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!

Once again I’m making my preview of a new anime season later than most, but I think I actually like it better this way.

Spending the first few weeks of a new anime season not watching anything new that is airing gives me more time. Time which can be spent watching older anime, making AMVs, reading or studying since university has started and all that…

It also kind of makes these posts easier to write – I’ve seen some tweets related to the new anime so those screenshots or bits of information can give me the extra push to maybe start an anime or in other cases, decide it would be better not to start something.

Fall 2019 has sounded exciting because of the great sequels it offers. But the offerings beside the sequels honestly seem to be dissapointing this season. But let’s get started with the good stuff first.

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld (MAL link)

Since the end of March and the sadness of the final Alicization episode, I’ve been dying to find out just what exactly has been going on in those final minutes of the episode. How are they gonna defend themselves? Is Asuna suddenly in the Underworld now? Is Kirito’s life in danger again?

Some of those questions have already been answered in the first 2 episodes of SAO Alicization Part 2. It reminds me so much of this time last year, when I was hugely hyped for Alicization Part 1. Not much has changed a year later, other than the name of this year’s SAO sequel.

Also the new ending sequence is incredible in every single possible way and I cannot express this enough. Take a look for it yourself.

My Hero Academia Season 4 (MAL link)

It’s been so long since My Hero Academia Season 3 that the anime I watched recently have changed the experience of watching MHA. I’ll now constantly think of Eren Yaeger when Shoto Todoroki is talking, same as Iride from Nakanohito Genome whenever Izuku speaks. And I know I’m probably the only person in the world who feels that way about the latter.

These aren’t even the only characters I started associating more with other anime, there is also Momo Yaoyorozu whose voice actress is also Armin Arlert, can you believe? I really need to make a separate post on this topic cause I too often find myself amazed with the range of Japanese voice actors.

But right, MHA Season 4? I guess it’s good to see the series back and it’s interesting to see how will the story move on now that All Might has retired.

Psycho-Pass 3 (MAL link)

Psycho-Pass brings me back to that Summer of 2017 when I first got into this whole anime thing. It was one of the very first anime I watched, hence why I’ve seen it dubbed. Which now reminds me – I’ve never actually seen Psycho-Pass subbed so Season 3 will be my first experience of the franchise in the subbed version.

I’m very much looking forward to it, and one hour for each episode will be an interesting change from the usual. Also, I hope Kougami will be back in some way, cause I remember I enjoyed his character the most.

Chihayafuru 3 (MAL link)

I’ve saved the best sequel for last. To say I’m looking forward to it would be an understatement. I don’t know how I managed to survive the 3 months since watching this for the first time and the start of the new season.

But I also don’t know how I’ll survive the weekly waiting for new episode(s) of Chihayafuru. When I watched it for the first time, my highest streak was 14 episodes in a day, with plans for more but I stopped myself in order to have a bit more left for the next days.

Chihayafuru gives me so many warm memories. I have no doubt a third season will be the same. Chihaya Ayase showed me what it truly means to be determined. I cannot wait to root for her again as she aims to become the next karuta queen. I cannot wait for more of Taichi’s analytical karuta, and Arata’s mastery. I cannot wait for more teamwork from the school club as well as seeing the characters from the other schools as well. There is so much from Chihayafuru that I cannot wait to experience again.

Just. Two. More. Days.

Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious (MAL link)

The first of the non-sequels for this season. Cautious Hero is definitely the non-sequel Fall 2019 anime I’ve seen the most about so far. From what I’ve gathered, it seems to give some Konosuba vibes, especially since the goddess is being deemed useless.

I may watch it for the goddess cause I do like her design. And the whole twist of the main character being too cautious does seem good. But it can also potentially get too repetitive, which I hope won’t be the case.

Africa no Salaryman (MAL link)

This could be another one of those anime that just look so bad that I may actually give it a go just to see how bad it can get. And PV aside, “animals living beyond the savanna and the food chain”? It does kinda sound interesting…

Ascendance of a bookworm (MAL link)

I’m not sure about this one. The premise seems a bit different than your usual isekai, with the MC not being tasked to save the world. She simply has her own goal that she wants to achieve. It’s kinda interesting.

But there seems to be some negative feedback so far, especially worries about its pacing, which is a crucial element that I’m less likely to forgive.

Afterschool Dice Club (MAL link)

Cute girls playing board games. With people calling it a good match with Hitoribocchi, Yuru Camp, and even Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho. When someone calls an anime a good match with the latter, I more often than not end up watching it, since Sora Yori is one of my all time favorites.

I don’t expect such highs here, but if Afterschool Dice Club has some elements of the three mentioned anime that I all enjoyed, why not give it a go?

Beastars (MAL link)

More animal characters. A decent PV, albeit with a lot of CG. A good score for a new anime. Genres Slice of Life and Psychological. All of this kind of makes me interested although I’m not yet sure if I’ll actually really watch this.

Babylon (MAL link)

I love me a good mystery anime and this could have potential. Although by the synopsis it sounds like this would be better off with more than just 12 episodes. But maybe that’s just me.