2019 has been an exciting year for anime fans. Within this year, we see the release of Boku no Hero Academia Season 4. We also have the hyped-up release for the continual of Attack on Titan from its previous years. There are great anime shows, and there are also, quite frankly, terrible anime shows.
After watching anime of 2019, I will now compile an anime recap list of the Best and the Most Disappointing anime of the season. Or simply put a 2019 anime recap. I know we all have different opinions. I am not saying this list is correct and should be the standard for anime taste. Since all the anime listed and labeled here are entirely based on my opinion.
And though I am off to a late start in making a 2019 anime recap, hopefully, this article will be worthwhile.
As a seemingly generic romance/school life anime, Kaguya-sama does exceptionally well to entertain its viewers through a variety of ridiculous situations that the protagonists put themselves into. The story revolves around the egotistical couple, Kaguya and Miyuki, who refuse to lose in their so-called ‘romance’ war. The two believe falling in love means admitting defeat, and the result that come out of it? A laid-back, silly, and cute romantic comedy that you will inevitably come to love!
Having read the original Kaguya-sama manga, I can confidently say that the anime was definitely on-par of that of the original manga. From the voice acting, soundtrack, and character development, the anime successfully brings its ‘unique’ characters to life.
The voice acting was especially well done, and viewers could really feel the Seiyuu truly enjoy reading their lines, and just, in general, being able to express their silly sides and go all out. In all honesty, Kaguya-sama really gave me the vibe from Konosuba. So…
If you are a fan of Konosuba, you will definitely love Kaguya-sama (with a twist of its own Romance element).
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari definitely has to be on this list. It was successful in terms of the buildup, launch, as well as post-aired time frame. Through a compelling story plot that managed to grasp its viewer’s attention within the very first episode, the story could only get better.
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari, at its core, is an Isekai. However, unlike the generic Isekai where the main protagonist obtained an overpowered ability, Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari has its own unique twist. The MC, Naofumi, is severely discriminated against for being assigned as the Shield Hero, a so-called useless profession according to the citizens. Naofumi, all alone and seemingly powerless, must strive to survive and grow stronger in such a gruesome world.
The plot of this series is ultimately what ranked Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari within this list. It was short, yet precisely executed. Without beating much around the bush, the anime showcased a thrilling and explosive build-up to a terrific beginning stage for what was-to-be an addicting journey filled with hardships, cruelty, and ultimately, JUSTICE!!
Despite receiving many controversies due to its Funimation award for “Best Animation Of The Decade”, in which I will not talk about within this anime recap (since it should be a separate post in itself), Kimetsu no Yaiba anime was an overall successful adaption of its long-running original manga.
The story begins on a remote mountain. Tanjiro, a boy who once lived peacefully at a nearby cottage, one day discovers his entire family massacred by what seemed like the work of a demon. Fortunately, Nezuko, Tanjiro’s sister was alive… but was transformed into a demon. In order to turn his sister back to a human, Tanjiro must become a member of the Demon Slayer Corps and pursue the mysterious demon who coldbloodedly killed his entire family.
Uniquely, Kimetsu no Yaiba does what rarely other anime could achieve. At its core, Kimetsu no Yaiba showcase the viewers a sneak-peek into the background behind each defeated demons, instilling empathy within the viewers towards the enemies. At least, the show truly teaches me that even some of the most insightful and brutal demons, such as the Hand Demon, could still be loved.
Carole & Tuesday is unlike any other musical anime I have watched until now. Perhaps not in terms of the plot, but rather for its unique performances.
The anime starts off with Tuesday, a young musician who ran away from home to pursue her dream. She travels to the city of opportunity, Alba, in order to become a top-selling artist. There, she meets Carole, a talented musician performing on the street. Like fate, the two begin their beautiful journey to the top.
Out of all the musical anime I’ve watched, this one strikes me as the most unique. Though I wouldn’t dare to say the performances are the best. However, the anime is noticeably catered towards Western audiences. It features actual Western artists performing most of the songs. And what’s more, it is in a more jazzy and Japanese style. This combination is simply golden.
In addition, the anime also discuss moral issues that are also affecting our modern world. Can’t we all just be friends? Why must the Earthern immigrants suffer from Mars’ laws? Those are the questions that I, as the viewer, must question throughout the show. It really struck me how closely these themes hit home.
