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Year in Anime 2019

2019 is coming to its end. Anime has reached new heights in popularity in the Western Hemisphere and now even popular streaming services like Netflix have taken up producing original animes. And despite the volume of anime there is content that is quite good and deserves to be watched and enjoyed. So, I stand here once again bombarding my fellow contributors and the readers of this awesome site with my opinion of the animes of 2019.

P.S. I only considered animes that started in 2019 to make this list.

P.P.S. These are listed in no particular order.

Here Come the Sequels

This year has fewer sequels than usual, but these are the ones that should be checked out.

Mob Psycho 100 II

Mob Psycho 100 II (cover)Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama is now maturing and understanding his role as a supernatural psychic who has the power to drastically affect the livelihood of others. He and his mentor, Reigen Arataka, continue to deal with supernatural requests from clients, whether it be exorcizing evil spirits or tackling urban legends that haunt the citizens.

While the workflow remains the same, Mob isn’t just blindly following Reigen around anymore. With all his experiences as a ridiculously strong psychic, Mob’s supernatural adventures now have more weight to them. Things take on a serious and darker tone as the dangers Mob and Reigen face are much more tangible and unsettling than ever before.

The second season of this supernatural comedy is as entertaining as the first. ONE has once again hit it out of the park with his characters and their wackiness. This is, clearly, one of the better sequels of the year.

Attack on Titan: Season 3 – Part 2

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 (cover)Seeking to restore humanity’s diminishing hope, the Survey Corps embark on a mission to retake Wall Maria, where the battle against the merciless Titans takes the stage once again.

Returning to the tattered Shiganshina District that was once his home, Eren Yeager and the Corps find the town oddly unoccupied by Titans. Even after the outer gate is plugged, they strangely encounter no opposition. The mission progresses smoothly until Armin Arlert, highly suspicious of the enemy’s absence, discovers distressing signs of a potential scheme against them.

Season 3 – Part 2 follows Eren as he vows to take back everything that was once his. Alongside him, the Survey Corps strive—through countless sacrifices—to carve a path towards victory and uncover the secrets locked away in the Yeager family’s basement.

Attack on Titan is still going strong in its 2nd part of its 3rd season. Anyone who knows a bit about anime knows about the popularity and impact of AoT, and unlike many such highly successful anime franchises of the past, AoT still shows no sign of down hilling towards mediocrity. Rather the execution and the progression of the storyline remains as visually engaging as ever. But, I would advise anyone interested to start from the beginning, as the story does continue from the past plot points almost directly.

Psycho-Pass 3

Psycho-Pass 3 (cover)Thanks to the Sibyl System, the mental states of society can now be measured on a numerical scale. Using these “crime coefficients,” a culprit can be apprehended before they ever commit a crime. But is it a perfect system? For Inspectors Kei Mikhail Ignatov and Arata Shindou, that remains to be seen, as their career with the Public Safety Bureau’s Crime Investigation Department have only just begun.

Shindou and Ignatov are assigned to investigate the crash of a ship carrying immigrants, but they begin to suspect it was no mere accident. Meanwhile, a mysterious group called Bifrost is observing them from the shadows, but they aren’t the only ones who have taken an interest in the two new Inspectors.

Psycho-Pass, the western television influenced futuristic sci-fi police procedural is into its 3rd season, a feat many of its fans didn’t expect, especially since it started as an original show rather than adaptation from manga or novel. While it may have lost some of its luster from the first outgoing, it is still quite enjoyable and strongly recommended for international viewers.

Boku no Hero Academia – 4th Season

Boku no Hero Academia 4th Season (cover)Izuku has dreamt of being a hero all his life—a lofty goal for anyone, but especially challenging for a kid with no superpowers.

That’s right, in a world where eighty percent of the population has some kind of super-powered “quirk,” Izuku was unlucky enough to be born completely normal. But that’s not enough to stop him from enrolling in one of the world’s most prestigious hero academies.

This show is onto its 4th season, and it’s still as much fun as it was when it started. Just a simplistic superhero fantasy in a high school like setting, nothing particularly original, but the execution is almost perfect making the show binge worthy.

