Spring 2019 Anime Final Thoughts

Much like the mid-season, I’m still playing catch up with some titles at the end of the season. That said, with only an episode or two to go on most, I’m pretty sure the ranks aren’t going to change at this particular point in time so here are my final thoughts. On Friday, the results of the reader’s poll will be announced and I’m looking forward to discussing the season as a whole with everyone.

Given how many times Spring was declared the worst anime season for a while, I ended up having a great time with it and even those titles I didn’t end up liking all that much but watched were better than some of the stuff I kept on the Winter line up.

So here are the anime I’m following from weakest to strongest based on my personal enjoyment. The reader’s choice list ended up a little bit different.

Number 15: Amazing Stranger

Yes, this one got to stay as my least favourite show in the line up. There were some cute and potentially interesting ideas, and surprisingly it didn’t overwhelm with fan-service and it did have a plot, but that still doesn’t make this one particularly good. Still, there’s a lot worse out there and with 12 minute episodes this one remained tolerable.

Award for: Bringing the fantasy of figures coming to life into anime.

Number 14: Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Hitoribocchi also hasn’t moved. It isn’t that Hitoribocchi is bad as it is actually a really cute anime about cute girls making friends and getting along, it just never worked for me. At the core of the problem is that every character seems to have some sort of social disorder but it is played for laughs and to be honest it just never really seemed funny. Anyway, lots of people loved this one but this list is my personal ranking so here it is.

Award for: Inspiring ninjas to make origami.

Number 13: Fairy Gone

Also not moving on the list, and I’m not sure if I’m continuing this one when it comes back for a second season in October, I’d say probably not. Visually it has remained unimpressive and while the core idea of the story is kind of interesting, the way it is delivered hasn’t been. A few interesting moments in the final few episodes doesn’t really take away all the poor decisions in execution that have plagued the entire series.

Award for: Getting more interesting as the story progressed.

Number 12: Afterlost

This one makes less sense than Fairy Gone but has at least had its moments scattered throughout the season. I also like the characters more than I like the cast of Fairy Gone. I do however feel that they spent pretty much the entire mid-season going around in circles and we could probably cut from episode 4 to episode 9 or 10 without appreciably losing any actual content that makes sense, which is a problem for the series and makes it almost impossible to recommend.

Award for: Demonstrating unsafe road practices and the importance of wearing a helmet.

Number 11: RobiHachi

This one I’ve fallen a fair way behind on during the season. I still enjoy it when I watch an episode and it is bright and fun, but there’s pretty much no substance and the overall plot is incredibly weak which means there’s nothing really driving me back to watch the next episode. That makes this one very easy to put on hold when things get busy. Still, I’ve mostly enjoyed all the episodes I’ve watched and this one makes me laugh every now and then at the silliness of the whole thing.

Award for: Knowing not to take itself seriously.

Affiliate Link – Game
ONE PUNCH MAN: A HERO NOBODY KNOWS

Number 10: One Punch Man Season 2

This is another one that I’ve found very easy to put on hold, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve watched. Really, I expected nothing from a second season of One Punch Man and yet I’ve found the second season quite fun as it seems to have expanded the world a bit. The lack of Genos moments has at times been a little bit of a problem (yes, I am still a Genos fan-girl), but I’ve liked what this season delivered even if the music wasn’t great and the visuals couldn’t hold up in comparison with season one. This was definitely worth watching as a continuation and I’ll hopefully finish it soon.

Award for: Being much better than expected.

Number 9: The Rising of the Shield Hero

I’m been reviewing this one over on patreon for my patrons and really when it came down to deciding whether or not this one is recommendable it really comes down to where you stand on isekai in general. Because outside of Naofumi not being the generic nice guy after episode one, instead insert generic bitter guy, what we have is a standard isekai. I’ve had fun with it, and I enjoyed that the end of the season went beyond what I had read of the series so I actually got to see a bit more of the story, but it is pretty much an average kind of thing. Either you like isekai and this one is enjoyable enough, or you don’t and this one doesn’t have anything else to offer.

Award for: Resilience in the face of endless criticism (both the main character and the anime).

Number 8: Kono Oto Tomare

This one was really misplaced, coming it at number 2 in the mid-season ranking. Honestly, all the ingredients were there for something really cathartic but the focus on incredibly lame antagonists and throwing external conflicts at the club all the time really diluted the impact. the best moments remain those that focus on the relationships between the club members and those moments are fantastic and make this show one that is worth watching. Too bad about all the stuff in between.

Award for: Developing a strong core cast.

Number 7: Bungo Stray Dogs Season 3

This is another one I’ve been reviewing over on Patreon mostly because Irina has given this show some excellent coverage (and also provided brilliant screen cap photo galleries of each episode). I’ll admit, I’m not quite done yet with a couple of episodes still to watch of Bungo Stray Dogs but I’ve really enjoyed the third season as we’ve met some delightful characters, had some interesting developments with existing characters and generally just had fun with super powered characters. My usual concerns about not having a clue what the overall direction of the narrative is (that has been an issue since season one) kind of remains, but it sort of doesn’t matter at this point because if you’ve watched this far into Bungo Stray Dogs you more or less know what you are in for.

