This Is The Anime You HAD To Watch

Watch Feature

Regardless of the anime you’ve seen, there’s always something you’ve missed that someone else feels is pivotal to being an anime fan – or they just really want to share the love.

I’ve been an anime fan for a fair while now and watched a lot of anime – like a lot of it. Yet when meeting another fan there is one comment that seems to come up again and again when discussion the shows we’ve watched: “You HAVE to watch …” Seriously, I should get a dollar for every anime I was told was the “anime you had to watch” and I’d be a very happy anime fan.

Naturally I asked my Twitter followers what anime they had been told was THE ANIME you HAD to watch and the responses were by and large the expected ones:

Sometimes this is definitely in the spirit of someone who just passionately wants to share a love for an anime with a fellow fan and sometimes they just want someone else they can talk to about the anime. Other-times however it can be delivered in the tone of someone who seems to feel a smug certainty that someone who didn’t even complete the first arc of Naruto can’t possibly call themselves an anime fan.

The first of these types can actually open up a great friendship and depending on the anime being recommended might lead to some really interesting conversations about a shared love. The second of these types is the kind that new-comers to the hobby might find a little off-putting and like there’s some secret club that you get to join once you’ve watched whatever anime they deem to be the seminal works within anime.

Naruto
Yeah, I just don’t get it.

Naturally you will meet a whole bunch of people in-between these two extremes and both types can actually be pretty great people. The Naruto example above wasn’t just thrown out there. It was a specific case where someone I knew IRL genuinely believed Naruto was the pinnacle of anime and while other works could be fun and all, any true anime fan would watch Naruto. They weren’t actually obnoxious about it, however any anime conversation would quickly have a Naruto reference thrown in which generally speaking would sail clean over my head.

Irina – This is the anime you had to watch – your thoughts?

Irina 2020 4

Although I rarely talk about it, I actually really like Naruto. A lot!

I’m just cutting in here out of the blue. It’s Irina, hi everyone. When Karandi first came up with this idea, I thought it was wonderful. Most anime fans will get unsolicited recommendations at some point but when you have an anime blog, you get them all the time. It can be a bit exhausting, especially when you feel like you should consider all these recommendations, they were given with earnestness after all. So how do you deal with it?

Rather than be annoyed by this, I countered with Bleach references. I don’t actually think Bleach is a high point for anime, but I know I have a lot of fun watching it, and I also know that referencing Bleach would usually hijack the conversation back away from Naruto. Incidentally, I still haven’t watched Naruto nor do I have any real intentions to.

Oh you really should ;P



Over a number of years I had a lot of fun conversing with this person and we talked about a lot of other new release anime and some of the older works that they have seen.

On the other hand I’ve had encounters with fans who at first recommend an anime to me politely, and then seem to hound me over and over again about whether I’d watched it or not (regardless of the fact that I had already pointed out to them I was overcommitted on my watch list already at the time) to the point that I just didn’t want to hear it again and at one point deliberately crossed the anime off my watch list just because I was sick of hearing about it (it got added back on but definitely a case where even being well-meaning isn’t exactly great).

What’s your experience been like, Irina?

Ash Lynx - Banana Fish
What do you mean you still haven’t watched it?

I am open about my preferences and dislikes in anime and I find that people who have different tastes will often try to convince me to change mine. More specifically, I have many times said that I tend to not enjoy traditional romance stories and yet I get romance anime suggested to me all the time. More than once I have already watched and reviewed poorly. I’ll be honest, I sort of gave up explaining my preferences and now just give a vague noncommittal answer.

Even though most people intellectually understand that disliking an anime isn’t the same as calling it bad, I think there’s still a lot of folks that have emotional attachments to particular anime that make it difficult for them to accept someone could dislike it. Especially someone who they otherwise agree with on shows. And they don’t always take in the other person’s tastes into account.

As anime fans we do get quite attached to our anime.

It isn’t as though I don’t also use the phrase, “you should watch…” or even, “you need to see…”. It almost comes naturally when discussing shows and realising someone hasn’t seen something you hold dear or think might be something the other person will enjoy.

After starting the blog Haikyuu was the anime that came up all the time as one I needed to see (that and Cowboy Bebop). When I finally bit the bullet and decided to watch the volleyball themed anime – and let us all remember we have Yuri on Ice to thank for thawing my natural aversion to sports anime – I really enjoyed it. All those comments and reminders from people about Haikyuu seemed validated and I was excited to share my thoughts on it as I watched.

