Time to continue my little anime look back on 2019. This time I’ll rank my favorite opening sequences. The concept remains the same, I’ll pick 3 of my favorite openings from each season, and then I’ll rank the 12 picks in a final top list. Only this time I’ll skip the part where I’ll separate the list into sequels and non-sequels because honestly in the context of anime openings it doesn’t really matter too much if its a sequel or non-sequel…

Winter 2019

The Rising of the Shield Hero Opening 2

Shield Hero may have missed out on a spot in my top 12 anime of the year, but the same is not the case when it comes to anime openings. Both of the openings from this series would be a great pick, but I’ll limit myself to picking just one opening from a single series. This second one takes the first spot because of the feel of the song as well as the context of the anime… At the point when this opening was first shown, the characters from the series have started to realize they were wrong about Naofumi, and suddenly there was this increasing need for the four heroes to finally start working together. Basically this opening was like an indication that things could finally start getting a bit better.

The Rising of the Shield Hero first impressions.

The Promised Neverland Opening

This opening song is incredible, catchy and memorable. It works so well to increase the hype levels, especially when Ray, Emma and Norman gather their hands on top of each other, with Emma’s confident facial expression. Just that scene alone made me so excited to see what is their plan to escape, even if literally the next few seconds after that moment actually serve as a good way to foreshadow what happened. Another thing is something that could just be a coincidence, but around the 20 second mark, when the title of the anime is shown, Norman is the only one crossed by the line, and his head is perfectly aligned with the Japanese letter “no”, and guess what, his name starts with “no”. You could even think of it as them telling you that “no”, he won’t be among those who escape. Ok I’m probably looking too much into the whole “no” thing but in terms of Norman’s body being crossed by the line… I could see that being a nice little deliberate touch.

The Promised Neverland first impressions from January.

Episode 10 thoughts.

Manga Volume 5 review.

Mob Psycho II Opening

It was hard not to pick Kaguya’s opening or even the Boogiepop opening, but Mob Psycho II takes the final spot here. I just couldn’t ignore the cool visuals from this opening, which is basically entirely filled with those. My favorite moment is probably around the 43 second mark, with the Body Improvement Club in action. I also love how the sequence ends with the message “Your life is your own” written out. It doesn’t seem to be a common thing to write out the song lyrics in an anime opening, and I’m very welcome of the idea.

Spring 2019

Fruits Basket Opening 2

If you read my post from a few months ago, 7 more openings and endings that make you feel everything will be alright, you may recall that Fruits Basket’s second opening was on that list. Allow me to be a bit lazy and just quote myself from that post, because I don’t have much to add to my previous words on this sequence.

This makes me smile all the way through every single time. To put it simply, everything from the song and the visuals just makes me so happy. I love the umbrella theme and the different designs each character has. I love going through the sequence and seeing each character being introduced.

I also love how it ends with Tohru running towards all of the characters and then all of them throwing their umbrella in the air. To say I don’t mimic some kind of an umbrella throwing move every time at the end would be a lie.

Except a comment about the colors. Pink background around the 56 second mark. Each character is represented well with the color of their umbrella. Brief checkboard segments with pastel colors. So much things to love about this sequence.

First impressions from April.

Saki Hanajima analysis.

Fruits Basket AMV.

Saki Hanajima AMV.

Shingeki no Kyojin Opening 5

You couldn’t really get a bigger contrast between the themes of this anime and the previously mentioned Fruits Basket. And yet they both have the same thing I will comment on: colors.

There is a notable colder tone of the colors in this sequence. The transitions (through the first part) have a gradient of the colors that are “splashed” on the screen. I love this because it works so well with the mood of the song at that part of the sequence. This song is like a mashup of the previous Linked Horizon openings and endings and I can’t deny I’ve had a period of playing this opening non-stop. The way the song picks up and runs towards the end is incredible – and all those flashing scenes before a final cut to the basement with those guitar notes… What a way to hype the basement reveal.

Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO

The reason this opening is here is simple – the way the song picks up around the 50 second mark. The series itself had potential at the time travel part of the story, but it wasn’t without its issues. And with the emphasis on fanservice, it’s understandable why Yu-No kinda fell off the radar.

YU-NO first impressions.

Summer 2019

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo Opening

This is another opening from 2019 that was included in that post I mentioned. (7 more openings and endings that make you feel everything will be alright). Can I cheat once more and just quote myself?

There is a hint of melancholy in this song as well as a feeling of empowerment and liberty. I also love the way that instrumental part at the beginning was used, with the characters reading out lines as they would in their school literature club. That same instrumental is, by the way, how do I describe it, heavenly. Full of lovely visuals as well, there is so many things to love about this opening sequence.

It reminds me of that time when I went on a multi-day solo trip and I smiled in the bus with this song playing. This song also got me to check out other songs by the artist, CHICO with Honeyworks, and let me tell you, they have some lovely music. And music videos, not the least the one for this particular song. It’s actually a part of an ongoing story told through their music videos and I really love that concept.

My very own Araburu Kisetsu AMV using the Araburu Kisetsu opening song.

Dr. Stone Opening 2

How do I put it. This song feels like the embodiment of rising from the ashes, or building everything from zero. Which, guess what, Dr. Stone very much is all about. It’s motivating and empowering. There are cute visuals of Kohaku and Ruri around the 30 second mark. I love how they added the scene from the 1 minute 22 second mark. And I don’t really know what else to add, I just really love this sequence.

Fire Force Opening 1

Back in the time when I still watched Fire Force every week. Not that I dropped it, but I still haven’t seen its new opening sequence, that’s how behind I am on it. As for this particular opening, I don’t really have much to say, other that it’s just a great song.

Maki Oze AMV.

Fall 2019

Boku no Hero Academia 4 Opening

In my top anime of 2019 post, BNHA suffered from my “3 from each season” system. Without that, I think it would find itself on my list. But in terms of openings it managed to avoid this problem. It’s a really good song, fitting for the mood of the season. I especially love the scenes from around the 1 minute 8 second mark, with Deku trying to catch Eri during the dusk. I’m still not the biggest fan of that scream at the end though.

Hoshiai no Sora Opening

Since the last time I wrote about Stars Align, the final episode aired and we found out the anime was actually supposed to be 2-cour if it wasn’t for some really unusual circumstances. It’s really a pity, because this anime had amazing potential and I really wanted to see the rest of the story for these characters. Maybe one day, hopefully, I guess.

During the last episode, they abruptly stopped the opening around half-way through. At first I thought it was to indicate that things are about to go bad in the story, but now when I know the situation in terms of the anime, I think it could be a way to symbolize the situation. It makes sense – an abruptly cut opening for an abruptly cut anime…

Why is this opening one of my picks though? It’s just a nice calming and kinda motivating song. I also love how they played with the colors and the silhouettes.

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Opening

Always expect great songs from SAO. Alicization WoU did not disappoint in that respect. Haruka Tomatsu, the voice of Asuna, fittingly sings the opening song. I just really enjoy her singing voice. In terms of the visuals from this opening, I especially like Asuna reaching out around the 12 second mark, the old SAO crew joining in around the 46 second mark, and the whole mood at the end, with Alice walking towards the red sky.

SAO Alicization WoU AMV.

My top 12 anime openings of 2019

And so it’s time to rank those 12 picks. Before that though, the best season for anime openings in 2019? This is probably another title that goes to Summer. Although this is a bit trickier because a few of those openings have actually been first shown during a different season than the anime started in. For example, Fruits Basket’s second opening was first shown during the Summer season instead of Spring when it first started airing. Would this then be a point for Summer? I’m not really sure, but just looking at the three picks from each season, Summer takes the win.

One last thing: Happy New Year (and decade) to everyone reading this! This is my 80th post, 57th in 2019. That would mean I did almost 5 posts on average every month. It doesn’t say the full story on my consistency ofcourse, and in the recent months it’s been less than at the start of the year (sorry) but it’s still a decent number in my book. I hope I could bring you something of value through these 57 posts in 2019!

