When I can, I always try to make it a point to remind people of the aspects I look at when reviewing anime. At the top of my checklist are the quality of a series’ characters and its story. If a show is strong in those two areas, then to me, that is all that matters. Everything else is secondary, which includes animation.
Don’t get me wrong; I can’t tell you how many times I have been blown away by a series’ artwork. Since starting this site, I have seen countless examples of beautiful visuals, breathtaking colors, and phenomenal motion. However, animation has never been critical to me. I believe that even if one were to polish up a turd, they would still only be left with a shiny piece of poo.
That said, animation is anime’s thing (it’s kind of in the name). Therefore, the following entries are the series that shone like a beacon. Granted, that beacon may have led to something lackluster in the end. Nevertheless, these are the shows that screamed, “Look at me. Look at me.”
These are the top ten best animations of 2019.
10. Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo
To read my Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo review, please click HERE.
A show doesn’t need to have big action scenes, fantastical worlds, or unimaginable locations to be gorgeous. A series can be set in a place that mirrors our own with a story that tries to touch on real-life issues.
Without the need for high-speed thrills or edge of your seat tension, Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo was down to earth and visually beautiful.
9. Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
To read my Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 review, please click HERE.
I have had mixed reactions to this series. I wasn’t a fan of the first season, but the second managed to get me on board. Regardless, there have been two aspects to the Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san series that I have always been able to praise.
The first has been the titular Takagi, and the second has been this series’ animation. Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san knows how to use vivid colors. Everything about this show pops and is spectacularly vibrant. And keeping in form with the rest of this season, the art style of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 was even better than its predecessor.
8. A Certain Magical Index III
To read my A Certain Magical Index III review, please click HERE.
The A Certain Magical Index side of the Academy City series has been progressively going downhill. With a combination of an overly complicated story, an ever-growing list of characters, and no less than four primary plotlines to follow, the third installment of the Index franchise was a mess.
It was, however, very pretty to look at.
Sometimes I wonder: What would happen if the same amount of energy that went into making this series look epic went into it making sense? I imagine we would have had a genuine powerhouse on our hands.
7. Fire Force
Studio: David Production
To read my Fire Force review, please click HERE.
Give firefighters superpowers and make it look badass.
That is my guess at the thought process behind the making of this show. And if that was the case, mission accomplished.
I think most action series need to make a choice. Do the visuals stay realistic and practical, or is everything allowed to go bat-s@#$ insane. I know both paths can work, but it is clear Fire Force chose the latter and prospered because of it.
6. Mob Psycho 100 II
To read my Mob Psycho 100 II review, please click HERE.
While we are on the topic of going insane, Mob Psycho 100 II.
Picture a character with mental powers that are only limited by their imagination. If you don’t take that chance to go absolutely ridiculous, then you are wasting a golden opportunity.
In that respect, Mob Psycho 100 II wasted nothing and did so with spectacular flare.
5. Astra Lost in Space
To read my Astra Lost in Space review, please click HERE.
When the literal universe is at your disposal, there is no excuse to skimp on creativity. Astra Lost in Space was an intergalactic journey through many alien planets, the likes of which humanity has never seen before. And not counting this series’ great story and memorable characters, Astra Lost in Space succeeded in crafting living, breathing worlds.
Through its animation, this series brought us to the stars, and to all the dangers and wonders that come with that.
4. Dr. Stone
Studio: TMS Entertainment
To read my Dr. Stone review, please click HERE.
Can you tell a meaningful story filled with outstanding characters, tension, and growth while still retaining a healthy dose of comic book silliness? I won’t say that it’s easy, but Dr. Stone sure as hell made it look like it was.
Along with its dialogue and situational humor, this series was visually hilarious. When and where ever it could, Dr. Stone relied on its animation to say what needed to be said. And along away, this show crafted a style that was uniquely its own.
3. Demon Slayer
To read my Demon Slayer review, please click HERE.
If you go walking around Japan (and this is coming from experience), Demon Slayer‘s art style is already as recognizable as its other world-famous Shounen Jump contemporaries, Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One Piece.
This does not surprise me because something about this show’s visual style reminds me of something classic. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought this series was much more established and not an anime from 2019.
If this animation is any indication, though, then Demon Slayer is well on its way to reaching legendary status.
2. Fruits Basket 1st Season
Studio: TMS Entertainment
To read my Fruits Basket 1st Season review, please click HERE.
I fundamentally disagree with the idea that the original is always better. Just because something is newer, that doesn’t automatically make it inferior. Case in point: Fruits Basket 1st Season.
With almost twenty years between the first series and this reboot, the Fruits Basket story has never looked more amazing (a considerable accomplishment given that the original series still holds up visually).
The tale we all know is alive and well and much more beautiful here.
1. Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2
Studio: Wit Studio
To read my Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 review, please click HERE.
A lot riding on Final Season to be good.
The visuals of this series have only gotten better as the story has progressed. With each new installment needing to and successfully topping what came before it, this most recent entry achieved some incredibly insane levels of awesomeness.
Without a shred of doubt, Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 had the best animation from 2019.
Although it is not my priority, it never hurts for a series to have outstanding animation.
When a show is terrible, quality visuals can, at least, stop your eyes from suffering. And when a show is good, a stellar art style can make everything else that much better.
And these were the ten best examples of animation from 2019.
But, these have just been my thoughts. What are yours? What do you think are the ten best animations from 2019. Leave your list down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
And if you’ve liked what you have read, be sure to follow me on my social media sites so that you never miss a post or update. Also, please share this review across the internet to help add to the discussion.
I’m LofZOdyssey and come back tomorrow, Wednesday, February 19th, as the 2nd Annual LofZOdyssey Highlights continues with the Top Ten Best Characters.