2019 was a great year for anime, and we all watched a lot, laughing and crying together, and generally having lots of fun enjoying being anime fans. Since I watch so many series, so that I can write about them on this blog, I thought I’d give my 12 top anime series of 2019. If you missed some of these shows, I hope you’ll go back and check them out!
J-List Picks the 12 Top Anime Series of 2019
My Roommate is a Cat
While fans often complain about too many isekai, idol and harem shows taking over anime, I often don’t see them rushing to support bold new approaches to storytelling in anime. My Roommate is a Cat, aka Dokyonin ha Hiza, Tokidoki Atama no Ue, or My Roommate Sits In My Lap, Sometimes on my Head is the story of a man who loses his parents in a bus accident and pulls back from society. He picks up a stray cat, and the two help each other get to a better place, with each episode being told from both the human and cat perspectives. Read why it was one of my top anime series of 2019 here.
The Quintessential Quintuplets
A popular show about five quintuplets who are so smart, they can score 100 on a test…if their scores are all added up together. With great waifus and great voice actresses, it was a ton of fun to watch. Here’s my post about the show.
O Maidens in Your Savage Season
An outstanding show about five girls who begin obsessing about sex thanks to reading steamy scenes in classical literature. The journey each girl goes on as she tries to understand herself sexually is truly adorable to see. Read my post on it here.
Fruits Basket (2019)
The quintessential reverse harem, fans were thrilled when a high-quality remake of the classic 2001 anime series was announced…and proved to everything fans could have hoped for. I have a post about the show here.
A show you might have missed, Dororo is a total remake of a classic story by Tezuka Osamu from 50 years ago. It’s the story of Hyakkimaru, a samurai whose limbs and internal organs were sacrificed to demons by his evil father when he was a baby, and who must now travel around Japan, defeating the demons to reclaim his body parts and his humanity. The idea that such a classic series can be rebooted as a totally modern series five decades later means that anime stories really are eternal. Read my post on the series here.
The Promised Neverland
I write a lot about how anime, despite how enjoyable it is, is often not well-written, with opportunities to tell dramatic, well-structured stories with gloriously climactic endings constantly squandered by writers (*cough* Re:Creators *cough*). Happily there are extremely well-written anime out there, like this year’s The Promised Neverland, which had me on pins and needles the whole time. Read my post on the show here.
Domestic na Kanojo
One reason we like anime is that the genre is free to tell grown-up stories, like Domestic na Kanojo, the story of a boy who’s offered sex by a girl he’s just met because she’s curious to see what it’s like. After they do the deed, they learn that their parents are about to marry, making them siblings. Read my post on Domestic na Kanojo here.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
We’ve had more isekai series than we knew what to do with recently, but one show we all enjoyed was The Rising of the Shield Hero. It was so soothing to watch the adventures of Naofumi-sama, Raphtalia, and Filo every week. I have a post about the show here.
Bokuben: We Never Learn
One of the top anime series of 2019 was Bokuben: We Never Learn, the story of Nariyuki, a boy who must instruct three girls — science girl Rizu, literature whiz Furuhashi and sports-musume Uruka — if he wants to get a promised university scholarship. Although it’s a standard harem with all the expected fanservice, the high level of execution along with the charm of the characters makes this one of my top picks. And the final episode is coming soon! Here’s my first post about the show.
Otsukaresama ja! You worked hard today, would you like Senko-san to give you a massage using her feet?
Anime is Helpful Fox Senko-san. pic.twitter.com/kJYcRcHW5P
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) June 4, 2019
The Helpful Fox Senko-san
The anime that showed us what we were really missing in our lives was a supernatural fox girl to pamper us when we got home from work was Sewayaki Kitsune Senko-san, the story of a fox girl who comes to Earth to pamper an overworked salaryman named Kuroto. One of the best parts of the show was the POV scene after the ending credits in which “we” become the main character and Senko-san pampers us. Here’s my post on the snow.
One thing that makes anime special is how often it tells stories filled with strong emotions, like this scene, when Nezuko hugs Tamayo and rustles the hair of Yushiro, two kind demons who she treats as humans, replacing her slain family.
Anime is Kimetsu no Yaiba. pic.twitter.com/55FeBe9VeM
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) June 17, 2019
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Demon Slayer
One of the top anime series of 2019, Demon Slayer became an actual social phenomenon, with the manga selling out all across Japan and people starting to color their hair like the characters in the anime. A very high-quality story about a boy who must learn to kill demons so he can save his uber-cute sister, Nezuko. Read my post on the show here.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
A great anime that amused all of us, and inspired some of the most beloved anime memes in years. It’s the story of Miyuki and Kaguya, a boy and girl who are madly in love, but each is too prideful to be the first one to confess to the other. The way each episode unfolds, with each trying to set a trap to force the other to confess love first, is totally enjoyable. Read my overview of the show here.
Did you enjoy reading my list of the 12 top anime series of 2019? Did you disagree with any of my picks? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter!