Anime of 2019 H1
I may have over done it.
After publishing my anime review of 2018 I got a lot of suggestions for things to watch next. I was staring down a list of more than twenty shows people strongly recommended. And so in the first days of January my journey began to burn down this list.
I watched a lot of anime this first half of the year, so much I've decided to take a break. To help me stop, I want to look back on all the shows I've watched.
This year so far in anime, in watch order, for me:
- Made in Abyss
- Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
- Devilman Crybaby
- A Place Further Than The Universe
- Amagi Brilliant Park
- Banana fish
- Food Wars!
- That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
- Hi Score Girl
- Kaguya-Sama: Love is War
- Mob Psycho 100 Season 2
- No Game No Life
- The Pet Girl of Sakurasou
- Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
- Agreretsko Season 2
- The Saga of Tanya the Evil
- Isekai Quartet
- One Punch Man Season 2
I will also include anime movies:
- Your Name.
- No Game No Life Zero
- Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel Part 1
- A Silent Voice
As you can see, I've already surpassed the number of shows I watched in all of 2018 (18 vs 24).
Ranking and review
I'm gonna stick with the same categories that I used for the 2018 review, and add one more.
Gonna have to give this one to Nichijou. The characters are top notch, the animation is well done, and it's a nice light show that's super easy to drop into really quick and watch all 25 episodes all over again.
I'm seeing a very unfortunate pattern where the first anime of the year I watch tends to be the one I re-watch and want to re-watch the most. Last year the same happened with Kill la Kill. I'm going to continue to call it a coincidence since this is truly how I feel.
In this category, once again Mob Psycho stays a strong contender. Other shows I have already re-watched: Hinamatsuri, Toradora!, D-Frag, and No Game No Life.
The bar has been set with Your Name. This is currently the highest ranked anime movie of all time for a reason. This hit me so hard in the feels I had to re-watch it only a couple days later so I could feel feelings again.
As for shows, only two really struck me: Toradora! and A Place Further Than The Universe. Toradora! hit me probably at a point where no one else was hit. The show reached its emotional climax for me at episode 16 for a side story arc. The rest of the show failed to live up in terms of impact, but was still really good.
A Place Further Than The Universe getting an honorable mention is a bit too obvious. The entire show is building to one tearjerker climax. When building out an entire show with that in mind, you better make the cut.
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War takes this one. This wasn't an easy call but looking back it is the show that made me laugh the most. Something about playing elaborate romantic mind games with severely inflated stakes just works for me. (Geez, reading that last sentence out of context makes me wonder quite a bit about myself, and may explain a lot.)
On that note, No Game No Life gets an honorable mention. Not only are there mind games but the show is self-aware and another good concept.
I'll also mention Food Wars! here. It was funny for sure, but looking back it's got more prominent attributes (good characters, story) that it doesn't stand out as "fun" like the above do. Chalk this placement up to Food Wars! having a lot of things going for it.
Made in Abyss has a unique concept, but what makes it the best concept in my mind is the execution. You start watching this show and you think, "Oh, just gonna be a classic big hole anime." Nope. Behind the cheerful music and excellent, colorful animation is what can only be called "some fucked up shit." It's one of those shows where you grow to understand the world and its stakes the quick, hard way.
There's so much more that hasn't been explored yet in this show. It is a show I'm excited to see more of.
Before anything: the best single song is Brave Shine by Aimer. The song is bad ass, probably the only good thing about Unlimited Blade Works other than it was so bad that you couldn't help but enjoy the Heaven's Feel movie because it takes the same story in an actually interesting direction.
As for overall soundtrack, I'll say Mob Psycho 100 season two. Not high energy, but sajou no hana really did the show justice and felt like the right compliment to the show's new direction. I'm looking forward to more good stuffs from sajou no hana for sure.
As far as opening (OP) and ending (ED) songs, Food Wars! wins by sheer volume. The songs are either really good or only alright but make up for that by being extremely memorable.
[New] Best girl
Love is a battlefield but the war is for best girl in anime culture. Of all the shows, I'm going to have say Shizue from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is best girl. Overcame a tough life, genuinely good person, total bad ass, super cute. Forget the main protagonist, just give me a show dedicated to Shizue.
Mai the bunny girl senpai of Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai gets an honorable mention. Obviously has a head start being the first focus of the show, but I think I like this character moreso because she turns out to be a great, supportive girlfriend for the rest of the show.
What's in store for the rest of 2019?
Eh...like I said I'm taking a break. This break conveniently lines up with me not being too excited for upcoming shows. I am looking forward to the Konosuba movie, season four of Food Wars!, the Nichijou dub, and Isekai Quartet season 2 if they can make it fast enough.
[Restating from 2018] Anyone deeper into anime than myself will notice some glaring omissions in my watch history. Shows I have explicitly gone out of my way to avoid are My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Basically ongoing shows with more than 50 episodes are off limits because I don't want another Naruto on my hands. This may change, I'll need convincing. (Yes, I know Food Wars! slipped through this time, but I literally did that as a birthday present.)
I never really plan more than a show ahead, so please give me your recommendations if there's something I should be watching.
Thanks for taking the time to reflect on some anime with me!