Y’all, there was soooo much good anime this year, so don’t expect this to be a short list. Also I had a lot of forced-to-stay-up-late nights (when you watch subtitled shows so you don’t wake up kids or hubby) so I watched more than usual too, which doesn’t help limit this list’s length ;p
As usual these are in no particular order, but before we dive in let me say there were so many good OP and ED songs this year. Usually each year sees one or two new songs added to my anime playlist, but this year saw six ;p Also if you don’t want ‘Good Morning World’ by Burnout Syndromes as your new alarm ringtone I don’t think we can be friends any more.
But without further ado, here’s my favourites from this year and what rocks about them.
The Promised Never Land – If I was forced to name a single favourite this would be it for 2019. OMG the twists and suspense. I was watching this one as it came out weekly and DYING with the wait most weeks. So much of what happened I genuinely didn’t see coming, which is something I don’t get enough of. The characters are amazing too, everyone’s so well fleshed out, villains and side characters with as much care as the main trio. But I’m dying where it ended! I guess I need to collect the manga to find out what happens next >.<
The Rising Of The Shield Hero – I love portal fantasy. I love ‘people from earth ending up in game worlds’ especially much, so I was already highly likely to be on board with it, but the story really swept me up. I wanted to smack the other three heroes upside their heads so much my hand itched.
I enjoyed how the in-game system worked, and how Naofumi had never heard of the game unlike the other heroes so was thrown in the deep end. I was a little disappointed I never felt like I got any real motivations out of some of the villains (SPOILER: the princess in particular) though.
I was a big fan of the Naofumi’s redemptive arc and the fact that instead of yet another cat girl, Raphtalia was instead a tanuki girl ;p
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: The Battle of Unato – I was 600% sold on Mumei and Ikoma’s relationship, it’s adorableness was the perfect offset for the gritty zombocalypse around them. I liked the take on zombies, how they were made, looked, and functioned and also the power tiers.
The world really felt so much bigger than the 3 episodes on Netflix so I chased it down and saw there was an originating series set before this series, best of all it was already streaming on Prime, so YAY binge time ;p
Stars Align: that ending song. definitely a new addition to my play list. Not to mention the credits it rolls over are great, the dance they all do showing off the characters personalities perfectly(video above^ ) is just ( ˘ ³˘) .
The show is a nice mix of slice of life and sports anime. You don’t get drowned in matches(I’m looking at you Haikyuu(still love you tho)), sometimes we’ll go a couple of episodes without even having a tennis match, just digging into the boys’ stories. And every one of those stories are so good, though heads up a LOT of complicated issues are covered, and the abuse some of these boys deal with ranges from true physical, to just about every kind of mental abuse. I want to adopt them all and be the mother they deserve (though holy crap I’d have a lot of children then).
Episode 8 has my heart though. It’s the one where the team manager(Yu) talks frankly to Maki about how they(singular they btw) isn’t certain if they’re a boy or a girl, and then Maki talks about his mother’s FTM friend and lets Yu know ‘I think it’s all right to not know for sure,’ and essentially, roll with it I got your back, and I was just YES please more of this in everything now. Thank you. Also, Shinjo you dummy, when Yu asked you your opinion they wanted a compliment! Gah!
I also really love the journey Mitsue is on, both her artists journey as well as coming out of her tsundere shell.
I really hope the season doesn’t end at episode 12 (the last episode to air before I wrote this) because its too sad, I can’t! Plus so many open threads, but too many anime do so IDK and if I look it up and find it out it might be more than I can take >.< I want happy endings for all of them.
Fire Force – I am not exaggerating when I say the first episode of this series is my all time favourite first episode of any anime ever, and possibly even any show ever (up there with Brooklyn 99’s first episode). It was just the perfect balance of everything storytelling as well as ticking a lot of my ‘I love it when…’ boxes. None of the episodes since have been quite as perfect, but it’s still a great show, and of all the releases that come out Saturday morning(or at least that’s when Animelab release it ;p ) it is the first I watch every time(though Dr Stone is a close second).
I love the steampunk-y world, the fact all magic is fire based yet everyone has wildly varied powers, spontaneous combustion, and especially the cavalcade of nutso characters. You can probably guess who my favourite is (hint: glasses, cooks, totally the group ‘mum’ and uber strict ;p ), but there’s a lot of hilarious characters to enjoy. TBH I didn’t like Arthur until ep 4 or 5 when his hilariously dumb ass was fighting a superior opponent and he kept saying ‘something’s off with me today’ and his opponent was all ‘bitch please you’re just weak’, then Arthur went ‘Oh I’m using the wrong hand’ and lol he was genuinely that dumb that he didn’t realise he was using the wrong sword arm the whole time. I laughed way too much and didn’t hate him any more after that.
I’m pretty confident that this is going to be one of those never ending series, which makes me weep because I’m already following enough of those and this year I’ve added a further two! Gah!