Haikyuu - Hinata and Kageyama
Significantly better than expected – there’s some real emotion in this volleyball story.

Bebop on the other hand is one that so many times people insisted I NEEDED to have seen that it became an anime I unconsciously avoided even when I had the opportunity to watch it. 2020 was finally the year that I got on board and watched Spike and friends poorly hunt bounties across space. I haven’t yet written my review of the series but I did order the blu-ray so that probably tells you the verdict.

Even within seasonal viewing, within a few weeks of an anime making a splash there are people who ‘encourage’ you to jump on board the latest hype train, because sometimes it isn’t just all hype. My Hero Academia was one such an anime for me. The first season of it I didn’t start when it aired and it was five episodes in before the clamouring voices on social media and blog posts singing its praises got me curious enough to dive into it. Again, I’m pretty glad about that.

That isn’t to say there hasn’t been anime people have insisted on that have fallen flat for me. Generally I don’t remember them after the fact because they don’t leave much of an impression.

Advertisements

This is an interesting post for Karandi and I to share. We both watch a lot of anime and we talk about it together. We also generally have very different tastes. Almost opposite. A few notable exceptions of course (cough Natsume cough).

I love comedies, and Sports! anime and a certain sarcasm to my series. I have little to no patience for drama, romance and like my fantasy on the urban side. 

As such, over the years, I think we both developed a vague sense for what the other person would like but neither of us ever really ventured into aggressively recommending anything to the other. Because that would likely not work out. It’s an odd position to be in. On the one hand if I come across a weird anime that I absolutely fall in love with, of course my instinct is to tell Karandi to watch it, and watch it now! I want her to experience the same joy I did after all. That’s what friends are for. But on the other hand, I don’t want her to be saddled with the chore of trying to get through a show that does nothing for her. 

Given - big hugs for Haruki
Where our interests overlap.

But I think one thing that helps us, is that we don’t feel too uncomfortable with admitting we aren’t enjoying something the other is. Because recommendations can feel like impositions and come with all sorts of unspoken expectations, sometimes you just feel bad telling someone you didn’t enjoy their pick. And it’s no fun hearing it either. But I’m always ok hearing it from Karandi since we’ve already established we just like different things. We’re complimentary that way! 🙂

And then there’s people like Dawnstorm who regularly makes me discover my new favourite series and at this point I will blindly trust their recommendation on anything.

This is very true. And even series we like, we frequently like for different reasons or have different favourite moments. Black Butler would be one such series where Irina and I both like the series but for me season one is true brilliance and season 2 was a bit of a train wreck which of course ended up with Irina and I doing a two part debate on the merits of season 2 (where she tries to convince me that somehow it is the better series). In one particular exchange Irina actually tried to argue Ciel was a bit of a flat character, a point which I wholly disagree with and yet this is an argument where both of us basically just accept we’re coming at it from two different places. 

Black Butler Season 2 - Alois attacks Ciel.
Alois? Really?

That said, because we’ve kind of worked out each other’s preferences and where our interests overlap, I mostly know when something I’m watching is going to be something Irina would like, and she very much has my tastes figured out so I can usually trust a recommendation from her to be at least on paper something that’s going to catch my interest.

Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with being passionate about your hobby and your favourite anime. That’s why most of us chose to be bloggers, to share our love of anime with everyone else and to find people who want to talk with us about our favourite characters and shows. Those who know what it is like to cry when a character falls or to cheer when they overcome challenges. Recommending shows, using language like ‘have to’ and ‘need’ is a part of being a fan.

However, there are probably a few things to keep in mind:

  • Are you pushing an anime because you genuinely think the person you are speaking to will like it (based on other anime or shows they’ve watched) or are you pushing it because you like it?
  • How many times have you already pushed your preference? Are you starting to be a bit of a broken record?
  • Have you accepted any of their anime recommendations?

Alright, time to share your experience. When was a time someone recommended an anime to you and you loved it? When was a time someone recommended an anime and you ended up wondering what on earth they were thinking? And finally, when was a time you recommended an anime to someone else and they took you up on it? How did that work out?

Images in this article from:

  • Naruto: Shippuden. Dir. H Yamashita. Studio Pierrot. 2007 – 2017.
  • Banana Fish. Dir. H. Utsumi. MAPPA. 2018.
  • Haikyuu. Dir. S. Mitsunaka. Production. I. G. 2014.
  • Given. Dir. H. Yamaguchi. Lerche. 2019.
  • Black Butler 2. Dir. H. Ogura. A-1 Pictures. 2010.

