God damn, there were a lot of shows this year! And a lot of them were great! Honestly, I’m not sure where to even begin with this one! This year just had so much amazing stuff to talk about!
Or at least the first half did.
Admittedly, I did sort of fall off the anime train around the summer season of this year. I kept my eye on a few shows and watched a few episodes of others. But none of them really grabbed me at all. Honestly, aside from sequels that I was excited for, I couldn’t find any shows that I enjoyed enough to watch all the way through.
Not to say that every show from the latter half of this year was bad. I’ve seen bits and pieces of just about all of them, and they were all decently enjoyable. Some gave me a good chuckle, others made me think that I should watch them, and some were so bizarre and interesting that I felt bad for not watching them.
Though to be fair: Beastars is currently locked behind the Netflix wall for us Americans. So I can’t really judge that one yet.
Still, I did watch plenty enough anime this year to properly write this. I’ll be excluding the big-names (My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, so on) as well as shows that haven’t wrapped up yet (why couldn’t Chihayfuru season three be a summer show like I thought it was?!). And remember: this, like everything I do here, is entirely my opinion. Put the pitchfork away.
Let’s get started with the Winter season. Or as I like to call it, the ‘Oh god why are there so many amazing shows?!’ season.
The obvious choice would be Mob Psycho 100 season two. I did review every episode of the series. But surprisingly enough, that isn’t actually my favorite show of the season! Don’t get me wrong though! Mob Psycho is one of the most beautiful, engaging, and hilarious shows I’ve ever seen. If you still haven’t seen it, then you need to fix that! Trust me! You’re missing out!
There are plenty of shows that I could talk about. Dororo was the perfect blend of bad-ass and heart-wrenching, perfectly adapting a classic manga into a modern marvel. Quintessential Quintuplets was a harem show with genuinely interesting and likable characters, one that was actually fun to watch! My Roommate is a Cat was a simple but adorable show that made me feel good from start to end.
But if I had to give it to any show, it would be Kaguya-sama: Love is War.
I have never laughed so hard at a single anime in my entire life! This show, from start to end, was absolutely hysterical! On top of that, the animation was drop-dead gorgeous, the music was catchy as hell (especially the OP), and the story actually had a sense of progression from episode-to-episode!
Thank god they greenlit a season two for this show. Because I would have lost my fucking shit if this show fell into the same void that Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun did!
Moving on to the Spring season. Admittedly, I thought this season was pretty rough. We did get the long-awaited One Punch Man season two, but it was… bad. There’s no beating around the bush. It was bad. But we also got plenty of good things!
The obvious choice from this season would be Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. It was a fantastic piece of Shounen action, one that quickly shot up to the top of the genre. The animation was gorgeous, the characters all likable (even if some of the side characters are a bit one-dimensional at the moment). Not to mention the absolutely amazing episode nineteen! It was a great show!
And then there’s the Fruits Basket remake. I never had a chance to watch the original, so it was a treat to experience this classic. It was cute, it was fun, and it was surprisingly gripping! I also love how they proudly proclaim ‘First Season’ right there in the title! As if to say ‘We all know there’s gonna be more.’ And I’m pretty excited to see what else they have in store!
Isekai Quartet was also a fun little distraction! Sure, it was short and almost completely devoid of any substance. But it was a fun watch, managing to get a chuckle out of me at least once per episode. I can’t say I’m especially excited for more, but I can’t say I’m dreading it either. Season two will be a fun little addition to my watchlist when it finally arrives.
Honestly, I don’t really have a favorite show from this season. Senryuu Shoujo was a cute romance show, but it didn’t have much substance, as the characters were pretty plain and the story didn’t progress very much. I’ve heard Carole & Tuesday is great, but I still haven’t watched it. The Helpful Fox Senko-san was adorable and cozy, even if the story was basically nonexistent. All of these shows and more were all solid. But I can’t say I cared enough about any of them to put them high on my list of favorites.
The same can be said about the Summer season shows. I did watch a few episodes of some of these shows, but I never finished any of them. Dr. Stone was a creative take on the Shounen formula, even if Senku was an unbearable protagonist, the animation was rough, and the story was a bit wonky. Fire Force was gorgeous, but it was incredibly cliche and predictable. I’ve heard that Vinland Saga and Given were both awesome, but I still need to watch it. Aside from them, this season didn’t have many winners.
And now we come to the Fall season. There are the heavy hitters, such as My Hero Academia season four, Seven Deadly Sins season three and a new season of Sword Art Online, along with Shokugeki no Souma. There are a few surprises, such as a new season of Psycho-Pass and the visually distinct and wonderful Beastars (give it to me sooner rather than later Netflix, if you’d please). The Hero is Overly Cautious is a surprisingly funny Isekai, even if some of the gags are a bit repetitive. And then there’s Assassin’s Pride, which has quickly become the most beloved punching bag of the season, and the bizarre No Guns Life.
The main character has a gun for a head. I… I feel like that’s all I need to say about that one.
I would give Chihayafuru the slot for the best Fall show, but like I said earlier, I can’t. As much as that rule hurts me. I’ll talk about it eventually, that’s for damn sure! But aside from it, there hasn’t really been a show that really gripped me enough to watch it all.
And that’s a wrap. That was anime in 2019. I’m sure there were plenty of shows that I didn’t even mention, and I’m sure I’ll get hell for it from someone on the internet. As to which one was my favorite, that would honestly be a hard pick!
Except that it isn’t. It’s Kaguya-sama. I don’t know what else you were expecting.