There’s no point in me making a top anime of 2019 list because you’d know what five anime would be on if you read my best of the decade list. Yeah you probably wouldn’t know the order aside from Carole and Tuesday being first, but who honestly gives a shit about that? So I figured, why not just highlight everything else I saw this year that I didn’t find “best of the decade” worthy? After all, I still watched a lot of anime in 2019 during my break from blogging that year, and it’d be a shame to just let my free time go to waste without wasting even more free time talking about that shit.
If anything, making a list like this at this point in time actually allows for very accurate opinions, because I can make judgments without being influenced by recency bias and mob mentality. So let’s go through everything I would have added to my MAL list if I still gave a fuck about that site. There’s only going to be series on here, as I’d rather save the movies and whatever OVAs that actually standout for their own separate post. Also, I’m not including Babylon because it didn’t finish in 2019. And if I didn’t watch the show (hi there Beastars), it’s obviously not getting on either.
If there’s one thing I can credit Psycho-Pass 3 for, it’s that it has the right idea for a continuation of this franchise, especially compared to the other sequels. It’s just that it doesn’t have enough ideas. Having an all-new cast of characters with arcs that are actually interesting and only using the old cast sparingly was a good start. Now how about exploring the setting beyond “oh yeah, illegal immigration is a thing here”? Was that too much to ask? Or do I have to make the creators watch The Mandalorian in order to showcase how a new story in an established setting should be done?
The Promised Neverland
You know, the more time passes, the more I forget this show even exists. I do remember the plot and the important characters when asked about them, but I wouldn’t have any reason to think about The Promised Neverland if I didn’t see other people pushing it as one of the gems of the year. I don’t remember it being scary. I don’t remember the animation being special. All I recall thinking is that if you’re aiming to make your anime tense, using mind-game shonen tropes is just going to make you look ridiculous.
The Fall season of 2019 pretty much had no seasonal waifus in it due to Pokemon Sword and Shield taking away all of the attention around that time, so literally the only thing people meme about Cautious Hero is how it’s joyful fun until the eleventh episode when everything suddenly takes a turn for the tragic. Considering my brain had checked out long before I got to that point, I couldn’t tell you why what happened to the main male protagonist was heart-wrenching. All I can say instead is “goddamn this anime was an unfunny waste of time”.
Lots of people didn’t like this sequel. Not really sure why. Apparently it’s because the series got too ridiculous for them, but when has Kakegurui been anything more than campy fanservice and fun? Shut your brain off. Laugh at the ridiculous attempts at cheating the characters go through in order to win. And get hard at the memetic faces and sexual poses that basically scream “Meme me, weebs!”.
Astra: Lost in Space
I’m guessing this is one of those cult shows that’s mostly praised by a certain subsection of anime fans in the same vein as Humanity Has Declined and Maria: The Virgin Witch. I’ve seen some dislike for this show because it’s a shonen series and yet the story is supposed to be about survival in space, which apparently elitists think are two genres that shouldn’t mix. Personally, I think it mixes very well, especially when it comes to deconstructing the character archetypes and delivering emotional plot twists. I just think the actual overarching story tying everything together is atrocious. All that effort to kill these kids because of some half-baked immortality scheme that rightfully got cancelled because of how stupid it was on paper.
Bungo Stray Dogs S3
Bungo Stray Dogs has got to be one of the most forgettable popular anime Bones has ever produced. Every time I watch a season, I forget everything that happens in it. So much for chatting with the girls who cosplay these pretty boys at conventions. I’m going to have to ask if they’ve seen Ouran Host Club the next time I run into them.
It’s funny how Doctor Stone has managed to win the heart of so many people with its anime adaptation considering the animation is bad, the voice acting is bad, and the pacing is quite bad. Of course, complaining about bad pacing in a Shonen Jump series is like saying super robot shows are repetitive, so instead I’m just going to say that despite its issues, Senku really managed to carry this anime into something quite enjoyable, and the finale where his voice acting got ten times better managed to be decently emotional. Still think Tsubasa is an annoying waste of space, but I suppose there are worse forms of conflict out there.
The Quintessential Quintuplets
You know, for something belonging to the harem genre, this series was actually surprisingly interesting in spite of the poor animation and different hair colors fucking up certain scenes. For one thing, it actually has a story that’s being worked towards underneath all of the romantic comedy shenanigans. Second, the main guy actually has to put in effort to get the girls to like him, and is smart enough about his situation to avoid anything too stupid. Third, it’s just very genuine about being a harem romantic comedy, right down to revealing that there will be one chosen girl in the end, but which identical girl was chosen is a mystery to keep the audience intrigued. Although I’ve recently learned that a girl has been chosen in the manga, so I’m doing my best to stay away from that heat.