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

karandi avatar no background

Best Anime of 2019 – Best Cast of Characters

Best Anime 2019

It is amazing when a great group of characters get together. Here is my choice for best cast of characters in 2019.

I’m finding more and more that I’m less interested in stand out protagonists and more interested in the cast dynamic as a whole as I get a bit older. Probably that’s because with protagonists you’ve kind of seen most variations, but it is in the cast combinations and interactions where stories can make even pretty generic characters feel fresh and new. That’s why it feels right that I should end my look at 2019 by looking at some of the great casts of characters that we came across throughout the year.

Please note, the nominees and winning choice are entirely my own opinion and are not based on any rigid criteria. Feel free to nominate your own winners for the categories in the comments. Help other readers find some awesome anime from 2019 to watch.

Best Cast of Characters in 2019

This category was insanely hard to narrow down however I finally got my nominations down to 5. Even then, I wanted to give the victory to most of the titles in the nomination list.

And the winner is…

Advertisements
best cast of characters 2019

Dr Stone

Dr Stone was a curious anime that for about five or six episodes was perfectly fine to watch, interesting enough, but hadn’t really grabbed my attention. Then Senku left on his own and ended up at Ishigami Village where we met a delightful cast of characters who surrounded and bounced off of Senku for the remainder of the series. It brought the anime to life and turned it from a curiosity to a must watch. I cannot overstate how necessary the cast was in bringing this story to life and really grabbing my attention.

Stone18g

Individually these characters aren’t particularly unique or special. It is the combination of these characters, the way they group them within episodes, the small ways they contribute to the overall narrative, whether they are getting along or rubbing each other the wrong way, collectively the people of Ishigami Village are just great fun to spend time with. Despite some amazing characters in other anime, and ones I really do want to celebrate, I had to give the title of best cast to Dr Stone. The cast sold this story.

So many great choices but I’d love to know which anime had your favourite cast of characters in 2019 so be sure to share. Also, if you missed any of my best anime of 2019 posts be sure to check them out using the links below.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Best Anime of 2019 – Sci-Fi Anime

Best Anime 2019

I love a good fantasy or sci-fi anime story but find the need for writers to show off their world building, scientific knowledge, or vocabulary can really drag on a story. Good sci-fi and fantasy organically integrate their fantastic or futuristic settings without drowning the viewer or reader in exposition. However what really makes the genre shine for me is the exploration of characters and possibilities. 2019 certainly gave us plenty of that.

Please note, the nominees and winning choice are entirely my own opinion and are not based on any rigid criteria. Feel free to nominate your own winners for the categories in the comments. Help other readers find some awesome anime from 2019 to watch.

Best Sci-Fi Anime of 2019

Narrowing down the options for this category was harder than I thought. In the end as long as there was some kind of futurisitc or technological lean to the premise and setting I decided to count it under the sci-fi banner rather than worrying too much about whether any of the science was sound. On that note, my nominations:

Gun2b

No Guns Life

And the winner is…

Advertisements
Astra7h

Astra Lost In Space

Of course it was Astra. While this one minimises the science jargon and focuses more on the adventure of being in space, far from home, it manages to tell a complete story within its run time and builds up some very fun characters over the duration. Of course there’s the requisite space ships and the food analyser one of the kids fixes up so they don’t poison themselves as well as the threat of encountering a wormhole that will launch them back across the galaxy, but this is one case where the story took precedence over cramming in as much science-ish terminology as the writer could fit and it definitely paid off.

Astra7i

Honestly, Astra Lost in Space, or Kanata no Astra, is just plain fun to watch. Largely due to the interactions in the cast and the fact that they are planet hopping which means regular scene changes and quite distinct transitions throughout the series moving the story along. While the ending is a little bit too wrapped up nicely in a bow, given the number of non-anime endings out there, I’m not going to complain when a story gives me a solid resolution. Astra Lost In Space gets a solid recommendation from me and was my favourite sci-fi for the year.

There’s a lot to choose from and I know I didn’t watch all the sci-fi last year so I’m looking forward to hearing which sci-fi anime was your favourite?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Best Anime of 2019 – Drama Anime

Best Anime 2019

Drama, drama, drama… anime is definitely chock full of dramatic works with characters going through some incredibly life-altering situations. Sometimes they are a little more understated but they can leave such a profound impact on the viewer. 2019 was a mixed bag for drama anime and me as I ended up picking quite few that jumped headlong into being full-on melodrama, but I still found a nice crop of dramatic anime for the year.