Dr Stone – To be frank I could go on forever watching just Senku do science in a stone age world. No need for Tsubasa and his crew to ever show up to the fight. Who needs dramatic tension when you have science? I especially love when he gets all calculating and pulls his ‘evil’ face. That hair is a whole ‘nother level of anime hilarity though XD I’ve been calling it ‘the spring onion anime’ to some of my friends who also watch it ;p
The science is really genuinely cool, and the clever way they source it in this stone age world is impressive. After the first episode I was not in the least bit surprised to see the disclaimer telling people to not try this at home.
There’s heaps of fun characters both among the good guys and the bad guys, though most of them aren’t quite as nutso as in Fire Force there’s still quite a few, shall we say ‘bold’ individuals ;p
Kemono Michi: Rise Up – A pro wrestling champ is transported to another world in mid-match. Genzo is crazy strong and totally overpowered in the new world, but he quickly finds out he was summoned to this new world to defeat the ‘demon beasts’. Problem is he’s a hard core animal lover and would rather collect them, rub their bellies, and help them find forever homes than hunt and kill them. Seriously, dude keeps a menagerie of mythical creatures and loves animals of all kinds – obviously someone like me is 600% in. It’s hilarious too. I do wish some of his companions were better people(and occasionally even better formed characters(they get a little 2d, which is good for regular lolz, but less so for real story). I see why its done for comedy, but sometimes it just detracts. Also, clearly the world Genzo comes from is not our world, because pro wrestling is real ;p
Lolz aplenty and mythical creatures abound. Highly recommend if you are or ever were a fan of pro wrestling.
Do You Love Your Mother And Her Two Hit Multi-Target Attacks? – The description on Animelab had me wary because it described Mamako’s affection for her son as being ‘too much’ and I worried for the first few episodes that it was going to go into icky territory. For those (like me) who would not want to keep watching if that were the case let me assure you she’s just a doting mum, not creepy. There is a LOT of fan service (Mamako’s clothes melt off in the first episode), but she’s horrified and embarrassed, not wanting her son to see her like that and he’s also ‘OMG no son wants to see his mum like that’, and it remains that way every time there’s fan service. This is a laugh put loud funny series. Mamako is hilariously overpowered and knows zilch about RPGs (or games period) so is forever just winning through sheer force of power but also inadvertently never letting her son get to show off or sometimes even fight.
The series isn’t nothing but lolz though (unlike Kemono-michi, above), there’s lots of looks at how different mothers approach mothering, what being a mum and a child means, and some genuinely touching moments too. I think mums like me who watch anime will get a lot of enjoyment out of this. Kids & teens, if you want your mum to like anime watch this with her perhaps ;p
Kaguya-sama Love Is War – In one word: Crack. In a few more words: romantic comedy crack. This show was soooo good. The pair are made for each other, in love with one another, but determined to NOT be the one who confesses so they are always setting things up so the perfect moment for the other person to confess is there and then when there’s a perfect moment for them to confess, resisting it and trying to flip the tables. They’re both terribly clever and manipulative, so don’t fall for each other’s ploys, but then in come the wild cards of the other members of the student council to toss everything on its head too. It’s the perfect blend of melty romantic moments and hilarious situations. Best of all the ending episodes are beautifully satisfying.
Of course I’m still enjoying shows like My Hero Academia, Black Clover, Attack on Titan, ect but as they’re on going I didn’t include them officially.
I really wish I could have listed Magical Girl Spec Ops Asuka, because I really love me some gritty magical girl anime (or you know magical girl anime of almost any variety ;p ), but there were just way too many torture porn moments. To be clear I don’t just mean torture, I mean torture combined with STRONG fan service in the same instant. Always a girl skimpily clad, writhing in a very sexual way with specific camera focus, but genuine agony screams while being tortured(like literally having her arm cut off in once scene). It didn’t not happen just once or twice either. It made me so uncomfortable I couldn’t finish watching the series. However I love the spec ops aspect, the costumes and powers, and the character interactions and the darkness that they did go that far sometimes. I enjoyed how grim it took some of the story lines, I just didn’t like the fact they sexualised the torture. TL;DR is you can torture someone, but don’t try to make it sexy at the same time or I’m out.
Anime I’m keen for next year:
- More Fire Force and Dr Stone of course ;p (plus my usual never-endings like Black Clover, My Hero Academia, and Attack on Titan)
- Magia Record – why would I not be hanging out for more dark magical girl anime?
- Science Fell In Love So I Tried to Prove It – more lol romance, I’m so ready. I’m kinda expecting a secret love child of Dr Stone and Kaguya-Sama Love Is War ;p
- More Haikyuu – because Haikyuu
- Somali and The Forest Spirit – love the idea of humans brought to the brink of extinction by goblins and other fantasy creatures (that sounds horrible, I hope you know what I mean ;p )
Anything you’re hanging out for next year? Tell me, let’s get excited!