The end of the year (and decade) is upon us, so the time has come for me to share the ten shows I enjoyed most in 2019.
Rather than arbitrarily rank each show, I shall just present ten shows that I enjoyed the most. That saves any hassle of choosing whether one show should be placed higher than another, though I will say that there is one anime in particular that easily tops everything I have watched this year – heck, the decade as well.
At the final count, I have watched 47 different anime shows this year. Here are my ten favourite, presented in alphabetical order. Narrowing them down to just ten was not easy.Before I get to my main list, though, I think I’ll take a moment to share my favourite short-form anime of 2019.
MYSTERIA Friends easily tops that specific list, with its focus on Anne and Grea, and the relationship the two princesses. It was a long old wait until we actually got this anime, but it was definitely worth it.
Other short-form anime worthy of being mentioned include Fight League: Gear Gadget Generators, Katana Maidens ~ Mini Toji, Are You Lost? and Null & Peta.
I suppose technically this has become a top eleven now, but whatever. The remaining shows on this list all have standard length episodes.
Aikatsu Friends! Shining Jewel
The second season of Aikatsu Friends! is a huge improvement over the first, and that no doubt comes down to the introduction of the new characters. From the very second she appears, Hibiki Tenshou steals the show. Alicia Charlotte is no slouch either, and this show is pretty much about these two separate lovers reuniting. Wakaba Harukaze’s introduction doesn’t leave as much as an impact, but she is still a welcome addition to the cast.
All right, I suppose I can squeeze in an honourable mention here, and that goes to Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure. I’ve always got time for Toei’s Pretty Cure series.
BanG Dream! 2nd SeasonOne recurring theme that you’ll be seeing throughout my top ten anime of 2019 is music. I love a good soundtrack, and BanG Dream! 2nd Season is an anime about bands. It has a vast, yet entertaining, cast of characters, and I was into its more dramatic moments as well.
Also, Kasumi Toyama sits right up there as one of my all-time favourite anime characters.
My honourable mention here is Bermuda Triangle ~ Colorful Pastorale, simply because Pastel * Palettes perform its opening theme. Also, it is quite an enjoyable slice of life show about mermaids that is worth a look.
Another music focused show that gets an honourable mention here is Carole & Tuesday. Perhaps it would have made the actual top ten if its second half was more focused on its music aspect, but that wasn’t to be.
Chidori RSCBeam rifle shooting may not be the most interesting sport to watch, but Chidori RSC still manages to be a really fun time. Mind you, it does make the sport fun to watch when it really matters, so…
An excellent cast of characters and a superb sense of humour easily make this one of the best Girls’ Club anime of 2019.
Another very strong contender for this list was Hitoribocchi no Marumaruseikatsu, so that show gets an honourable mention here.
The Demon Girl Next DoorI’ll admit that fairly early on into The Demon Girl Next Door I wasn’t too into it, but it won me over big time as the story continued. Yuko and Momo’s interactions are a delight to watch, and the supporting cast all have their moments to shine as well. Also helping its case is that ShamiMomo is a real treat for yuri fans.
The magical girl theme here makes for an easy honourable mention: Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka. This showed us magical girls operating in a military capacity, and was actually a fairly faithful adaptation of the manga.
ENDRO!I’ve always been into swords and sorcery, so ENDRO! ticks a lot of the right boxes for me. A group of cute girls in a fantasy setting and plenty of comedy thrown on top? That’s exactly what I love. There’s also something in there for yuri fans, making this show even better.
Fantasy settings are my connecting theme for my next honourable mention, which is Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!. An isekai light novel adaptation, which actually cut out a lot of the stuff I wasn’t so keen on in the light novel. Ultimately, that just made the anime more fun.
GRANBELMGRANBELM mixes the magical girl and mecha genres, and makes it work really well. The mecha designs are pretty unique, but they look amazing in action. Something worth noting about this show is that it is all animated in 2D: no CG here.
A stellar voice cast also contribute to what makes this show great, with notable performances from Yoko Hikasa and Aoi Yuuki. Throw in a compelling story, and GRANBELM is a brilliant experience.
I guess my honourable mentions here will be for a couple of shows with some nice yuri content: Million Arthur Season 2 and Z/X: Code Reunion. Same goes for Wasteful Days of High School Girls.
Kandagawa Jet GirlsIs Kandagawa Jet Girls effectively an advert for a game? Yeah. However, I’d argue that first and foremost, the anime is about the blossoming romance between Rin Namiki and Misa Aoi. Yes, the jet racing part of the anime is fun, but I feel more time is spent on Rin and Misa’s interactions. That’s a very good thing.
Of course, being an ecchi show, it won’t be for everyone, but I enjoyed the show a lot so it makes my list.
I’d make some honourable mentions for ecchi shows here, but I didn’t exactly watch that many this year. I guess Azur Lane had its moments, and Miru Tights – except episodes 7 & 10. Especially episode 11, though.
Re:Stage! Dream Days♪Yet another show with music at its core. Though what I particularly enjoyed about Re:Stage! Dream Days♪ was the relationships between the characters. The six main characters all split off nicely into three couples. There’s a lot of fun to be found here, and definitely worth a look for fans of idol anime.
I’ve more or less exhausted my honourable mentions now, so I’ll guess I’ll just move on.
Symphogear XVIf I was counting down from ten to one, then Symphogear XV would easily take my number one spot for 2019.
To me, Symphogear is quite simply the pinnacle of anime. There’s nothing out there that can beat it, and XV was such an incredible high note to go out on. The soundtrack, the action, the characters’ relationships, the characters themselves… everything about it is just so damn good.
I absolutely adore Symphogear.
This seems like a good spot to end, but I have one final entry because alphabetical order.
WATATEN!: an Angel Flew Down to Me!It has a concept that certainly won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but man did I find myself consistently entertained by WATATEN!: an Angel Flew Down to Me!. Probably one of the shows that made me laugh the most this year, and its school play episode was very impressive, too.
There’s actually a lot of charm to be found here, and it has its adorable moments, too.
That wraps my favourite anime of 2019. Doing a similar list for the decade is too much hassle, but I will state that Symphogear is easily my anime of the decade.
2020 is already looking to be a promising year of anime, so that’s something to look forward to.