Please note, the nominees and winning choice are entirely my own opinion and are not based on any rigid criteria. Feel free to nominate your own winners for the categories in the comments. Help other readers find some awesome anime from 2019 to watch.

Best Drama Anime of 2019

This category had me struggling to pick a winner largely because anime does drama in so many different ways. While these are my nominations, I’d love to know what anime drama caught your eye in 2019.

titan8e

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2

Gun5b

No Guns Life

And the winner is…

Advertisements
Run With The Wind Episode 16 The Team

Run With The Wind

Run With The Wind did start in 2018, but the dramatic conclusion occurred in Winter 2019 so I’m counting it. This was definitely a solid anime to start the year off with and one that managed to give each of the ten characters their own story arc and mostly give them enough time to develop and ultimately resolve in the final stretch of the story. Throw in the underdog sports team story and you have all the drama you could want, beautifully told and with beautiful visuals.

wind22g

I think I also really appreciate that Run With The Wind told its whole story in the space of its two cours. Sure you could do a sequel, a spin-off, or even a next generation thing but there’s no need. It was a lovely, self-contained story that really brought me into the lives of its characters and I loved it.

Okay, what was your favourite anime drama from 2019?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Best Anime of 2019 – Fighting Anime

Best Anime 2019

When I first started out with anime it seemed all anime were fighting anime (of course, all the ones that seemed to ever be accessible were). Now I realise how many anime have nothing to do with fighting so it makes finding a fighting anime that really grabs my attention feel even more special. That said, 2019 was a little bit hit and miss with some anime really bringing the action and others being just a little bit more lack lustre than expected.

Please note, the nominees and winning choice are entirely my own opinion and are not based on any rigid criteria. Feel free to nominate your own winners for the categories in the comments. Help other readers find some awesome anime from 2019 to watch.

Best Fighting Anime of 2019

I’m just going to say before I get to the nominees, there was always a clear winner in my mind. While the other anime I’ve nominated here had the potential to be quite good, they never quite got there (for me at least).

And the winner is…

Advertisements
demon16e

Demon Slayer

This one ended up being a pretty easy decision. Going into the year, I would have thought DanMachi Season 2 was going to claim this because season 1 gave me several of my favourite anime fights of all time. I love watching Bell in action. While season 2 gave us action it just wasn’t anywhere near the same scale or as interesting as season 1. One Punch Man season 2 likewise lacked impact and Alicization gave us some great fights but a story that drove me nuts and so much down time. As for Bungo Stray Dogs season 3, it was very nearly a surprise winner for this category as it actually did have some very cool moments, but it really couldn’t stand up to Demon Slayer if we are talking about cool action sequences.

Nezuko and Tanjiro - Demon Slayer

Even though I didn’t universally love Demon Slayer, one thing for sure was that once the confrontation with whatever new demon began, the anime really brought its A game to the table. The choreography, colour and fluid animation in these sequences is fantastic to watch and each fight is exciting and feels quite novel. Whether it is the early fights where Tanjiro is still kind of finding his way and is assisted at times by Nezuko or the later fights where we are joined by the usually annoying side characters who for whatever reason manage to look actually pretty cool while fighting, Demon Slayer definitely deserves to win this category.

demon7c

What fighting anime would you have nominated from 2019? What do you think should have won?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Best Anime of 2019 – Slice of Life Anime

Best Anime 2019

Slice of Life anime aren’t exactly one of my preferred genres and yet as I find myself getting a little bit older (I won’t suggest wiser) I am finding that calm and relaxing anime are definitely welcome in amongst some of the more plot driven fare I usually consume. 2019 gave me quite a few titles that I watched largely for that calm and stillness after a crazy day at work and so choosing my favourite from the year was definitely harder than I initially thought.

Please note, the nominees and winning choice are entirely my own opinion and are not based on any rigid criteria. Feel free to nominate your own winners for the categories in the comments. Help other readers find some awesome anime from 2019 to watch.

Best Slice of Life Anime of 2019

The nominees for Best Slice of Life Anime are:


liveAlive

Affiliate Link

Live a Live – RPG Game


And the winner is…

Senry Shoujo - Best slice of life anime from 2019

Senryu Shoujo

This was a hard decision between Senryu Shoujo and My Roommate is a Cat. Then again, My Roommate is a Cat already won for my favourite relaxing anime so maybe that influenced my view a bit. Anyway, Senryu Shoujo was perfectly adorable with the main character only communicating through writing poetry. There’s a bit of romance driving through the series but otherwise it really is just the daily lives of the two main characters as they go to school and get involved in school club activities.

senryu3c

There’s all the standards such as a beach episode, a test of courage, a trip to the amusement park and so on. Nothing overly earth shattering but with this cute cast it is very digestible. It was definitely my pick from the slice of life anime I attempted last year.

