Best Anime 2019 (Sunday Sevens)

The Otaku Author Best Anime 2019

Everyone has opinions about all sorts of things. Well, these are my seven favourite anime seasons from 2019. Why seven? Well, that’s just another opinion…

Best Anime 2019

I was about to say that I am bringing my Sunday Sevens lists series of posts back with the last one posted in March 2019, but then I have just relaunched the entire site and there is nothing before December 17… So, welcome to a brand new series of posts where I put together lists of seven things in anime. I’ve also decided to start with a fairly easy one… These are my seven favourite seasons that aired in 2019.

7. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Season One)

Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba Episode 19 Tanjiro Goes For The Killer Blow

When this series started, I was certain that it would end up much higher on my list. So, what went wrong? Unlike any of the shows that I’m ranking above it, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba had several episodes that I absolutely hated. I am, of course, referring to the introduction of Zenitsu and Inosuke and the absurd events at the Wisteria House. It was staggering to see this series that had been so dark and still managed to balance the comedic elements so well throw it all away.

The manga readers will no doubt be quick to defend Zenitsu, but a character screaming in a book compared to an anime is a very different thing. It should have been softened for the anime, not made even more over the top and annoying. Had that been the case, this series would have been so much more entertaining. It still made it to number seven on my list, but I can’t help but think it underperformed and deserved better.

6. The Rising of the Shield Hero (Season One)

The Rising Of The Shield Hero Episode 2 Naofumi Comforts Raphtalia

This series certainly managed to garner the attention of the wrong crowd. Much like Goblin Slayer! people were outraged by The Rising of the Shield Hero, and much like with Goblin Slayer! this outrage was unwarranted. One thing that tells me if a series is working is whether I feel what the characters are feeling. Seeing Naofumi being framed and thrown into the gutter made me pretty angry. The lack of fairness really got to me and then when he had a duel with the cheating Spear Hero, I almost activated my own Rage Shield.

I thought that The Rising of the Shield Hero was excellent and delved into some really cool ideas, such as the inept heroes causing more trouble than they solved because they were treating it like a game. I loved the idea of rival heroes trying to save their own world coming into conflict with the heroes of this world. There were some issues but on the whole, I loved it.

5. The Promised Neverland (Season One)

The Promised Neverland’s first episode was mind-blowing. It showed us an almost perfect existence for these happy orphans in an almost idyllic setting. Everything seemed too perfect and that puts you on edge from the off, but even that shouldn’t prepare you for the big reveal at the end of the episode. Some would argue that the reveal was too soon, but I think that is what set the series up. From that point on, we knew the stakes and were invested in seeing these children find a way to escape.

The suspense and tension in The Promised Neverland never gave up and it left us with some truly incredible characters and wonderful moments. The final episode was a delight that managed to give us some closure but still set up future events. Often a series will leave too much hanging, but that wasn’t the case here.

4. Fruits Basket (Season One)

Fruits Basket Episode 22 Saki accepts Tohru and Arisa's friendship

I hadn’t planned on watching Fruits Basket. I hadn’t seen the original and knew next to nothing about it, other than its name. Then someone on Twitter suggested that I should watch it and I am really glad that I did. It’s not my normal type of show, but that’s one of the great things about watching seasonal anime. I find myself watching shows that I wouldn’t have considered and often find myself enjoying them as much if not more.

This series has an insanely large cast of characters, but it didn’t matter who was involved it managed to maintain the same emotional impact. In short, this was a masterclass in character development and that’s pretty much all the first season was. It raised more and more questions which just leaves me even more excited for season two.

3. How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? (Season One)

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 12 Hibiki and Akemi's Friendship

This series was the surprise of the year for me. I covered it for on an episodic basis and it was the only show that I would watch the second it aired. Hibiki’s journey was outstanding and the comedy just left me floored every time. I’ve worked at a gym and spent plenty of time training so a lot of the jokes really resonated with me. There are people like Machio who almost look normal at first, but once they’ve taken off their shirt they seem to explode with muscles.

The other delightful thing with this series was the attitude that it presented towards exercise and diet. Sure, not everything it said was current best practices, but there wasn’t anything that would do you harm. I loved how it focused on Hibiki developing a group of like-minded friends and learning about herself and the world of exercise. This series is seriously motivating too. I just can’t give it enough praise.

2. Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious (Season One)

Cautious Hero Episode 3 Seiya pours Holy Water on Ristarte

After the fairly poor showing of Isekai anime in the summer schedule, I was a little cautious coming into this series. Well, I needn’t have been, but Seiya would have been proud at least. This series started off with a fairly simple joke and took it to the nth degree. For the most, it was funny and definitely worked with my dry sense of humour. The best thing about this show, however, was the relationship between Ristarte and Seiya.

There were times that Ristarte loved Seiya and was in awe of him, but there were other times when she couldn’t stand him and reviled him. The whole time she was flip-flopping around, Seiya remained the same cool, calm, and collected person. There was obviously more going on with him, but he kept it buried, much like his true stats. I don’t want too say much here, but the last couple of episodes were outstanding.

1. Dr. Stone (Season One)

Dr Stone Episode 18 Senku and Kohaku Shocked

If you’ve read any of my Dr. Stone reviews, you’ll have seen this coming. This series was an absolute joy to watch and cover. It really managed to continuously better itself, with each episode building on the last. Sure, it started a little slow and the original characters didn’t quite mesh, but once Senku arrived at the village and met Chrome and Kohaku, things just came to life. The science elements were outstanding and continued to keep things interesting, but it was the reactions of the people around Senku that really caught you off guard.

Seeing Suika see her friends for the first time when Senku made glasses or Riri recovering from an illness that was sure to kill her without antibiotics made this show special. Even the tournament to become village chief was a knockout! Surprisingly, however, it was the flashback to Senku’s father that really stole the show. I don’t know how they did it, but to make us care so much about them so quickly was incredible, especially given that we know who it’s going to end. This is a must-watch series and with season two already on its way, there is no time to waste.

There were many more series that I enjoyed, but I’ve chosen my top seven from 2019 and I’m sticking with it. With my recent relaunch of this blog, many of the reviews for this shows aren’t available yet, but I will update the links as and when I repost them.

Obviously, these are just my opinions and I didn’t watch everything that was released. So, would you agree or disagree with my selections? Which were your favourite shows from 2019? Thanks, again for reading.

Other posts in the series

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    • It’s really good. The tone and atmosphere are outstanding. If possible, try to avoid everything about it before watching.

  1. I can’t really quibble with anything on this list!

    Love the sound of Sunday Sevens, too! Distinctive and memorable.

    I wanted to like Rise of the Shield Hero more than I did, but I did enjoy it. Raphtalia’s one of the most sympathetic characters I’ve seen in years. Naofumi went through some solid character development, which is always fun. And Mirelia Melromarc? Might be my favorite Queen from a fantasy series.

    Funny story related to series: I made a comment about Malty and her lies, and I used the word “trigger” in the DSM-IV sense. I had more than one negative comment back. One took the cake, though. I got called an “entitled Millennial.”

    I had graduated high school before any of that generation was even born!

    Silly assumptions…

    Thanks for including the screen shot with Saki from Fruits Basket.

    • Haha, you entitled millennial…

      Yeah, there were undoubtedly some really annoying moments in Shield Hero like them all having a chat while the Pope powered up and the Filovial Queen blaming Naofumi for his relationship with the other heroes, but there was also some amazing moments and it knew just how to tap into the various emotions.

      Fruits Basket was another of those shows with so many incredible moments, but that one was special.

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