A Decade of Anime – 2019

2019 was the year I made an exception for the third rule for. I just haven’t had time to rewatch much or reflect on the anime of the year. So with that said, these are my current thoughts on which anime I think will stick with me and be rewatched into future years. I may change my mind further down the track. Sadly Given and Dr Stone didn’t make the final list but only because they came out in what was my favourite season of the year with a lot of other strong titles. Despite them not making the final list I would still strongly recommend both of these anime as standouts from the year.

The Rules:

No. 1: No sequels of any kind.

No. 2: Only one anime from each season which gave me 4 picks from each year.

No. 3: Other than 2019 anime, no matter how brilliant an anime was if I hadn’t rewatched it since it aired then it didn’t make the list. If I don’t like it enough to watch it more than once then it doesn’t deserve to be on an anime of the decade list.

Incidentally these anime are not the technical best anime of their seasons but are the ones I would pick if I could only watch one anime from that season. They are anime I loved, for whatever reason, and felt deserved to be remembered.

The Promised Neverland

There probably wasn’t much doubt that The Promised Neverland would make the list. With its fantastic atmosphere and solid trio at the centre of its cast, this anime delivered a fun and thrilling season of viewing. It also even took us to a decent moment in the story to pause at the end of the season so we weren’t left with no sense of resolution. Even though there is clearly much more story to tell, the immediate situation is resolved by the end and it leaves you feeling satisfied with this season on its own.

Again, it is the attention to detail and the great use of visual and sound direction that really sell this anime. The story itself is interesting enough but in less deft hands would have had little impact. While a few moments of the anime push it a little too far, largely The Promised Neverland gives you a fairly polished and nuanced viewing experience.

Fruits Basket

After years of wanting a reboot to the franchise as the original anime left us high and dry 2019 delivered with Fruits Basket 2019 and a promise that the story would continue. Now this could have gone very wrong or fallen pretty flat however between the lovely visuals, voice acting, and the love and care given to the story this rebooted series was everything I had hoped for.

This is a story with a lot of heart as Honda Tohru uses the advice given to her by her departed mother as well as her general upbeat disposition to help those around her accept themselves. It is almost impossible not to smile or cry or both while watching the story unfold and I can’t wait for another season.

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Astra Lost in Space

It was a very tough call between Astra Lost in Space and Given for the Summer Anime Season. Honestly, I’ve rewatched both since they aired and loved them both and feel they are both going to be anime I continue to love well into the future. What really consolidated Astra’s place on this list though was that I watched it with a friend over the Christmas period and through fresh eyes got to experience how nicely plotted the story was and how great the characters were as you slowly got to know them as more than their initial character type. Of course, it also helps that Astra gave us a complete and finished story whereas Given feels like we are still waiting for more.

Anyway, this is a great adventure with a group of students who get flung into space, find a spaceship and have to make their way back home. There’s the ongoing question of why they got sent into space and who is responsible but all questions are nicely answered by the end. However, what makes Astra great is that it is just fun to watch.

No Guns Life

This is probably the pick I am most dubious about but to be honest little of what I finished in the fall season really grabbed me as a long term repeat watch. There were lots of okay and fun-enough stories but I just can’t really imagine myself buying a DVD of any of them, except of course Dr Stone but it started the season before. That said, No Guns Life was an interesting viewing experience. The lack of resolution and sense that the story is totally unfinished hurts it, as does the general lack of urgency to address its central narrative as we keep diverting off to pursue other cases. However, I did like the old school Noir feel and mostly the comedy of this anime landed for me.

Honestly, this season is too fresh still and I think once I get some distance I’ll get a clearer idea of what my favourite anime actually is, but my initial impulse is to go with No Guns Life. If nothing else the guy with a gun for a head is memorable.

And look at that! We made it through the whole decade!

Okay, now you can tell me what I got wrong, what you loved, and let’s look forward and discuss what we want to see in the new decade of anime.


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Karandi James



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5 thoughts on “A Decade of Anime – 2019

  1. 2019 was such a good year for anime. We got Promised Neverland, Vinland Saga, Kaguya-sama, Demon Slayer, Carole & Tuesday… and that was just the new stuff! A lot of these series are getting sequels this year too so I’m already super excited 😊

    1. The next part of The Promised Neverland is one I am very much looking forward to. I started reading the manga but then I thought I’d rather wait to be surprised by the anime so I’ve been waiting, but I really want to know what happens next.

  2. 2019 is… fairly recent. Heh.

    My Roommate is a Cat, Endro~!, Kaguya-sama, Fruits Basket, Senryuu Shoujo, Given, Wasteful Days of Highschoolgirls, Kanata no Astra, Vinland Saga, Beastars, Hoshiai no Sora

    Huh, only 10 shows? Seems like a weaker year than expected. (Or maybe it’s that much of what’s good is sequels, such as Mob Psycho 100 or Chihayafuru?)

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