Okay, I know I’m not a slice of life guru, it isn’t a genre I actively seek out. So let’s get some recommendations from others. What was the best slice of life from 2019?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Best Anime of 2019 – Continuing or Rebooted Anime

Best Anime 2019

2019 saw a lot of series returning or continuing and for quite a number of these, having not finished prior seasons, or even started them, it meant I wasn’t able to watch the follow ups. That said, there were more than enough anime that I had watched getting follow up series or getting rebooted for me to look at which returning series was my favourite for 2019.

Please note, the nominees and winning choice are entirely my own opinion and are not based on any rigid criteria. Feel free to nominate your own winners for the categories in the comments. Help other readers find some awesome anime from 2019 to watch.

Best Continuing or Rebooted Anime of 2019

This was a genuinely hard choice as you don’t get 3 and 4 series into an anime that you aren’t genuinely attached to. That said, decisions needed to be made. Here are my nominees for best continuing or rebooted anime in 2019.



And the winner is…

titan10h

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2

This was an incredibly tight race between Attack on Titan and The Morose Mononokean. I’d love to say DanMachi was up there but season 2 just didn’t have the thrill factor of season 1. The Morose Mononokean on the other-hand did everything better in season 2 bringing us some fantastic episodes and great plot and character development. It still wasn’t enough to rival the powerhouse that was Attack on Titan as it returned with a hard focus on progressing its plot in season 3 part 2.

titan5e

This season of Titan gave us beautiful action, heart breaking decisions, characters who have finally grown up through their ordeals, and reveals…Oh so many reveals. It was kind of what viewers had been waiting for since season one ended really and it did it beautifully. This was the season that reignited my enthusiasm for Attack on Titan and now I’m definitely thinking I’ll be rewatching the whole series from start to finish once it is of course concluded.

Which continuing or rebooted series was your favourite from 2019? Be sure to share in the comments below.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Best Anime of 2019 – Isekai Anime of 2019

Best Anime 2019

I really quite enjoy stories where protagonists are whisked off to far off worlds to go on adventures. There were so many things that could be said about the isekai anime of 2019. However that doesn’t stop there from being some fun and entertaining entries into the isekai sub-genre and 2019 gave us a bumper crop of possibilities. Not all of them were good mind you, but there were more than enough anime to choose from.

Please note, the nominees and winning choice are entirely my own opinion and are not based on any rigid criteria. Feel free to nominate your own winners for the categories in the comments. Help other readers find some awesome anime from 2019 to watch.

Best Isekai Anime of 2019

Part of me would like to do the reverse in this category. Rather than looking at the best, look at those titles that just missed the point and despite fitting well within the genre were just terrible to watch. For me, Demon Lord Retry fits squarely in that list though it wouldn’t be alone for mis-fires in isekai during 2019. Fortunately, there were plenty of fun titles for those who like a bit of otherworldly fun. Therefore I narrowed down my nominees for the best isekai of 2019 to the following:



And the winner is…

Cautious7d

Cautious Hero

This was a very tight race in the end between Cautious Hero and Kenja no Mago, both of which I really just enjoyed. Neither was perfect of course, filled with the usual tropes and silliness of associated with the genre at this point, but they both gave decent characters and narrative. I’ll get on to why Cautious Hero won in a moment but let’s look at the others on the short list first.

Cautious5f

The Rising of the Shield Hero was an anime I’d actually read the source for prior to watching. Reading the source you can read quickly through the slower parts of the story but watching it in anime form you are kind of stuck with a lot of down time where it feels like they aren’t getting anywhere fast. I found the anime watchable but not overly noteworthy as a result.

Ascendance of a Bookworm took a long time to grow on me and the story isn’t finished yet though I will admit that I can see now why it was being defended early on by those who read the source. It does get better as it goes. Finally, Kemono Michi was a bit of silly fun each week but the jokes get repetitive and the characters can’t quite overcome that. Which brings us back to why Cautious Hero wins for me.

best isekai anime of 2019

I loved the protagonist, Seiya, from the start with his deadpan delivery of lines and his outright refusal to rush out and die. Instead he was all about careful and thorough preparation prior to battle. That gimmick carried the first half and while the middle episodes were a little less engaging, the ending of Cautious Hero more than made up for it.

