2018 was a pretty nice year for anime, with a few outstanding shows and several good ones too. However, it is now time to jump into 2019, with the Winter anime season having started just a few days ago.
As such, I wanted to discuss some of the shows I am most looking forward to this year, starting with those from the Winter season. Do note that this list is in no particular order, I just listed them by their air dates. I used my favorite anime chart website, LiveChart, as a reference in making this list. I only included shows that were listed for a 2019 release.
Boogiepop and Others
This first one comes from the current Winter season. In fact, it actually started airing a few days ago. I watched the Boogiepop Phantom anime a while back, but was not the biggest fan. I have since learned that this new Boogiepop anime is adapting the novels instead of going non-canon like the older anime, so I am hoping for a more interesting story this time around.
However, what really has me excited is the team working on this new adaptation. Not only is the animation being done by Madhouse, but the director and series composer are the same guys that did the recent One-Punch Man and ACCA-13 anime, both of which I enjoyed. What makes it even better is that the music is being done Kensuke Ushio, one of my all-time favorite composers. With such a team working on the adaptation, it is kinda hard not to have high expectations.
I am really interested in seeing how this one plays out. The anime is based on a manga by Osamu Tezuka, the “god of manga” who also penned classics like Astro Boy, Hi no Tori, and Black Jack. In the manga, the series takes a more carefree and goofy tone, whereas the PVs depict it as a much more serious story. Although I do like the original manga, I am definitely interested in seeing how the studio handles a modern adaptation, especially given the experience of its director, who has done quite a few notable works in the past.
The Promised Neverland
If I had to pick just one anime I was looking forward to the most this year, it would have to be The Promised Neverland. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I have been this hyped for a new anime. I have been reading the manga since the day it came out and it has been quite the ride thus far and definitely one of the best Jump manga to have come out in the past several years.
I am a huge fan of mystery manga and anime, and the fact that this one has heavy psychological elements just makes it that much better. There is only a few more days until the first episode finally releases, so here’s hoping that it lives up to the quality of the manga! As long as it just adapts the first arc in the given 12 episodes, it should be fine.
The Quintessential Quintuplets
Here is another series for which I just caught up with the source material for. This time it is a romantic comedy about quintuplets and their tutor. The catch being that right at the beginning of the series it is revealed that the protagonist will marry one of the quintuplets, we just do not know which one. I am normally bored by romantic comedy manga like this, but this one was actually pretty entertaining. It definitely helps that the characters are actually interesting on their own and not just some tool to be used by the plot.
As the manga is still ongoing, the anime will likely cut off at the end of some arc, but even so, I look forward to seeing this one animated.
Date A Live III
You can trash my taste all you want for this one, but I have always liked the Date A Live series, so I am super excited to see it continue in this third season. Hopefully it is more like the first season rather than the second, as there was quite the decline there, especially with the animation quality. The movie was at least decent, but the first season was definitely my favorite. J.C. Staff is a respectable studio, so I trust that they will handle this adaptation well.
This new witch character does look interesting, but hopefully we get to see more of Kurumi as well. The PV skips over her completely, so I hope that the anime does not do the same.
I am actually more interested in seeing the viewer reactions to this anime rather than the anime itself. I have been reading the manga for four years now and let’s just say that the author is really, really good at writing characters that the reader ends up completely hating. Without spoiling, I have a specific part in mind where a previously good character suddenly does something completely out-of-character, only to then be forgiven and the action forgotten. It is moments like this that make me wonder if the author is trying to write a coherent, realistic story, or is just throwing stuff down on paper for fun.
Regardless of the intent, I am definitely looking forward to seeing how this one plays out — it is easily one of the most absurd love dramas I have ever read.
Full disclosure here, I never actually read the synopsis for this one. I am actually going to keep it that way so that I go into it completely blind. The director’s other works are apparently best experienced this way, although I have only seen one of his works, Yuri Kuma Arashi.
Even without knowing the director, I am definitely interested in seeing how the anime makes use of this unique visual style. From the PV, it actually looks like it could work, but I imagine that complex movement may not look that good. We shall see when the show comes out this upcoming Spring season.
Again we have another Jump anime adaptation for which I am caught up with the manga. This time it is for Dr. Stone, an apocalyptic sci-fi story about a genius that wakes up several millennia after all of humanity was turned to stone. Using the power of science, our main character plans to completely rebuild all of modern civilization.
The plot setup is really ambitious, but it has definitely been a fun read so far. I only hope that the anime can maintain a similar art style to that of the manga, whose art is done by Boichi, the same guy that did Sun-Ken Rock.
Fruits Basket (2019)
It has been a long time since I watched the original Fruits Basket, but I will never forget how much I enjoyed it. I actually used to wake up at 4 AM before school just to watch a couple episodes of it before I left. It was both incredibly calming and funny at the same time and definitely one of the better shoujo anime I have seen. In fact, I have the original English dubbed opening stuck in my head as I write this.
As such, I was really excited to see a remake announcement, especially one that covers the entire manga. I have actually not read the manga yet, but the wave of nostalgia that this announcement brought me was definitely the push I needed to start.
Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Gaiden
I am very conflicted on this one. On one hand, I loved Madoka Magica and am excited to see another series based on it, even if it is a spin-off. On the other though, this spin-off is based on a mobile game, and good adaptations of mobile games are rare. I really want this new anime to be good, but I am setting my expectations low considering its source material. Maybe it will surprise me, but we shall see when it comes out later this year.
- How Clumsy You Are, Miss Ueno: Manga for this one is fun, hoping for an equally fun anime.
- The Rising of the Shield Hero: Two-cour + hour-long first episode has me excited for where this one’s going to go.
- Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue: Comfy manga with a cool protagonist and cat, hopefully the anime is good too!
- Star☆Twinkle Precure: Did not finish Hugtto! Precure so looking for a fresh start with the new one.
- Isekai Quartet: The crossover I never knew I wanted.
- Kimetsu no Yaiba: ufotable being the animation studio is all I need to know.
- YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World: I remember hearing good things about the VN this is based on and it has been a while since we have had a good VN adaptation…
- Ace of Diamond: Act II: Loved the original anime, will probably love the sequel.
- A Certain Scientific Railgun 3rd Season: Liked season 1, loved season 2, hopefully season 3 keeps up the trend.
- Vinland Saga: Have only heard good things about the manga, interested to see what all of the hype is about!
2019 is definitely looking good for anime and we have only just started, there are likely to be more announcements throughout the year, so I imagine this list will be pretty obsolete by then. For now though, these are the shows I am most hyped for.