Image courtesy via Twitter
2019 was the start of the new era in Japan as everyone say farewell to the Heisei era as the welcome the Reiwa era starting in May 2019. However, the start of the new era didn’t go smoothly as I’ve witnessed the fire that happened in the now-demolished Kyoto Animation Studio 1 on July 18, 2019. And it gets worse when the last quarter of 2019 (which is January to March 2020) is affected by the ongoing Corona Virus pandemic which affected the anime industry.
In any case, it’s time for me to close the 2019 Anime Season as I pick the shows that are the best in my opinion, and then trash the worst one too.
01. Best Spring Anime in 2019…
– Carole and Tuesday (Winner)
– Sarazanmai (Runner-up)
Let’s start my review on the 2019 Anime Season where it starts in Spring (obviously). Of course, I’ve watched only a few anime shows at that time and I picked two of the best during that period. Sure that most people would pick Kimetsu no Yaiba as the best anime ever but it’s all flash in my humble opinion. Personally, I’d picked both Carole and Tuesday as the winner in Spring 2020, while Sarazanmai takes second place.
Now, the reason why Carole and Tuesday was the best in Spring 2019 is not just because of having an amazing soundtrack, but I love how two girls from different backgrounds made music together and changed Mars entirely with their songs as they performed on New Year’s Day together with various artists. It’s a journey that’s awe-inspiring. Oh yeah, and it’s not just Carole and Tuesday Simmons’ story being told throughout the show, there’s also Angela Carpenter who reached stardom and then suffered numerous tragedies, before making a recovery thanks to the duo reminding Angela on how it’s fun to sing.
Sarazanmai on the other hand is quite interesting for an anime show directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara where the trio of boys are the main protagonists (although Ikuhara did that in Mawaru Penguindrum before). Aside from having a trio of male protagonists, I’m satisfied that there’s a happy ending after the protagonists persevere through hardships thanks to their inescapable bond. In any case, Sarazanmai is a quirky masterpiece from Kunihiko Ikuhara.
02. Best Summer Anime in 2019…
– Dr. Stone (Winner)
– Machikado Mazoku (Runner-up)
Now comes the big guns in Summer 2019 where sequels, spin-offs, and anime shows based on isekai novels have emerged in that cour. Of course, only two of them stood out and that’s Dr. Stone and Machikado Mazoku.
Now I’m going to start with the runner-up first as Machikado Mazoku is one hell of a cute show based on a Manga Time Kirara title, especially when you have Yuko “Shamiko” Yoshida trying to beat Momo Chiyoda at everything and failing it. Aside from their cute antics, everything is decent and I must say that J.C.Staff did a good job on the anime adaptation.
As for Dr. Stone, I would say that this anime show based on a Shonen Jump manga title is far more interesting that any of its offerings because you have a protagonist who will use science to not only solve problems but also wants to bring back modern civilization in a short time. Sure that Senku needs some help from various people in order to make it possible, but I appreciate on seeing a main character using his wits rather than strength alone.
03. Best Fall Anime in 2019…
– Ore wo Suki nano wa Omae dake ka yo (Winner)
– Kono Yuusha ga Ore TUEEE Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru (Runner-up)
Now then, it’s time for Fall 2019 and while the 2nd part of Sword Art Online: Alicization takes center stage, there are some shows that I found it awesome.
So the winner for best anime show in Fall 2019 is OreSuki (or Ore wo Suki nano wa Omae dake ka yo) and the reason why I chose that show is because the hilarious antics between the not-so main character Amatsuyu “Joro” Kisaragi and his love interests, although Sumireko “Pansy” Sanshokuin is the only one who really loves Joro-kun. Oh, and let’s not forget that there’s Shuka Saito where she voiced a tsundere character (aside from singing the opening theme) and the unstoppable bench where Joro is traumatized about it. Anyways, I really love watching OreSuki and I can’t wait for the OVA.
Meanwhile, Kono Yuusha ga Ore TUEEE Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru (or Shinchou Yuusha) is your typical isekai anime but instead of a main character who uses powers recklessly, you have Seiya Ryuuguuin who trains very hard and destroys enemies thoroughly until there’s nothing left. And hey, I’ve enjoyed watching Shinchou Yuusha because it’s very hilarious for a main character (and his goddess companion Ristarte) to tackle the demon lord and his army by doing lots of training, although OreSuki is far more hilarious to watch than Shinchou Yuusha. In any case, I’m happy that WHITE FOX made an entertaining isekai show.
04. Best Winter Anime in 2019…
– Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu. (Winner)
– Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu and 22/7 (Co Runner-ups)
Finally, here’s the last cour for 2019 and while the pandemic has spread like wildfire during that period, at least most of the anime shows are already finished production.
With that said, the winner for best anime show in Winter 2019 is Bofuri (or Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu.) and man, SILVER LINK did a great job on their anime adaptation of a light novel. I mean, it’s a surprising story where a cute female protagonist named Maple, who’s a novice at online games, has become the most overpowered character thanks to her indestructible shield and her mantra of not getting hurt at all. Aside from having an entertaining story, Bofuri has decent visuals and soundtrack that compliments to Maple’s ridiculous antics.
As for the runner-ups, both Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu (or OshiBudo) and 22/7 share the spot as both of them are idol shows but they have different premises where the former is about the idol fans, while the latter is all about idols being ordered by a mysterious entity. Both of them are great shows that explore their respective premises, especially OshiBudo where you have fans trying their best to boost the popularity of their favorite idols with Eripiyo being the extreme one. Still, it would be nice if there will be another season for both idol shows as I want to see how far they can go.
05. Sleeper hit anime in 2019…
– Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? (Winner)
This anime show is the biggest surprise in 2019 and while the premise is like a fanservice-laden show, Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? is quite informative when it comes to exercising properly and maintaining health. It’s even more of a shocker when most of the anime fans learned that the author of Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? is also responsible for writing Kengan Ashura which is a martial arts anime in the similar vein as Baki the Grappler.
Anyways, I have nothing more to say but to give props to Dogakobo for adapting Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?, as they made this anime show into a surprise hit in 2019.
06. Best anime sequel in 2019…
– Symphogear XV (Winner)
– High Score Girl II and BanG Dream! Season 3 (Co Runner-ups)
Yeah, you saw this one coming as I pick Symphogear XV over both High Score Girl II and BanG Dream! Season 3. I have nothing to explain on why the 5th season of Symphogear is good because it’s a fitting finale to Hibiki Tachibana and her fellow Symphogear users. Sure that most people will ignore it as some typical magical girl anime, but they’re missing it out on this wonderful franchise that spans over 5 seasons, concerts, and a smartphone game too. Honestly, Satelight did their utmost best on making a great send-off to Hibiki’s story.
As for High Score Girl II and BanG Dream! Season 3, both CGI shows looked great and while the former got a fitting ending, the latter felt that fans want it more as Bushiroad will continue making more BanG Dream! content in the future, especially when RAISE A SUILEN is finally formed in the anime and the possibility that Morfonica will be featured in future seasons. Still, High Score Girl and its sequel needs some attention as it’s a love letter to video games in the 90’s.
07. Most overlooked anime in 2019…
– Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo. (Winner)
Now let’s move onto something that most of them overlook at this anime show directed by Mari Okada based on her own manga. It’s a coming-of-age story where the girls explore their sexuality and relationship with the opposite gender. And it’s gonna be full of drama since it’s created by Mari Okada after all.
While it’s not perfect since most of the characters in the show has some flaws, especially when it comes to love triangles and other romantic stuff, I think anime viewers should give AraOto a try as you might learn something from it.
08. Worst anime series in 2019…
– Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (Winner)
I’m gonna be honest but 2019 has a few stinkers, especially in the isekai genre, but this one is probably the worst anime in my opinion. And the reason why I call it worst is that Arifureta was supposed to be a collaborative effort between WHITE FOX and Asread, but the result is that the latter is taking the whole grunt of the production where it has horrible CGI that doesn’t help on conveying the story at all.
Speaking of the story, I think Asread should make Arifureta as a two-cour show, but what they did is make the first arc longer (which consists of 5 episodes) and then compress the rest of the arcs to just 1 or 2 episodes. Basically, a rush job adaptation.
Now I’m not sure if the sequel will get better in terms of quality but man, Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou was the worst show that I’ve watched in 2019.
09. “So bad, it’s good!” anime series in 2019…
– The Rising of the Shield Hero (Winner)
– Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Ni-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desu ka? (Runner-up)
Just before move onto the best of the best in 2019 Anime Season, let’s talk about shows that are so bad, it’s actually good once you’ve get past its initial premise.
So the runner-up goes to Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Ni-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desu ka? (or just Okaasan) where it’s a fine show despite having Mamako Oosuki take the spot most of the time. And c’mon, I’ve watched Okaasan because I love MILFs, especially when they’re OP. If you love hot moms, Okaasan is the show is for you!
And for the winner for this category is The Rising of the Shield Hero, where despite making waves of controversy like enslaving girls and falsely-accuse the protagonist for a crime he didn’t commit, this show is so hilariously bad that most of the secondary characters are incompetent such as The Three Heroes (especially Motoyasu Kitamura) and Princess Malty, also known as the Bitch who accused Naofumi Iwatani on raping her.
Everything else is fine as Kinema Citrus did a great job on the anime adaptation, but I give hats to The Rising of the Shield Hero ’cause everyone who hates Naofumi are actually idiots compared to the Shield Hero and his allies. Now the only thing I wanna see if how far will the idiocy goes once this show goes into 2nd season.
10. Best overall anime series in 2019…
– Symphogear XV (1st Place)
– Carole and Tuesday (2nd Place)
– Dr. Stone (3rd Place)
And now, it’s time for me to pick which anime series is the best in 2019. Well, I have to give Symphogear XV as the best of the best in 2019 as Satelight pulled all the stops to make the 5th season into a memorable one. Of course, that leaves me in a tough spot on picking 2nd and 3rd place.
So after some deliberation, I’ve decided to take Carole and Tuesday in 2nd place, while Dr. Stone will take 3rd place. While Dr. Stone will do better things in future seasons should Shueisha and TMS Entertainment wants to take the series into greater lengths, I think the reason for choosing Carole and Tuesday in 2nd place is because of its amazing soundtrack on top of having an interesting story. I have nothing more to say about Carole and Tuesday ’cause it’s awesome thanks to Studio BONES.
Image courtesy via Twitter
Anyways, it’s time for me to say goodbye to 2019 as I welcome the new decade starting in 2020. Well, the 2020 Anime Season has already begun!
Of course, due to the ongoing pandemic, I might finish some of the anime shows from my backlog. Don’t know how will the quarantine will last though but until then, stay safe!