I was kind of interested in this show just to see if the Re: Zero team could pull off an anime without the backing of popular source material and the results were a resounding “no”. Yeah it looks pretty, but when you base your kitchen-sink style of storytelling on vague religious themes and personal drama that only gets a few seconds of screentime, it’s hard to care about anything that’s going on. One thing I really wish Madoka copycats would get through their heads is that the characters in Madoka were never the strongest, and giving them mechs rather than magical girl powers doesn’t suddenly make their internal issues any less boring.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
Personally, I only watch this show for the memes, so I don’t really care that the bad guys are still forgettable, the fights are still incredibly drawn-out to the point of stupidity, and the animation is still not the best. It’s really interesting to hear mixed opinions regarding whether this is one of the better or one of the worst parts of the Jojo franchise. I personally thought this has the best cast of main characters, although Diavolo can suck a dick because he’s about as interesting as Jump Force DLC.
Mo Dao Zu Shi 2
Got to love how many people insist that this is actually anime even though it’s made in China and from what I’ve gathered has almost nothing to do with Japan aside from the original novel belonging to the BL genre. But whatever, fans. We’ll play it your way for a bit and include this on here. Although honestly, I struggle to say much about Mo Dao Zu Shi’s second season (and its first season for that matter) because I don’t really see it as much more than a serviceable time-waster. It’s very well-animated and rich in Chinese culture, but I struggle to connect with this series’ epic feel because I don’t really see a lot in Wei Wuxian as a character. And when the second season basically trades in focus on his character in favor of more action, that’s basically the creators telling me to turn my brain off and enjoy some Mandarin ghosts.
Can there be a law against anime to stop being meta? Because it wasn’t funny back when Excel Saga did it, and it’s not funny now. Having a main character try to get girls by playing up the harem protagonist role when in reality he’s a giant creep is kinda funny at first, but when you repeatedly have him point things out like he’s an incel who takes fiction way too seriously and things go right for him anyways, all I get are mixed messages.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
This show has a bit of an identity crisis regarding whether it wants to be a genuine romantic comedy or a meme anime. It’s basically a combination of Death Note, tsundere romance, and Spy v. Spy, which leads to a lot of skits of the main characters trying to make the other party confess in the usual mind-game shonen mindset. But then it actually wants to make you care about said characters getting together, and I can’t really support that, because it’s clear from their actions that they’re about as ready for a relationship as someone who swipes “interested” for every single girl on Tinder. God, can you imagine if the cast of this show actually used dating apps? Kaguya would probably try to shut down the companies who make them after five minutes of usage.
Space Battleship Yamato 2202
I forgot to put this on the worst list when I initially wrote it up, but by the time I remembered this series’ existence, I realized I didn’t even care enough about this new Yamato remake to bother editing it in. And to be fair, this new series does start off decently; but it becomes clear a few episodes in that the creators of this reboot didn’t have any idea where to go after 2199 neatly wrapped up all of the characters’ arcs, so they decided to fill in the runtime by talking me to death. Goddamn Xebec. You had something good in your hands and then you just threw your reputation back to the irrelevance bin where you get to hang out with your old buddies Deen, J.C. Staff, and asread.
I’m not familiar with the yaoi genre, but I have to say, if Given is representative of the better part of it, then it is one of the most boring genres of anime I have ever seen. You only really learn about the characters’ personal baggage near the end of the show, and rest of it is agonizingly dull fooling around regarding whether or not a certain character is going to join the band and whether or not they can actually play. I’ve seen more exciting gay vibes on Kids on the Slope and Sound Euphonium. And you know what happened in both shows? They actually played their goddamn instruments!
Rising of the Shield Hero
Oh no. False rape accusation. How horrible. Hey, can we complain about the horrible CG dinosaur? Or maybe how the show wears out its hook fairly quickly with the new hooks it introduces not being all that engaging? Or maybe talk about how we never learn the real reason why shield heroes are despised so much? No? We’re just going to rag on this anime being for incels over and over again? Jesus Christ, no wonder I can’t find any good anime critics out there anymore. I think Goblin Slayer caused a huge reduction in IQ and now I’m one of the few people left who can analyze why an anime doesn’t work on a big picture scale.
It’s sad when a show’s ambitions gets wrecked by troubled production. Not that I was necessarily bored by Karakuri Circus, but it really should have been a lot better than it ended up being. When Demon Slayer’s relatively simplistic shonen story stands out more than your grand shonen story involving space shuttles, killer puppets, world tours, and villains who were willing to help the protagonist when their pride was on the line, that’s when you know your adaptation got fucked over.
One Punch Man S2
It’s funny that people just noticed how little Saitama actually shows up in One Punch Man because to me, this series has always been more about the characters surrounding the dude since Saitama himself is an overpowered joke with no room to grow. Beyond that, it’s clear that this show’s production hurt the story it was trying to tell, but after seeing the tragedy that is Seven Deadly Sins’ latest season, I’m willing to give this show a pity hug. Plus, Garo was cool.
Boy we sure love our meme shows, don’t we? That’s literally the only reason I can think of regarding why people are looking forward to more Isekai Quartet, as this show had practically no funny jokes to go along with these different series interacting with each other. At least Kaguya-sama had some cool visual tricks and the Chika dance to make it stand out. Isekai Quartet is basically the voice actors role-playing with each other while they wait for a new season.
