The Twenty-Twenties or Two-Thousand (and) Twenties. (Either way it's okay for us.)
Not much can be said about this decade yet— since it just recently began and mostly feels like a continuation of the last decade so far (as with the beginnings of decades past) —except for one thing; a novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2 for short) that originated in China near the end of 2019 began to spread rapidly across the world, quickly causing a major socio-economic impact unseen since the Great Recession in the late 2000s, if not since World War II. Millions around the globe became infected with a new disease (coronavirus disease 2019, a.k.a. COVID-19). For most, it's a mild illness that inflicts you with flu-like symptoms, but the unlucky people who find themselves with severe symptoms are left literally gasping for air note . Because the disease is already infectious during the two-week-long incubation period, it's considered a far greater threat than its most comparable predecessor, the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak (also caused by a strain of coronavirus), and countless countries have implemented quarantines to try and slow down the spread of the virus.
We've yet to see how much of a long-term impact it will make on human society, but the ensuing quarantine in many countries is already causing prospects of a second Great Depression in the wake of the massive stock market crash and unprecedentedly high unemployment rates that the pandemic has already caused, as plunging revenues left business, especially ones that cannot operate without face-to-face human interaction, with no ways to pay their employees. Should COVID-19's impact be severe enough even if quarantine ends within the first year of the 2020s, it's possible that the pandemic may be the defining moment of the decade, much like how 9/11 defined the 2000s or the elections of Barack Obama and Donald Trump defined the two halves of the 2010s, and indeed some analysts are already projecting it to be the next big cultural and political "reset" button.
Examples of Media set in this decade:
- The prologue of Black Bullet is set in 2021 during the Great Gastrea War, with present day events taking place ten years after, following humanity's defeat in the war.
- The climactic scenes of Click take place from 2023-2029.
- Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex both start in 2029 and expand to 2032.
- How I Met Your Mother has flash forwards to 2020 during Ted, Marshall and Lily's college reunion, Marshall's campaign as District Attorney in an unspecified year, and the titular mother dying in 2024.
- One edition of Metropolis dates the events to 2026. The other versions place it in 2000, 3000, or simply do not assign a year.
- Sword Art Online starts in 2022 and continues until at least 2026.
- The First Encounter Assault Recon series takes place around 2025 or so, though no definitive time-frame is given other than that the third game is set nine months after the first two, and so may have passed in to 2026.
- Annihilation Earth is set in 2020.
- The global conflict of Battlefield 4 is fought during 2020.
- Most of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm takes place during the first half of the year, just before and also during the COVID-19 pandemic (which is revealed to have accidentally been Borat's doing).
- Code Name Phoenix is set in a peacefully unified world of 2020.
- Crysis takes place in August 2020.
- Cyberpunk 2020, as you can probably guess by the name, is set in the year of 2020.
- Dark Angel: The second half of Season One and first half of Season Two are set in 2020.
- The Doctor Who episodes "The Hungry Earth" and "Cold Blood" (that marked the return of the Silurians to the New Who series) are set in the small Welsh hamlet of Cwmtaff in 2020.
- Endgame begins on August 2nd, 2020.
- EndWar takes place in 2020.
- Future X Cops begins in 2080, but then its main characters time-travel back to 2020.
- The Mini-Comic in Heartstopper called Adoption is set in June 2020.
- As the name says, Iron Man 2020 is set in this year, with Arno Stark taking Stark Industries and Iron Man's armor after the death of Tony Stark and becoming the new version of this superhero (set in Earth-8410).
- This comic later got a successor of the same name set in the main Marvel universe in January 2020.
- The opening of IS Defense tells us it is set in 2020.
- Pale takes place in 2020, roughly six years after Pact.
- The alien invasion of A Quiet Place overwhelms the world within the first three months of 2020, and the film is set immediately after.
- A flashback in A Quiet Place Part II is set during Day 1 of the invasion.
- Raid 2020 is set in the titular year.
- The mecha boxing of Real Steel takes place in 2020.
- Reign of Fire is set in the England of 2020, 20 years after the dragons' awakening.
