It's late, but here is what figures to be my second-to-last Winners and Losers blog entry seeing that The Fandom Post is scheduled to be shut down in three months (which is after the time I should have the Fall 2020 version up). As always, I pick and choose who came out ahead, and who, not so much. The there were a ton of losers created by the ongoing pandemic, but there are also some things that managed to weather the storm.

WINNER: Sentai
Sentai was a big winner for this season because of their home video partnership with Crunchyroll, and while scoring one of the season's best shows in My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu Climax. Seeing that Sentai is pretty much shot for new releases given the resources Funimation has been throwing around, they decided to turn their focus on home video and older releases. And then they made some adjustments to their business model that they hope will bring in HIDIVE subscriptions and BD sales as they continue to stream their licenses on Crunchyroll, where they receive a lot more exposure than on HIDIVE, to help market their BD releases, all while making HIDIVE the only place to watch older titles and dubs out of Houston with their latest move to remove all of their older shows that were not hits from Crunchyroll to give all the more reason to watch stuff there. In all, Sentai is changing their focus seeing that they just can't compete against Funimation for licenses with Sentai the only company in the market for new licenses not owned or partnered up with a megacorporation, and it should help them get by.

WINNER: Crunchyroll
I was a bit hesitant to put Crunchyroll in the winners circle this season since their catalog is dwindling and their lineup consists of a number of duds. But in the end, having Re:Zero season 2 is more than enough to make them winners, while also managing to get The Misfit of Demon King Academy from Aniplex is also a win. Not to mention, they also got Sentai's catalog as well, plus they still are streaming Fruits Basket and Fire Force, which are the last two licenses (excluding sequels) under their partnership with Funimation.

LOSER: Crunchyroll Originals
This season's Crunchyroll Original lineup consists of The God of High School and Gibiate, and both shows were tremendous bombs. At least for God of High School it's because it's an all style, no substance show. Gibiate is just a disaster all-around with a combination of poor execution all across the board from shallow characters, rock-bottom storytelling, subpar animation quality from a no-name studio, and the biggest issue being the plot with just about the only good thing about this show being the shamisen music. Crunchyroll has gotten away from what they have been doing so well ever since AT&T bought them, and while Tower of God was a hit, not so much with God of High School, and especially not with Gibiate. At least they figure to do better as they got some really prolific titles coming in the fall and winter season.

LOSER: Viz
Viz is starting to pull out of the home video business and focus more on their manga catalog. Viz won't completely stop their home video anytime soon for as long as Boruto is still going on, but they are showing less and less commitment towards releasing home videos. With Sentai announcing that they are partnering up with Crunchyroll, that means the deal Viz had for their home video licenses is now off the table. And further adding to their troubles is that they are letting their license for Mr. Osomatsu expire with the show removed from their website and the guys in charge of dubbing this show at a standstill as they were totally unsure how to dub it. Nevertheless, Viz is better off focusing on their bread and butter, which is manga.

WINNER: Home video collectors
Crunchyroll's deal with Sentai is a huge win as they have quite a lot of great stuff in need of BD releases, but the only realistic option was with Discotek as they had a deal with Viz that produced nothing ever since their partnership with Funimation ended. Discotek pretty much guaranteed that all of their shows would be released, but at the same time they only did SEs. With Sentai in charge, more shows figure to see LEs, all while neglected shows like Laid-Back Camp and A Place Further than the Universe that were big hits, but somehow Funimation didn't want any part of, are all but assured of a release. And also, there's Anime Limited getting involved in the North American home video market as they have partnered up with Shout Factory to release selected titles like B: The Beginning. Then there's also Funimation scoring big with the Violet Evergarden license that is in need of a BD release. Then there's Funimation releasing a cheaper SE version of Demon Slayer for good measure as a means of having an affordable way to support Aniplex titles.

LOSER: Anime Con-Goers
Due to the pandemic, all anime conventions were cancelled out of an abundance of caution, while some had a virtual version. While they are a nice alternative to the real thing seeing that it's either that or nothing at all, there's just no replacing that in-convention atmosphere. Summer is when most of the big ones happen, but there was no Anime Expo, Otakon, or Crunchyroll Expo to travel to. Hopefully, things will get back to normal next year, at least in time for AX.

