2020 anime saw lots of characters who are obviously getting coal for Christmas. Great Pretender hit Netflix with a vibrant story of con artists who have clearly never heard about the naughty list, and the Sleepy Princess has been wreaking havoc at the Demon Castle for months. There are a few places that will get a visit, though! Who makes the good list? Let’s find out.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Reiji Mukudori, from Infinite Dendrogram.
Reiji is a year late to the game, but he finally bought the first entirely sensory immersive MMO, Infinite Dendrogram. Within minutes Reiji finds himself in a quest to save an NPC, who knows that their existence ends with their death. He is successful in his attempts and thus begins his headlong journey into the world in infinite possibilities: Infinite Dendrogram!
Reiji makes the list for his sincere empathy, and his effort to save those who need it. He enjoys playing the game, but he often makes choices to protect NPCs in the game. In a world where there is an abundance of player killers and little penalty for being caught killing other players, he always seems to think about all the game entities equally. Reiji is a sweet guy with a lot of empathy and quickly climbing the ranks of Infinite Dendrogram.
Claudia Bruford, Senyoku no Sigrdrifa (Warlords of Sigrdrifa)
Even among pilots, Claudia Burford is elite. In fact, so elite that she is often the only survivor of events and has been dubbed the Grim Reaper across Europe. When Claudia transfers to a new military base, she anticipates hardship, but instead meets a group of girls who are fun and skilled with aircraft. As Claudia makes it through several battles alone, she begins to think she might be able to improve and keep her colleagues alive for the upcoming battle, Ragnarok. Though the odds are against her, maybe there is hope.
Though she is a little strict and unused to making friends, Claudia is trying and succeeding. With her vast experience in aerial fights, Claudia is aware of the crushing effect of battle and the pain of being the only survivor, again. It means more to Claudia than anything for her comrades to make it through the fight alive. For her ever-present protection of her friends, and for starting to soften up this year, we’re sure Santa will be paying her a visit,
Yuuji Itadori, from Jujustu Kaisen
Jujustu Kaisen is the story of Yuuji Itadori, who finds himself encountering a centuries-old source of power and in a position where he had to eat it. Instead of the death he should have experienced, Yuuji lives, though the chances of his continuing to live become slim very quickly, once it becomes known that he ate an evil cursed finger. (Gross.) He is allowed to live, with the understanding that he is staying alive to find and consume other cursed fingers before his execution.
Our hero here makes Santa’s nice list because even though he is faced with the promise of death by execution, Yuuji’s motives for joining the mission to find the cursed fingers are entirely about the lives he can save, and not his own. Yuuji seems to ultimately want to help because he is aware of the number of lives that can be lost or saved based on his help. How selfless!
The man with the big red suit is almost here! Though plenty of 2020 releases have casts that are almost all getting a lump of coal, we know that a few managed to stay off the naughty list. Was there another character we should have included here? Please let us know in the comments!