And now, the ranking!

Top 12 anime openings of 2019

12. Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO OP

11. The Rising of the Shield Hero OP 2

10. Hoshiai no Sora OP

9. Mob Psycho II OP

8. Boku no Hero Academia 4 OP

7. Sword Art Online: Alicization – WoU OP

6. Fire Force OP

5. Attack on Titan OP 5

4. Dr. Stone OP 2

3. The Promised Neverland OP

2. Fruits Basket OP 2

1. Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo OP

Happy holidays to everyone reading this! It’s time for my take on the best anime of 2019. This will be a top list, but not in your usual countdown way. I’m gonna make things a bit easier for myself… Maybe?

First I’m going to decide on my top 3 anime from each of the four seasons. These three picks from each season won’t be in any particular order. Then I’ll take all my picks, which should be 12 in total, and try to arrange them into a top list. After that I’ll make separate lists for sequels and non-sequels. Those separate lists could have any length, depending on how many of each I’ve actually included in the “final” top 12 list.

Winter 2019

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen

The first pick for Winter 2019 will be Kaguya-sama! There was never any doubt about picking this one. Kaguya-sama provided us with a lot of fun, cuteness, sweet moments and emotional moments. I can’t imagine season 2 being much different.

Breakdown of the ending sequence.

Mob Psycho II

The first of the sequels. I haven’t actually watched this while it aired, since I only started Mob Psycho in the summer, but for sure this deserves to be among the top 12 best anime of the year. The high point was probably Reigen’s arc and ofcourse, I can’t go without a mention of the beautiful animation this anime had.

The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland is another easy pick. Every episode was intriguing watching these children come up with a way to escape their situation. It got me interested to the point where I’ve bought (almost) all the existing English manga releases and pre-ordered the upcoming one! I’m looking forward to watching season 2 from the perspective of a manga reader.

First impressions from January.

Episode 10 thoughts.

Manga Volume 5 review.

Spring 2019

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket impacted me in ways that perhaps only one other anime I’ll mention in this post can compare to. I don’t know how it managed to do it, but it gave me a hard “try not to cry” challenge as early as episode 5, and already in episode 7 I gave in to the tears. I’m making it sound like it’s an anime with the only purpose to make you cry, but it’s so much more than that. There is an emotional backstory and development for pretty much all of the characters. There is a big emphasis on accepting yourself. The OST is incredible. Fruits Basket is one of the anime that made my year and I’m so grateful we have the opportunity to see the entire story adapted.

First impressions from April.

Saki Hanajima analysis.

Fruits Basket AMV.

Saki Hanajima AMV.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2

Similarly to Mob Psycho II, I haven’t actually watched this while it aired, but in the summer instead. Attack on Titan hasn’t gotten me hooked since the very start, but once it did, it was really hard to stop. Afterall, season 2 did become the first season of anything that I watched entirely in a single day. Once I reached the basement reveal, it took me a bit of time to really gather everything I binge-watched and realize what all this means. But when I decided to catch up on all the manga chapters, I realized just how incredible Attack on Titan is. It’s another instance where I’ll be watching the new season as a manga reader and it’s gonna be great.

One Punch Man Season 2

This could be considered controversial but… One Punch Season 2 was fine? I’m writing this as an anime only, and it’s another series that I haven’t seen at the time of airing but in the summer instead. So I actually jumped into season 2 directly after season 1 and I still think it’s… fine? Sure, absolutely the production was better in season 1 but scrolling the communities and seeing season 2 described as “horrible”, “nightmare”, “worst thing ever” and what not, just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe I’m just easily pleased. Maybe people’s expectations for this were just too high thanks to season 1… But I honestly had a good time watching season 2 of One Punch Man. To me, this is an example of how overly mean the community can be if something goes slightly against their expectations. I’m not saying it’s a 10/10 season, but come on, it could had been so much worse.