New and Interesting Shows

Here are some new animes that are more entertaining than the typical rehashes of overworked settings of Isekaior Battle Shounens. Some of these are really filled with interesting and charming ideas and are bound to be remembered for a long time.

Dororo

Dororo (cover)The greedy samurai lord Daigo Kagemitsu’s land is dying, and he would do anything for power, even renounce Buddha and make a pact with demons. His prayers are answered by 12 demons who grant him the power he desires by aiding his prefecture’s growth, but at a price. When Kagemitsu’s first son is born, the boy has no limbs, no nose, no eyes, no ears, nor even skin—yet still, he lives.

This child is disposed of in a river and forgotten. But as luck would have it, he is saved by a medicine man who provides him with prosthetics and weapons, allowing for him to survive and fend for himself. The boy lives and grows, and although he cannot see, hear, or feel anything, he must defeat the demons that took him as sacrifice. With the death of each one, he regains a part of himself that is rightfully his. For many years he wanders alone, until one day an orphan boy, Dororo, befriends him. The unlikely pair of castaways now fight for their survival and humanity in an unforgiving, demon-infested world.

A remake anime of one of the masterpieces by Osamu Tetzuka. This anime seems to have everything going for it; a samurai setting, a dark fantasy background, tragic yet lovable cast of characters, elements of classic shounen and the brilliance of Tetzuka’s charismatic storytelling. A must watch for numerous reasons.

The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland (cover)Surrounded by a forest and a gated entrance, the Grace Field House is inhabited by orphans happily living together as one big family, looked after by their “Mama,” Isabella. Although they are required to take tests daily, the children are free to spend their time as they see fit, usually playing outside, as long as they do not venture too far from the orphanage—a rule they are expected to follow no matter what. However, all good times must come to an end, as every few months, a child is adopted and sent to live with their new family…never to be heard from again.

However, the three oldest siblings have their suspicions about what is actually happening at the orphanage, and they are about to discover the cruel fate that awaits the children living at Grace Field, including the twisted nature of their beloved Mama.

One thing is certain for The Promised Neverland, this is not your typical shounen by any means. Featuring interesting characters, thrilling plot progression and twists and added horror vibe makes this a show that you can’t stop watching till the very end.

Sarazanmai

Sarazanmai (cover)After the noble Kappa Kingdom falls to the Otter Empire, the Kappa prince Keppi loses much of his power and becomes helpless against the unseen Kapa-zombies. These zombies plague the world. They are the creations of the Otters and manifestations of people’s deepest desires. With no other choice, Keppi must rely on three young boys: Kazuki Yasaka, who must carry a box with him wherever he goes; Enta Jinnai, Kazuki’s childhood friend; and Tooi Kuji, a delinquent and a school truant.

By having the mythical organ called a shirikodama removed from them, the boys are able to become Kappa themselves and fight the Kapa-zombies. However, to defeat them, the boys must connect with each other via their minds, bodies, and—most importantly—secrets. As the Kappa Kingdom relies on these boys, they must reveal themselves as they have never done before, all the while learning that connections are fragile and truly precious things.

Well. I’ll be honest, this is my first venture into the works of Kunihiko Ikuhara, and I’ll start by saying this his works does require a bit of getting used to. But once I entered the fun world of his wacky characters, the journey was filled with crispy and bright animation, fascinating characters and a weirdly entertaining plot where hidden metaphors abound for the modern society. This is an acquired taste, but when you get into the meat of it this might be one of the best shows this year.

Kimetsu no Yaiba

Kimetsu no Yaiba (cover)Ever since the death of his father, the burden of supporting the family has fallen upon Tanjirou Kamado’s shoulders. Though living impoverished on a remote mountain, the Kamado family are able to enjoy a relatively peaceful and happy life. One day, Tanjirou decides to go down to the local village to make a little money selling charcoal. On his way back, night falls, forcing Tanjirou to take shelter in the house of a strange man, who warns him of the existence of flesh-eating demons that lurk in the woods at night.

When he finally arrives back home the next day, he is met with a horrifying sight—his whole family has been slaughtered. Worse still, the sole survivor is his sister Nezuko, who has been turned into a bloodthirsty demon. Consumed by rage and hatred, Tanjirou swears to avenge his family and stay by his only remaining sibling. Alongside the mysterious group calling themselves the Demon Slayer Corps, Tanjirou will do whatever it takes to slay the demons and protect the remnants of his beloved sister’s humanity.