Award for: Always bringing fun and energy into every situation.

Number 6: Senryuu Shoujo

This one truly ended up being delightful. Small doses at 12 minutes a piece made for an easily digestible and adorable viewing experience each week. The two main characters are completely charming and while this one is definitely slice of life with no driving plot, I never felt like nothing was happening. For something outside of my comfort zone, I really had fun with Senryuu Shoujo this season and I kind of wish more people had tried this one because it was really fun.

Award for: The most expressive silent character.

Affiliate Link – Figure

Number 5: Wise Man’s Grandchild

Yes, it is generic isekai just like The Rising of the Shield Hero, and visually this one is the poorer cousin at best. However, I had a great deal more fun with this one. Part of it was going in without any expectations, part of it was that I really liked Shin as a clueless main character, and part of it was that it never took itself seriously realising exactly what it was and making the most of it. If you just want a powerful teenager who is actually a reincarnated Japanese salary man who ends up fighting demonoids to save a kingdom, by all means, this one is a winner.

Award for: Embracing being isekai.

Number 4: Midnight Occult Civil Servants

Seriously, visually this one is problematic and it hasn’t got anywhere near the hype or energy of some of the other titles this season. However, this one just really clicked with my particularly viewing preferences and I loved watching it this season. Seeing the various cases with Arata stepping in and interacting with the Anothers was great and while there are certainly a number of areas where they could improve, it just worked for me. Also a nice break from high fantasy, isekai, or stories set in a high school.

Award for: Being a more thoughtful approach to dealing with the modern supernatural setting.

Number 3: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

For a very clear shounen story, Demon Slayer is still doing a great job of keeping me interesting. Some of the newer characters aren’t exactly working for me but I’ve really enjoyed the show so far. The fights remain interesting, the protagonist isn’t an endless shouter, and our introduced villain so far looks like he’ll be fun to learn more about. There’s still a way to go with this one but I’m definitely still finding it worth the watch and this is one I made sure to catch each week because I didn’t want to read posts from others and have the episode ‘spoiled’ which usually means I’m fairly invested in the show.

Award for: Visually interesting battle sequences with a lot of variety.

Number 2: Fruits Basket

Rarely does a reboot get so many things right. Everything I ever wanted from a reboot of this series has been on display and I’m hooked. I already loved the story of Fruits Basket, it being one of the very few anime I loved enough to track down the manga online to find out more about the characters and what happened next (then realised the original series didn’t follow closely enough so just quickly read the main points). Seeing the story play out this time I’m just loving it. While it isn’t a perfect series by any means, the sheer enjoyment of seeing something I loved coming back and being done well means that this is one of my must watch shows of the season and into the next.

Award for: Hitting us right in the feels every single episode.

Number 1: Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two

Nope, not a dream and after falling out of love with this show during season two I’m still completely surprised that this ended up topping the Spring season in terms of an anime I was enjoying. But it did and there’s really no contest. I’ve cried, I’ve sat in stunned shock, I’ve leaned forward and shouted at the characters through the screen, I’ve smiled and cheered… this season has been one of those viewing experiences where I’ve been drawn fully into the story and it has been an amazing experience.

Award for: Sheer awesomeness.

Remember, check back Friday for the results of the reader’s poll.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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13 thoughts on “Spring 2019 Anime Final Thoughts

    1. It is worth checking out, but likewise there’s no real rush. It will still be good when you get around to it and given there’s been a fan base for the story for a long time there will always be someone to talk about it with.

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  1. It’s really cool that you order all the shows you’ve been keeping up with like this. I very rarely see the shows right away, but it’s nice to take a look at when I start the shows a few seasons later. The only one I’ve been keeping up with live is Fruits Basket which has definitely been really good.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kono Oto Tomare is split cour (it’s returning in the Fall), so I suspect many of it’s late season problems can be attributed to the need to set up the second cour. The more I think about it, the less problem I’d have with what we’ve got so far if I knew we were getting a new episode next weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Almost dropped AOT at one time. They could compress season 2 into a couple episodes and I’d be happy. I guess they learned from their mistakes and came back with a real winner. Most studios don’t learn from mistakes, they just make the same mistakes with variations.

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    1. I am with you on season two. I was so close to just letting AOT go. Season three really did just hit the mark and got me back into the story and this second part has been very solid entertainment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, finally, an easy watchlist.

    Demon Slayer looks to be the most fun. However, should I watch the reboot of Fruits Basket as is (much like FMA:B), or do i need the context of the original series? It interests me a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t need any prior knowledge as they’ve literally just started over. Jump right into the reboot.
      I agree though that Demon Slayer is the most fun. Both AoT and Fruits Basket are emotionally drained ing in different ways. They are great but they require a lot more from the viewer. Demon Slayer is mostly just turn off brain, watch and enjoy kind of viewing.

      Liked by 1 person

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