WINNER: Wit
Studio Wit continues to show why they are one of the best in the business putting out a great show in Great Pretender that's among the best shows of the year. But they went the extra mile with this show, and what makes them definitive winners more than anything is that they got their show out on Netflix well before it aired on TV. Japan got the first three cases in June, while the rest of the world got it in August, which allowed it to be broadcast on TV uninterrupted. Studios and producers are always in a rush to get shows up on the air ASAP, and that was especially problematic in the Fall 2019 season when there were around 10 or so recap episodes, while five shows didn't finish up until January or later. And then the pandemic struck that only allowed shows that were finished ahead of time to air, and hopefully this served to shift the line of thinking for TV stations to air shows that have completed production, or are close to finishing.

WINNER: White Fox
Only two studios this season put out multiple shows in TMS (Fruits Basket and Rent-a-Girlfriend) and MAPPA (God of High School and Mr. Love: Queen's Choice), and neither studio hit on both shows. So for the other studio winner, I went with the studio that produced the best show this season, White Fox, producing the second season of Re:Zero that unfortunately was delayed by the pandemic. The original plan was to air this consecutively in the spring and summer seasons, but not only was it pushed back a season, but it ended up being a split-cour series. That said, they made the best of a bad situation and they get bonus points for their live show to announce the premiere date that was nicely done and I hope gets put on as an extra for the BD release.

LOSER: MAPPA
MAPPA is a reputable studio, but this season their output is underwhelming to say the least. They put out The God of High School and Mr. Love: Queen's Choice. The God of High School, they did a great job with the animation, but the storytelling was a mess, while with Mr. Love, it's another one of those run-of-the-mill otome game adaptations intended to get fujoshi addicts to play their mobile game. At least Mr. Love was nicely animated for an otome game show, something they had full control over, but the stench of an otome game adaptation was just all over this show and couldn't be significantly dissipated.

LOSER: L-aunch Box
This is the studio that did Gibiate, and given how much of a dumpster fire it was, there's no question that this is a no-name studio. And to think that the guys there had this idea going for four years only to produce this garbage doesn't exactly leave this studio with much hope at all.

WINNER: Action
There was no shortage of great action shows this season. There's the God of High School, despite aforementioned problems with the storytelling, to lead the way, along with Deca-Dence, A Certain Scientific Railgun, Millionaire Detective Balance:Unlimited, Great Pretender, No Guns Life, The Misfit of Demon King Academy, and of course the continuing Fire Force. There weren't many shows this season, but action was well-represented.

LOSER: Comedy
On the flip side, however, was comedy as there weren't a lot of good comedy shows this season. There is just Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater, Uzaki-chan, Rent-a-Girlfriend, and Aggretsuko, and that's about it. While there is comedy in plenty of other shows, they are more of a complement than the main selling point.

WINNER: Fridays
While the other days were pretty bare bones, Fridays were the exception to the rule (and to a lesser extent, Wednesdays). The Friday lineup consists of Appare-Ranman!, Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!, Super HxEros, Food Wars! The Fifth Plate, Peter Grill and the Philosopher's Time, Rent-a-Girlfriend, Get Up Get Live!, Fire Force season 2, and Bungo and Alchemist. Seeing that the season is much lighter than it usually is leaving most days with about 2-4 new shows, the Friday lineup was packed, and even more so had Haikyu! To the Top aired as originally scheduled. Most of the lineup consists of mediocre to downright terrible shows, but Fire Force and Food Wars! are quality shows, while Appare-Ranman and Uzaki-chan are pretty solid as well even if they are highly flawed. But then there's Super HxEros, Peter Grill, and Bungo and Alchemist that are just not worth it. In any case, the day is all about quantity in a season where that is lacking.

LOSER: Sundays
The Sunday lineup was incredible bare bones this season as Monster Girl Doctor was the only show on that day, and nothing but reruns all across the board. On Tokyo MX, the other anime shows are reruns for Magmel of the Sea Blue, AICO Incarnation (while this is the first time it got a TV broadcast, it debuted on Netflix on 2018, so it's a rerun), Gleipnir, Touken Ranbu Hamaru season 2 (in the Toho slot) and Strike Witches season 2 (in the Kadokawa slot). It was expected that Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! would be on Sunday given that Appare-Ranman! was already in the Friday Kadokawa timeslot, but instead Uzaki-chan took that Friday timeslot, while Appare-Ranman! got the timeslot before it. And unlike most of the other spring shows that had their broadcasts suspended, both Idolish7 Second Beat and Kingdom season 3 did not resume this season (Idolish7 resumes in the fall, while Kingdom resumes in the spring of 2021).