Summer 2019

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo

Araburu Kisetsu handles the topics of sexuality and young love. It’s unusual in how it directly deals with “that thing” aka sex. I mean, it involves a girl who spends the entirety of the series trying to get her professor to do things with her in that context. It’s a story about five girls so that automatically means I’d be interested. And huge bonus points for lesbian representation.

Araburu Kisetsu AMV.

Dr. Stone

Not only has Dr. Stone been highly entertaining with loads of funny moments, it also delivered with the “feels” moments. I did not expect to be crying when Suika first got her “glasses” or when Senkuu first turned on a lamp, but I did, and I can only praise the anime for that. Dr. Stone made me more appreciative of technology and just how far humanity has gone with science. I could call this anime one of my most positive surprises of the year.

Kanata no Astra

Speaking of positive surprises, how about Kanata no Astra? There seemed to be so much care put into this anime, with two 48-minute episodes and a cool usage of aspect ratios. The story kept on delivering, with new twists pretty much every episode. I was never really certain what is going to happen next. The characters grew to be such a likeable bunch as well. I was really happy to see their happy ending.

Fall 2019

Chihayafuru 3

This is the “other” anime I mentioned while talking about Fruits Basket. I watched the first two seasons in the summer, and it left me with this huge motivational boost. I saw a bit of myself in Chihaya’s extreme determination to reach her (niche) goals, to the point where she is kinda oblivious of other things. But other than my love for her character, it turns out karuta is actually fascinating, and the other characters are made in a way that you can’t help but want them to do well. Every match has its own way of tension, its own story, every character has their own reasons to do well and their own reasons they are pursuing karuta. Chihayafuru is simply one of those anime that manage to do everything right for me. Every episode I find myself smiling and it’s not just because of the funny moments, of which there is plenty.

Hoshiai no Sora

What drew me to this anime is the open-mindedness. The way they handled a non-binary character is phenomenal. It’s so important to have such characters in a time when they are still a rarity. Other than that, Hoshiai no Sora deals deeply with family issues. Ofcourse, it’s also a sports anime and the matches are enjoyable. I’m just kind of worried with how they are going to wrap things up in a single episode, unless a new season is planned, which I’d be more than happy to watch.

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld

Asuna finally dives into the Underworld! I’ve been patiently waiting for that moment for 6 weeks, since she first agreed to enter in episode 3 and then finally appeared in the Underworld in episode 9. Those 6 weeks were filled with some great battles however, especially when we first saw Integrity knight Scheta in action. Now when Asuna is inside, all the other side characters from earlier seasons are about to join, and I’m mostly hyped for the comeback of Sinon. Altho that will probably have to wait for the next cour after a full season’s break…

SAO Alicization WoU AMV.

My top 12 anime of 2019

And now it’s time for the long-awaited, most anticipated moment of 2019.

tfwanime’s top anime of 2019!

But before I rank the 12 picks, I’m gonna try and decide which season of anime was the best this year. Roughly looking through just the picks I made in this post, it would be Summer or even Fall. Although in my Fall preview I wrote that other than the sequels, it’s a disappointing season, anime like Hoshiai no Sora, Beastars, or even Shinchou Yuusha and Houkago Saikoro Club changed my mind. It’s really close between Summer and Fall, but ultimately, I think Summer 2019 would be slightly ahead.

The reason is that in the summer, there was a point when at the same time, I had weekly episodes of anime like Fruits Basket, Araburu Kisetsu, Dr. Stone, Kanata no Astra, Fire Force (when I still had interest for it), Machikado Mazoku, Nakanohito Genome. Most of them were at the end of the week, so if I couldn’t watch them one by one, I’d watch four of these anime on a Saturday. It was just a great bunch going on at the same time and I was sad when it couldn’t continue that way. That’s why, Summer 2019 takes the win.

And so, with the best season decided, it’s time for the ranking(s).