At a glance, Kono Oto Tomare! seems to be another generic high school/romance anime showcasing the love interests and drama between the club members. However, this was definitely not the case for most.
The anime revolves around the Koto’s Club of Tokise High School. After an unforgettable year with his club’s senpais, Kurata Takezou was in dire need of new members. However, when Chika Kudou, a rumored violent delinquent wishes to join, Takezou promptly rejected Chika’s application due to his dark past. Soon later, however, Takezou saw Chika’s ultimate conviction and dedication towards the Koto and agreed to take him into the club. There, they began their very first musical adventure!!
Ultimately, Kono Oto Tomare! is a music anime in disguise of the typical high school romance scenarios… except that the performances are simply spectacular. Having read the original manga, I began the show with some extremely high expectations. Though the anime plot was somewhat lackluster compared to the manga (though still good), everything else from the soundtrack, voice-acting, and art were on-point.
In addition, for the emotional peeps out there, let me give you a heads up because Kono Oto Tomare! is quite a sentimental show. The anime executed the Koto’s club drama perfectly, especially the character development. With every new arc, I felt as though I learned more about the characters, their background, and was able to sympathize with them on a personal level, especially Satomi. It was an eye-opener, how every single club members underwent such an amazing transformation to earn the recognition from their peers.
Vinland Saga was some of the deepest and most philosophical anime show for the 2019 anime year. Dealing with complex topics such as religions, self-identity, and life purposes, Vinland Saga has left me wanting more answers, more plot, and ultimately, a second season.
Thors, being rumored the strongest warrior, was set-up and ambushed. In order to protect the villagers, Thors agreed to sacrifice himself for their safety. However, Thorfinn took his death differently and vowed vengeance upon Askeladd, the man who took his father’s lives: a hostile journey and relationship was born, right there and then.
What I loved about Vinland Saga was its abstract yet meaningful storytelling method. What does it mean to be a true warrior? How should one really live their lives? Most importantly, although the reference of Vinland as a desired symbol of peace was subtle, I feel it was one of the most important factors in truly understanding the underlying themes of the show. If you are somewhat an analysis freak like me, who loves to analyze their favorite shows thoroughly, then Vinland Saga will offer you an abundance of resources and themes to take apart and dissect.
Kanata no Astra is a perfect example of a seemingly mediocre anime that surpassed all expectations. At a glance, the show seems to be a typical harem/school/romance scenario with silly and laid-back characters. However, that was far from the truth.
In 2063, space travel was deemed possible with advanced warping technologies. A group of students was on their way to a field trip campsite – planet McPa – where a mysterious white sphere sucked them back into space. Fortunately, the group found a nearby drifting spaceship and was able to survive the chaotic event. Now they must find a way home all by themselves… from approximately 5000 light-years away.
Surprisingly, the selling point of Kanata no Astra was the amount of plot twist the series had. At one point, I was completely 100% sure of where the plot would take me, only to have my mind blown by some huge reveals or twists. No seriously, if you love surprises, then Kanata no Astra will leave you wanting for more.
Also, I just wanted to give a heads up by telling y’all that: this show is considerably cringey. So don’t expect a completely comfortable viewing experience!! Not that it would stop me from missing out on this amazing show.
Dr. Stone was one of the most spectacular anime of this season. And it is truly an Isekai in its clever disguise. The show engages me into a spiral of scientific knowledge as well as showcasing a fierce competition between the protagonists.
The story began when humanity was petrified by a mysterious green light from the sky. After roughly 3000 years, Senku, our mad scientist protagonist, finally awakens. To his horror, modern civilization has long gone extinct and reverted into the Stone Age that they once dreaded. With nothing but his clever mind, Senku vowed to rebuild civilization from scratch.
Dr. Stone sucked me in from the get-go. The plot was compelling and straightforward. Meaning, you can’t just watch the first episode and not watch the rest. It was that good.
In addition, as a science person, I really love how Dr. Stone explored engineering aspects that were taken for granted, such as the moment he created the Vinyl Player. Who knew that such a complicated-looking machine simply works by reading the CD’s scratches and replicating its soundwave. So, science for the win!
I Am 80 Percent Sure I Love Science before this show. Now, I Am 1 Billion Percent Sure I Love Science.
