelled. I love going to live events, whether it is gigs, festivals, conventions or anything else fandom related and for obvious reasons that hasn’t been able to happen this year. I am very glad I managed to make it to a screening of the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising film in February because other than that there has been nothing but cancellations. I absolutely cannot wait until I can get out there again and get back to celebrating all the fandoms I love in person!
Who were your favourite characters of 2020?
Senku – Dr Stone
Bit of a surprise to me that I ended up loving Senku so much but he has become a bit of a hero of 2020 to me. Something about his conviction that he can restore civilization through science, and his willingness to teach the wonders of science to others is quite inspiring in these weird times despite the fact he is also a bit of an oddball. He is frequently referenced in conversations in my home, although I still haven’t managed to convince my partner to write E=MC² on his lab coat.
Riki and Fiora – Xenoblade Chronicles
I could have picked any of the main characters from Xenoblade Chronicles but have gone with these two as they both surprised me in my play-through of Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition in just how much I like them both. I certainly didn’t rank them amongst my favourites when I played the original version of the game but somehow this time I’ve learned so much more about them both and find them great sources of joy. Heropon = Very Cool ❤️
Agumon – Digimon Adventure: 2020
It has been a joy revisiting Digimon this year with the 2020 version of the original series, and it served to remind me (not that I could ever forget!) just how much I adore this little guy. Although Yamato is my favourite human character, it is Taichi’s digimon Agumon that wins overall for being the perfect combination of cute, badass and silly. Totally love him!
Ryuji – Persona 5
How could I write this post and not mention Ryuji? My favourite character from Persona 5 and the winner of The Great JRPG Character Face-Off which me and Winst0lf hosted earlier this year, he is definitely my character of the year. The fact that the community picked this guy as their favourite character from a JRPG warmed my heart as he’s had a pretty rough time in life and it was fantastic to find out that people see the good in him just as I do.
So there we have it! My fandom highlights from 2020. But what about you? Have you enjoyed any of these things too? Maybe this has given you some ideas of things to play or watch next? Let me know below in comments and don’t forget to check out the other responses to this week’s prompts over at Just Geeking By!
Thanks for reading,