Top 12 anime of 2019

12. Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo

11. One Punch Man 2

10. Hoshiai no Sora

9. Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld

8. Kaguya-sama: Love is War

7. Mob Psycho II

6. Kanata no Astra

5. The Promised Neverland

4. Dr. Stone

3. Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2

2. Chihayafuru 3

1. Fruits Basket

Top sequels of 2019

5. One Punch Man 2

4. Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld

3. Mob Psycho II

2. Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2

1. Chihayafuru 3

Top non-sequels of 2019

7. Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo

6. Hoshiai no Sora

5. Kaguya-sama: Love is War

4. Kanata no Astra

3. The Promised Neverland

2. Dr. Stone

1. Fruits Basket

Feel free to let me know how you feel about my picks in the comments!

It’s fall. Temperatures have started falling, night is arriving much earlier. For some people it may be a sad time, but personally I’m feeling extra positive energy simply because the weather is this way. Just another thing to make me weird I guess.

No matter how you feel about autumn though, everyone could use something to make them feel better from time to time. And for me, what often quickly does the trick are anime openings and endings.

Maybe you can remember that towards the start of my blogging career I made a post listing 7 openings and endings that make you feel everything will be alright. If this is your first time hearing about that post, you can take a look at it here.

Consider this a sequel to that post. Now allow me to start improving your mood (hopefully) with some anime openings and endings.

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome domo yo Opening (CHiCO with Honeyworks – Otome domo yo)

Opening of the season? Forget about that. This, along with the next entry on this list is surely my favorite opening of the year. I could listen to it many times on repeat and not get tired of it at all.

There is a hint of melancholy in this song as well as a feeling of empowerment and liberty. I also love the way that instrumental part at the beginning was used, with the characters reading out lines as they would in their school literature club. That same instrumental is, by the way, how do I describe it, heavenly. Full of lovely visuals as well, there is so many things to love about this opening sequence.

Fruits Basket 2019 Opening 2 (ai otsuka – Chime)

This makes me smile all the way through every single time. To put it simply, everything from the song and the visuals just makes me so happy. I love the umbrella theme and the different designs each character has. I love going through the sequence and seeing each character being introduced. And I know it’s such a simple and basic thing, ofcourse an opening sequence would be introducing the characters, right? But in this case there is something more special to it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that giving each of your characters an unique umbrella is a great way to introduce your characters in a sequence…

I also love how it ends with Tohru running towards all of the characters and then all of them throwing their umbrella in the air. To say I don’t mimic some kind of an umbrella throwing move every time at the end would be a lie.

Girlish Number Opening (Bloom)

There is so much cuteness and overall good vibes in this opening. And I really love how they played with the visuals. By that I mean the color schemes and “abstract” backgrounds. And the way the camera zooms in towards the diomedea logo – for some reason it’s so satisfying.

This opening gives me those fall/autumn feels. It’s mainly because I watched it in Fall 2017, but Fall 2016 is the season it actually aired in, so it really is a “Fall” anime. And every time the characters form that star with their fingers, I get reminded of that one time I used that exact screencap for a school art project. Good memories.

Hanasaku Iroha Ending 1 (Sphere – Hazy)

This ending song works so well on a roadtrip. It’s very gentle and soothing. Imagine being on a trip listening to this song and watching the sun come out.

Relax because things will work out. Relax and enjoy the journey. These are the vibes that I’m getting from this song.

(Hanasaku Iroha review)

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Ending (halca – Sentimental Crisis)

I already made a specific post about this particular ending sequence, but in summary; it’s cute, it’s dreamy, and it gets the “making you feel everything will be alright” job done.

What’s dreamy here isn’t necessarily the song, it’s the visuals and the whole story of the ending sequence. We are invited into Kaguya’s sweet dreams which involve activities with the student council members.

This is another song with a hint of melancholy, but it becomes warm and sweet by the end. Or should I say, kawaii?

Sakura Quest Opening 2 ((k)now_name – Lupinus)

Motivating lyrics. Even if you don’t know Japanese, you will understand words like “yes go ahead, let’s try again, so find a way only live once”. Upbeat music. Sympathetic ways of introducing the characters. These are the main things I love about this opening sequence.