I was very satisfied with the end of the season and that is a rarity in the isekai genre as so many of them rely on ongoing stories that usually never get fully made into anime leaving us with a ‘read the source’ conclusion.

Alright, from the dozens and dozens of possibilities, which isekai anime tickled your fancy in 2019 and why? I’d love to know and I’m sure anyone looking for a new isekai to watch would be interested as well.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Best Anime of 2019 – Relaxing Anime

Best Anime 2019

There are some anime that are better than a hot cup of chocolate for calming your nerves and just helping all that tension leave your shoulders. These are the best relaxing anime from 2019.

Please note, the nominees and winning choice are entirely my own opinion and are not based on any rigid criteria. Feel free to nominate your own winners for the categories in the comments. Help other readers find some awesome anime from 2019 to watch.

Best Relaxing Anime of 2019

While some of my nominees are pretty obvious, one or two don’t seem like the kind of show that should relax the viewer. However, what one person finds relaxing another might find akin to nails down a chalk-board so to each their own and I’d love you to share your favourite relaxing anime from 2019 in the comments. Meanwhile, my nominees for this category were:



And the winner is…

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 8 Subaru and Haru

My Roommate is a Cat

This is the perfect bliss out anime for anyone who has ever owned a cat. Meanwhile as I draft this my cat is busily taking over the footrest of my computer table because it has a direct line of cool air from the air-conditioner. Dare I put my toes there they will surely be swatted and you know, I could move her but she just looks too comfortable and cute.

Anyway, I loved watching My Roommate is a Cat last year. It may not have been the most exciting anime ever but it had heart, the characters were great and you really got to know them well by the end of the series, and Haru, the adorable Haru, totally stole the season.

My roommate is a cat - best relaxing anime from 2019

I think what all my nominations had in common was they were at their best when they just let the characters be rather than forcing drama into the story. There was a joy just from seeing the people interact. While I’m normally bored by shows that don’t get to a point, these were all good just because they were relaxing to watch.

What’s your relaxing anime of choice from 2019? Be sure to share.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Best Anime of 2019 – Dark Series

Best Anime 2019

Continuing on with my reflection on 2019. There were a number of shows last year that explored darker themes and tried to evoke an emotional response in the audience (that wasn’t laughter at the sheer corniness of it all). These dark series definitely appeal to a certain audience when done right so what was the best dark anime of 2019?

Please note, the nominees and winning choice are entirely my own opinion and are not based on any rigid criteria. Feel free to nominate your own winners for the categories in the comments. Help other readers find some awesome anime from 2019 to watch.

Best Dark Anime of 2019

Here’s the short list. Unlike romance, I had no trouble thinking of anime in 2019 that had decided to share a bit of despair with their audience, even if some did hide darker themes under jovial delivery. Whether they did so successfully was another story but here are my nominees.

Gun2b

No Guns Life

Beasts10e

To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts


liveAlive

Affiliate Link

Live a Live – RPG Game


And the winner is…

want a dark series from 2019?

To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts

Unlike best romance, this one was actually a pretty tough decision. Asuka was out because while it certainly had torture, pain and misery at its forefront, it abandoned the idea early on of actually dealing with PTSD in a serious manner and mostly just went for the shock factor. Still, if you like your anime bloody and don’t mind if the story is a mess, by all means check it out.

No Guns Life, despite some fairly complex themes and some really dark ideas, such as the kid having his vocal chords removed, continued to be fairly light and entertaining fare, never really dealing with the underlying darkness. The One’s Within was certainly intriguing but more curious than genuinely dark. Which left me to decide between The Promised Neverland and To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts which were both shows I really enjoyed in 2019.

Beasts8f

To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts won out in the end because to me, The Promised Neverland was more about overcoming the challenges to find hope even when there was little there. With Emma at the centre of the story, no matter how dark the situation got, there always seemed to be that little ray of hope plugging away at the problem. Whereas, To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts looks at life after war for a soldier, specifically soldiers who were transformed into literal beasts in order to win the war and then thrown aside because they were no long useful.

Beasts8c

While the story is imperfect and the pacing definitely a problem, in terms of exploring the darker side of human nature, To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts gave it a pretty good effort and it certainly left me feeling like it had dragged me through the emotional wringer. That’s why I ultimately decided that it was my best dark anime from 2019.

I’d love to know what titles you would have nominated from 2019 as the best dark anime of the year and what you think should have won. Be sure to share in the comments below.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James