Following its prequel, Kono Oto Tomare! 2nd Season was yet again successful. Better yet, I felt that the 2nd season was, in fact, a major improvement compared to its 1st season… especially in terms of its soundtrack and performances.
After a sloppy yet hopeful performance at the Kanto Region Traditional Music Festival, the Tokise High School’s Koto club members continued their endeavoring practice in order to hone their musical skills and techniques. Having finally acknowledged the club’s potential, Suzuka Takinami, their mysterious club advisor was willing to aid their goals: Take First Place In The Nationals!!
Kono Oto Tomare 2nd Season again has blown my mind and exceeded expectations. The show went on to do what it was supposed to: showcase the breathtaking sounds and performances of the Koto. While maintaining most of the significant drama between club members, Kono Oto Tomare! 2nd season also ended with a blast of a performance. If you listened to Tenkyuu, you will know what I mean. Everything from the build-up, climax, and the ending, was perfectly executed. It was as if the final performance was a representation of the hours of hard work, challenges, and the massive growth from everyone within the Koto’s club.
Compared to other Isekai genres, Honzuki no Gekokujou was definitely unique in its own ways. While including neither summon heroes nor evil demons, the setting and context itself was by no means lacking.
Urano Motosu was a lover of books. Drawing her last breath, she was then reincarnated as Myne – a young girl in an alternative world where books are extremely scarce resources. In order to fulfill her wish, Myne began her seemingly endless adventure in order to create accessible books for the local residents.
Having read and watched many Isekai-genre mediums, Honzuki no Gekokujou was surprisingly entertaining. Nowadays, Isekai genres tend to design their characters through a simplistic approach, making them as overpowered as early as possible.
However, this usually makes the series predictable and soon becomes boring. Evidently, this was not the case for this show. Having paired with dramatic character development, mundane yet fitting story-pacing and plot for Myne’s achievements, and the restraint in illustrating Myne as an extremely knowledgeable girl, all made for a perfect watch. Seriously though, who could think that a book-based Isekai was such an interesting idea?
In reality, Domestic na Kanojo does not deserve to be placed on this list. Sadly, it is. As an initial reader of its manga, the anime truly left me disappointed.
The anime talks about Natsuo’s fast-paced love life. He got into an immoral relationship with his teacher, Hina, who also happens to be his older step-sister. In addition, before their first meeting, Natsuo also slept with Hina’s younger sister, Rui. And ultimately, Natsuo must decide to choose between the two equally attractive sisters.
If the amount of love-triangle and drama of this show left you baffled. Don’t worry. I was too! However, I surely would have enjoyed the anime more had they not massively skipped the plot’s character development. Because, the character designs overall just felt so… lifeless and two dimensional.
Take Natsuo for example. In the manga, I truly felt his pain, struggled, both as a writer and a boyfriend. He learned from his mistakes, try his best, fails, and learn again. In the anime, these details are simply glossed over, or not even mentioned in the slightest.
And considering how the anime producers tried covering 72 chapters in 12 episodes… Yeah, hopefully, you get my point! So, read the manga instead. Please don’t waste your time watching this adaptation.
Nanatsu no Taizai, again, should have never been on this list. The series has been a huge success, garnering fans from all over the globe. However, its latest season was outrageously a disappointment mainly due to the budget animation.
The seven deadly sins are a group of rebellions who aim to overthrow the rule of Liones. Rumors have it that the Holy Knights have defeated them for goods. However, surprisingly, they are actually still alive and well prepared for their next conquest.
So why is this season of Nanatsu no Taizai such a disappointment? Now, I am not extremely critical when it comes to animation or visual details. However, Kamigami no Gekirin‘s animation is just downright terrible. Making the entire season simply unwatchable.
The character’s movements are very clunky, and it makes me wonder whether I am watching the anime on one frame per second. Okay. Perhaps the studio saved its budget to animate the epic Meliodas and Escanor fight. And maybe I can forgive them if they actually did.
But no, they did not. They even ruined the supposedly epic fight between Meliodas and Escanor. I really don’t know how worse it can get…
And that concludes my 2019 Anime Recap. Again, these are simply my own opinions on the best and worse anime of the previous year. Hopefully, for those who disagree, my explanation somewhat makes sense to y’all.
And for those who watched a lot of anime in the previous season, did you agree with this list? Perhaps there are anime that you would replace and switch out. Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below!!
Related: Is Anime Getting Worse?