I even made an AMV on this song recently, only to have it manually taken off YouTube cause of copyright…

Hyouka Ending 2 (Kimi ni Matsuwaru Mystery)

I know that after the recent tragic events many people may not see this as an ending sequence that would “make you feel everything will be alright”. But I still really wanted to mention this ending.

There is so much charm to it and it’s instantly memorable with its unique visual style. I don’t think detectives searching for criminals has ever looked cuter.

Thank you Kyoani ♥️

By the way…

…today is basically this blog’s birthday. Yes, I’ve actually been doing this for a year now. From starting with this to overall 75 posts. It’s been an exciting journey with many trials and errors. I don’t really know how well any of it worked but I do know I’m proud of myself for starting all this and continuing with it. All of this has definitely made me grow, and I’m looking forward to more of that.

And ofcourse, I want to give my warmest thank you to anyone who ever clicked on any of my content. I hope you could take at least something good out of it.

Thank you for sticking with me. I’ll keep trying my best to produce something of value, whether if its in written or video form.

Yeah I had to take a picture that includes Saki

Hello there! Long time no see, or… read. Hope you’re enjoying your summer so far! For me it’s been okay I guess. The exams haven’t all gone perfectly well, meaning I’ll have to try again this fall in Season 2 of “suffering with university exams”. But at least one thing is certain – whatever happens, I won’t be repeating this year of university.

To not go into too many details here, I now have a period where I can put my mind off these things. And I’m using this time to improve my video editing skills, as I really want to pursue that area, especially motion graphics. This also led me to do a lot of thinking on the future of this blog. But for the very near future, things are likely to stay the same.

One last thing before getting into the actual thing this post is about, check out my new video. It’s kind of the result of those attempts to improve my video editing skills. I’m proud of the way this looks.

Sooo, the actual post. Summer 2019 season of anime. I’m checking out this anime season more than 2 weeks later than I usually would. It’s because of being busy with other things but also because I simply couldn’t stop watching Chihayafuru. Now when I finished it, can we just jump onto the Fall 2019 season already now so I can watch season 3?

No?

I guess I have no other choice then but to go through the stuff I’m most likely to watch in this Summer 2019 anime season.

Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? (MAL link)

An anime about working out sure sounds like an unusual concept to me. And I would like to check it out, especially since it has cute girls too. Also, in a Croatian anime group (yes, those actually exist), I’ve seen a screenshot from this anime where they actually mentioned Croatia. A reference to my own (terrible) country in an anime? I’m curious!

Kanata no Astra (MAL link)

What mainly got me interested in this was the PV. I love the intense vibe it has given me. I don’t really have much experience with space anime, but I hope it won’t end up as regrettable as the last anime I watched that involved space and teens… (Darling in the Franxx).

Dr. Stone (MAL link)

I’m not gonna lie, the main reason I’m gonna check this out is the hype surrounding it in the community. But watching how the characters will restore a world full of statues does sound interesting.

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo (MAL link)

The PV for this did look kind of promising but I wasn’t sure if I actually wanted to watch it. Until I saw it being compared to Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho. That’s how easy I am. Just write that it’s a good match with one of my all time favorite anime and chances are I will watch it.

Enen no Shouboutai (MAL link)

It certainly helps that this anime already has a good looking waifu circulating around anime twitter. But it doesn’t seem like that will be the only good thing about this anime. Firefighters fighting against more things than just fire…

Nakanohito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] (MAL link)

This is likely going to be… trash xD. But the pink haired character looks cute. And that strange llama character reminded me of the giraffe from Revue Starlight. Not that these are even good reasons to start an anime, but who knows, it may be an enjoyable watch.

Machikado Mazoku (MAL link)

This is simply… so cute that I can’t help but watch it. Also reading the synopsis, I kind of got reminded of Gabriel Dropout, which is a good thing.

And these would be my picks for Summer 2019! Am I missing out on something great? Please let me know your thoughts and what you are watching! I’ve seen many people say this is one of the best seasons in a while, and I hope that proves to be the case!