This one has already received various awards and is being talked about as one the best animes of the last decade. It has tight action sequences and siblings trying to save each other (reminds me of FMA and Supernatural, which is always a plus), so how can this be not worth watching??

Carole & Tuesday

Carole & Tuesday (cover)It has been 50 years since mankind began its migration to the terraformed Mars, where they live in the comforts of advanced AI. Carole lives in the metropolis of Alaba City, working part-time by day and playing keyboard by night. Tuesday has run away from her home in Hershell City to escape the grip of her wealthy family, and instead hopes to pursue music with her acoustic guitar.

After a fateful encounter, the two decide to perform music together. Up against the AI singers that dominate the music world, the two believe that together they can convey their feelings through their songs. Will hard work and luck be enough for the duo to create the biggest miracle that Mars has ever seen?

Carole & Tuesday is a musical drama with sci-fi elements, which does not seem very interesting at a first glance. But add in the fact that it is an original anime from the director of Cowboy Bebop, Shinchiro Watanabe, and you have got to be excited. While it may not be as groundbreaking as Cowboy Bebop, it has its fair share of moments and something that all fans of anime should check out.

Vinland Saga

Vinland Saga (cover)Young Thorfinn grew up listening to the stories of old sailors who had traveled the ocean and reached the place of legend, Vinland. It’s said to be warm and fertile, a place where there would be no need for fighting—not at all like the frozen village in Iceland where he was born, and certainly not like his current life as a mercenary. War is his home now. Though his father once told him, “You have no enemies, nobody does. There is nobody who it’s okay to hurt,” as he grew, Thorfinn knew that nothing was further from the truth.

The war between England and the Danes grows worse with each passing year. Death has become commonplace, and the Viking mercenaries are loving every moment of it. Allying with either side will cause a massive swing in the balance of power, and the Vikings are happy to make names for themselves and take any spoils they earn along the way. Among the chaos, Thorfinn must take his revenge and kill the man who murdered his father, Askeladd. The only paradise for the Vikings, it seems, is the era of war and death that rages on.

Ah, finally an action Seinen. Cace it, if you are a fan of Seinen, or mature manga, you have probably been waiting for the adaptation of Vinland Saga for a while. Well, it is finally here and it’s as good as the source material. Thorrfinn’s struggle for revenge is depicted with gorgeous visuals as well.

Beastars

Beastars (cover)In a civilized society of anthropomorphic animals, an uneasy tension exists between carnivores and herbivores. At Cherryton Academy, this mutual distrust peaks after a predation incident results in the death of Tem, an alpaca in the school’s drama club. Tem’s friend Legoshi, a grey wolf in the stage crew, has been an object of fear and suspicion for his whole life. In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, he continues to lay low and hide his menacing traits, much to the disapproval of Louis, a red deer and the domineering star actor of the drama club.

When Louis sneaks into the auditorium to train Tem’s replacement for an upcoming play, he assigns Legoshi to lookout duty. That very night, Legoshi has a fateful encounter with Haru, a white dwarf rabbit scorned by her peers. His growing feelings for Haru, complicated by his predatory instincts, force him to confront his own true nature, the circumstances surrounding the death of his friend, and the undercurrent of violence plaguing the world around him.

One thing you will notice as soon as you start watching Beastars is that it has brilliant visuals. The story may lean a bit towards generic high school drama with some psychological stuff thrown into the mix, but the execution is rather delightful and almost flawless.

Honorable Mentions

  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War
  • My Roommate is a Cat
  • Fruits Basket 1st Season
  • Bungou Stray Dogs 3rd Season
  • One Punch Man 2nd Season
  • Dr. Stone
  • Kanata no Astra
  • O Maidens in Your Savage Season
  • High Score Girl II
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld
  • Babylon

While there were many other entertaining shows this year, which might be strong contenders for end of the year lists, I can at least assure my dear readers, that if you dive into the animes of this year armed with this list only, you will most definitely find something that will cater to your taste.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar Dale Hawkins says:

    How could you forget The Rising of the Shield Hero

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