This has been a weird week. I’ve been cooped up at home with a nasty, fatiguing cold I can’t seem to shake, one of my “bands” just put out our massive new album, and as I type this, “World War III” has been trending for about 24 hours and I’m sure we won’t hear the last of that soon. But I’m here today to say farewell to something else: 2019. More specifically, the anime it had to offer us. Last year brought the decade to a fair enough close; there wasn’t a ton of close competition for the top spots on this list (especially because my beloved My Hero Academia and Chihayafuru won’t wrap up their current seasons until this spring and are thus ineligible this time around), but I still feel satisfied with the best of the best that we got.
If this ain’t your first rodeo here, you know how this goes. If you are new, here’s how I do this: I’m gonna briefly and remorselessly oversimplify my thoughts on each of the 30-something shows I dropped early from 2019 followed by expanding a bit more on the 30 or so shows (and movies) that I saw to completion. All those entries are clustered in tiers (this year named after quotes from one of my band’s most iconic tracks) until the top 10, which get their own special individual treatment where I do my best to sell you, casual watcher, diehard, or anywhere in between, on my favorites. Sound good enough? Rad. Let’s get crackin’. Here’s my all-in-one reflection on anime in 2019.
Alright, 2018’s done, my big ol’ annual music writeup’s been published, and now all that’s left on my plate is rebooting this place. First of all, thank you so much for your patience throughout For Great Justice’s hiatus the last several months. It should operate at normal capacity again starting this month, with the three usual seasonal coverage articles as well as Weekly Rundowns over on my Twitter.
Our little hiatus from covering anime didn’t extend to me taking a break from actually watching it, however! In addition to a handful of movies, I completed 31 seasonal series and dropped 38, making good on my resolution to be abit more selective about what I do with my time this year.
The dedicated otaku among you are bound to be familiar with most or all of these titles already, but the goal of this list isn’t just to recap what I loved this year. I’m also aiming to give people who don’t follow seasonal anime often or at all an idea of what they might enjoy from 2018 regardless of whether or not I did. Still, I’m gonna be pretty blunt about what I personally thought of these shows, so if you loved something I couldn’t stand or vice versa, do not view any of what follows as a personal attack. These are just my quick, oversimplified takeaways.
As usual, this will be done in tiers until the Top 10, which all get their own dedicated entries. We’ll start with the worst of the dropped titles then gradually move up to the completed, more positive ones. Sound good to y’all? I’m ready. I’m more than ready. Welcome to my 2018 in anime!
So here’s the thing. Usually, my posts on here are directed towards people who already know what I’m talking about, those self-proclaimed “otaku” and anime junkies who keep up to date with the latest productions and headlines and just want to hear my opinions on them, no walkthrough necessary.
But writing with them in mind limits my audience, and for this 2016 recap, I want to be a little more inclusive. This article is for hardcore fans and anime newbies alike; those in the know can compare their year in anime to mine, while the casual watcher will be given an overview of everything I’ve seen from 2016 – one that, if I’m successful enough with this, will hopefully act as a guide to what I thought was and wasn’t worth watching.
I managed to finish just over 30 shows this year and give a shot to just shy of another 30 more. At a minimum, everything I watched at least one episode of has a name-drop below. Only the top 10 are properly ranked; the rest are categorized in groups sorted by how far I got through them (early drops, late drops, or completed/up to date), as well as what kind of impression they left on me. This will be a bit lengthy, so let’s just get right into it, starting at the very bottom with the immediately-dropped abominations and ending with the cream of the crop.