To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts
It’s no wonder this show quickly became buried into the realm of obscurity because it was so “fine” in everything it did that it ended up not standing out in any way, shape, or form. For a post-war story about soldiers turning into mythological creatures and slowly becoming insane in the process, you’d think we get some much more interesting psychology than “I’m a Siren who’s destined to die”. I wasn’t expecting a classic from this, but I was kinda hoping for an underrated gem, and sadly this, and everything else on here for the record, did not deliver.
We Never Learn
After Nisekoi surprised the fandom by being the most unsurprising thing in existence, there was an opening for a new cliched Shonen Jump harem series to reign supreme, hence We Never Learn. Dear lord, I’ve seen hentai doujins with less contrived situations than the ones these characters get into. And at least when you use a six-digit number, you get to see some actual fucking in it instead of the main character not recognizing a female character’s voice because she changed her hair and put some makeup on.
Boogiepop Phantom and Others
Do you guys remember when Boogiepop Phantom used to be relevant in the early 00s? You probably don’t because this new series had less viewers than the new Cats film. And for good reason: it was incredibly boring due to its obsession with shifting from a bunch of different perspectives in order to tell its story and not a single perspective was interesting. Also, for an anime directed by Shingo Natsume, the visuals looked kind of bleh.
Fruits Basket (2019)
I’m not up to date with what shoujo anime are like now due to how few of them actually get well-received anime adaptations. And sadly, Fruits Basket’s remake did not manage to draw enough attention to be considered anything more than a cult classic. Not that the show itself was helping in that regard. Dated humor. Drama that never lasts more than a single episode and barely affects the overall plot. Tohru is nice and all, but she really needs some more interesting friends.
How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift?
I guess if you wanted to make your edutainment interesting, showing off some equal-opportunity fanservice is a choice to support in the future. Despite the paper-thin plot eventually wearing down my patience, the show actually does teach you the right way to exercise in fine detail and I have been keeping the advice in mind when using weights at the gym. Remember, weebs can be muscular too. How else can they cosplay manly shirtless characters like General Armstrong and Inosuke?
Food Wars S4
When most of the conversation surrounding an anime is how they fear the final season as if they current one doesn’t even matter, that’s when you know your series has become irrelevant. After a strong start, Food Wars continues its journey into increasingly forgotten mediocrity with its decreasing animation quality, repetitive formula, and stilted fanservice scenes. I don’t think Sherlock has fallen as far with its fourth outing as this show has.
Run With The Wind
I was wondering why this anime didn’t get much attention despite being a massive critical darling from those who’ve seen it. And after watching a few episodes, I fully understand why a lot of people don’t give Run With the Wind much of a chance. Basically, it’s one of those shows with too many characters fighting for screentime to the point that we don’t learn enough about any of the cast to ground ourselves into them. And when the character overload eventually settles down, the enjoyment comes more from a collective experience of good things rather than a few great things that are built on. It’s kind of like how Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the number one anime on MAL, not necessarily because it’s a lot of people’s all-time favorite, but because so many people like it.
Similar to isekai, shonen series have to do a lot to stand out in a very crowded market. So what exactly does Fire Force do to stand out from the crowd?
Well it has Shaft-like visuals and overall great art.
That’s a good start. What else does it have?
It has a setting where people burst into flames and become monsters.
Um, that’s more just putting a fresh coat of paint over other similar stories, but hey it’s not like I’m asking for originality from the genre.
The characters are every shonen stereotype known to man without any attempt to make them stand out from the crowd other than their designs and fanservice.
You’re kidding right? You’re telling me Shinra, Maki, or whomever have nothing that makes them go beyond their templates?
Well Shinra is fighting to save his younger brother, who people thought was dead, but actually got turned into an evil demon lord.
Potentially interesting, just like how Demon Slayer has the brother-sister bond between Tanjiro and Nezuko. How much do we see of that plot thread?
Maybe like four episodes max?
So what’s filling in the screentime until then?
Vague religious nonsense from a bunch of cartoonish bad guys who want to incinerate the Earth because of some vague holy being they want to revive.
Okay, ripping off Evangelion is far from fucking new. Stop it!
Hero Mask S2/Revisions/7 Seeds/Cannon Busters
These Netflix-original anime sure come and go, don’t they? I watch them, get incredibly bored, finish them anyways, and immediately forget what happened after they end to the point that they don’t even deserve to be put in a worst list. Granted, I didn’t watch the ones that people actually enjoyed like Kengan Ashura and whatnot. But those who say Netflix is doing good things for the anime world obviously have selective blindness like what people had for the noitamina slot back when it was actually relevant.
Also, no I didn’t watch Evangelion on there. I still have the fucking Platinum DVDs within arm’s reach if I’m ever in the mood.
Senki Zenshou Symphogear XV