- Sealab 2020 is set in, well, 2020, and it focuses on the crew and their exploits around the said underwater research center.
- Stranded follows the first human expedition to reach Mars, which occurs in 2020.
- While Terminator: Dark Fate opens in 1998, the rest of the film occurs in 2020.
- Time Commando is technically set in 2020, but your enemies come from every other time period due to time-distorting vortex.
- To no-one's surprise, Titanic 2020 is set in the titular year.
- Yesterday (2002) is set in 2020 on the Korean peninsula, which has been unified by then.
- Knights Of God takes place in 2020 when the United Kingdom is ruled by a fascist religious order.
- BNA: Brand New Animal takes place in 2021 as Michiru is confirmed via ID to have been born in 2003 and has her 18th birthday in the 4th episode.
- The world of Johnny Mnemonic is beset by a global pandemic and hooked on the virtual internet in 2021.
- Sealab 2021 takes place one year after its predecessor, focusing instead on the hijinks of a crew full of crazies, idiots and Dr. Quinn.
- In The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "On Thursday We Leave for Home", the rescue ship Galaxy 6 commanded by Colonel Sloane arrives on the planet V9-Gamma in order to bring its 187 inhabitants back to Earth. The settlement's leader Captain William Benteen decides to stay behind. It is also mentioned that Los Angeles is the biggest city in the world.
- In The Outer Limits (1963) episode "The Invisible Enemy", the M-1 is sent to Mars to assess the feasibility of colonizing it in the future. However, its crew never returns to Earth as they are killed by a Sand-Beast. The final transmission received by Earth is one of astronauts screaming.
- Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. mostly takes place in 2021, after a prologue set across 2014-2015.
- Crysis 2 takes place in 2023.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Half of X-Men: Days of Future Past takes place in this year (the other half in 1973).
- In The Twilight Zone (1985) episode "Quarantine", Matthew Foreman enters suspended animation on June 18, 2023.
- Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
- A Season 3 episode of The Flash (2014) has the titular protagonist Time Travel to this year. Not only that, but it was also the original year when the Red Skies Crisis was gonna take place until Time Travel shenanigans moved it to 2019.
- The conflict of Frontlines: Fuel of War occurs in 2020.
- Jet Set Radio Future is set in 2024.
- Songbird by Michael Bay takes place in the fourth year of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which COVID-19 has mutated into an even deadlier virus known as COVID-23.
- Star Trek:
- The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The High Ground" claims that Ireland was reunified in this year after a successful terrorist campaign, a line that was censored when this episode aired in the UK and Ireland.
- The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes "Past Tense Part I" and "Part II" feature the crew traveling back in time to a very '90s-looking 2024, when homeless people were kept in "sanctuary district" ghettos for, supposedly, their own good.
- Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is set in 2024. Ostensibly, it also means H.A.W.X. 2 is set the same year, since the two are supposed to depict the same conflict.
- The Call of Duty: Black Ops II missions set in the future take place in 2025.
- The Peshawar Lancers takes place in 2025, though the real turning point had been an asteroid strike in 1878.
- Power Rangers S.P.D. is set in the year 2025.
- Rainbows End is set in San Diego, California of 2025.
- In The Outer Limits (1963) episode "The Duplicate Man", Henderson James has a duplicate of himself created by the Federal Duplication Bureau so that his clone can catch the Megasoid.
- Scud the Disposable Assassin takes place close to the 2025 "Mr Tough Guy Challenge".
- The Running Man is set in the year 2025.
- Babylon A.D. takes place in 2027.
- Captive State follows from the alien invasion of 2019 in 2027.
- Children of Men is set in 2027.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution takes place in 2027.
- Ghost in the Shell: Arise begins in 2027. Despite being a separate continuity just like everything else in the franchise, it takes a prequel approach to show how Motoko Kusanagi formed together the elite group of agents that would become known as Section 9.
- Homefront occurs in 2027.
- Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is set in 2027.
- Revolution is set in 2027.
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, a direct sequel to Human Revolution, takes place two years later, in 2029.
- The events of Homefront: The Revolution occur in 2029. It also takes place in a different timeline to the original Homefront.
- Logan is set in 2029.
- Terminator: 2029 is a key date in the early films of the franchise, being the Robot War-stricken Bad Future time-travellers initially come from.
- The Terminator involves two time-travelers from 2029 — the eponymous Killer Robot and the human soldier who's been sent to protect the robot's target.
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day also features the Bad Future war in the opening.
- Terminator Genisys, an attempted Continuity Reboot of the above, also involves the same two time-travelers from 2029.
- Vulcan's Hammer takes place in 2029.
- In Planet of the Apes (2001), Captain Leo Davidson is a crew member aboard the space station Oberon in 2029.
Works made or continuing during the 2020s:
- Anime and Manga of the 2020s
- Comic Books of the 2020s
- Fanfics of the 2020s
- Films of the 2020s
- Literature of the 2020s
- All Saints Street (adaptation began on April 1, 2020)
- Happy Heroes (Season 13 confirmed to have a March 2020 release date)
- Lamput (premiered in 2017, has a new season of episodes confirmed for early 2020)
- Simple Samosa (premiered in 2018, has more episodes set to premiere in early 2020)
Film — Animated
- The eighth Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf movie (2021)
- The fourth and final movie of the Rebuild of Evangelion series (Evangelion 3.0+1.0) has a 2020 release date.
- Hotel Transylvania 4 is set to be released in December 2021.
- Raya and the Last Dragon was originally set to be released over Thanksgiving weekend in 2020, but later pushed back to the spring of 2021 due to the pandemic.
- SCOOB! premiered digitally in May 2020.
- The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
- Soul is set to be released in 2020.
- The sequel of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is set to be released in 2022.
- The adaptation of Superman: Red Son was released in 2020.
- Trolls: World Tour was one of the first animated films released during 2020's COVID-19 pandemic.
- How Do You Live?, Hayao Miyazaki's first film since 2013 and Studio Ghibli's first film since 2014, is set to be released between 2020 and 2022.
Hanguk Manhwa Aenimeisyeon
- Catch! Teenieping (scheduled for a March 2020 release)
- Paradox Live The first album was released on February 12th, 2020
- The rebooted XFL, Vince McMahon's own football league, had its inaugural season in the spring of 2020. After being cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, the league was sold off. Its new owners plan to start up again in the spring of 2022.
- The Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo in 2021, Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028. This will be the first decade in which all the host cities had previously held the Games (Tokyo hosted the 1964 Games, Paris did it in 1900 and 1924, and L.A. held the 1932 and 1984 Games).
- The Winter Olympics will take place in Beijing in 2022 and Milan / Cortina d'Ampezzo in 2026. This decade will mark the first time a city has hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics (Beijing having previously hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics). Cortina is also a repeat host, having hosted the 1956 Winter Games by itself.
- The men's FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar in 2022 and in the United States alongside a number of games in Canada and Mexico in 2026 (the U.S. hosted the 1994 Cup and Mexico held the 1970 and 1986 championships). The FIFA Women's World Cup host for 2023 is set to be announced in June 2020, with candidates being an Australia/New Zealand joint bid, Brazil, Colombia, and Japan. None of the candidates have hosted the women's edition, though two have hosted the men's edition (Brazil in 1950 and 2014, and Japan alongside South Korea in 2002). The 2027 women's host is likely to be announced in 2024.
- Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. Opened in 2020.
- Universal's Epic Universe. Set to open in 2023.
- Universal Studios Beijing is set to open early on in the decade.
- Super Nintendo World: First location to open in spring 2021.
- Blonde Sunrise: First released in 2011.
- Far Star Summer School: Started uploading on January 4, 2020.
- Fragmentary Veritas
- Touhou Chireikiden ~ Foul Detective Satori: First released in 2019.
- [un]Divine: First released in 2016.
- Vápnthjófr saga
- Projector: First episode premiered in November 7, 2010.
- Ward: First chapter published on September 11, 2017.
- Satina: Original short film was uploaded in 2019.