Since 2019 is finally coming to an end, it’s time to take a look at the top five shows for this year since I only completed 14 titles this year. We will also take a look briefly at the top ten shows of the decade. As always, this list is subjective.
Top 5 Anime of 2019
1. Machikado Mazoku
While this year, we only received only one Manga Time Kirara adaptation, I have to admit that this is the most enjoyable slice of comedy of this year. Sure, our lovable demon girl, Shamiko has a strong desire to defeat a magical girl. However, she falls in love with one, Chiyoda Momo after being saved by a truck. That pairing got stronger as Shamiko learns that Momo’s older sister saved her by changing the curse while helping her parents out.
The characters are really enjoyable, especially Momo and Shamiko. Also, Shamiko’s little sister, Ryoko is a precious cinnamon bun. I like how Momo cares about Shamiko that she is willing to train her and even help her, even if Shamiko gets screwed out of what she wants or get piled with tons of debt. Since the Blu-ray releases sold really well, hopefully we will see a sequel at some point in the future.
2. Hitoribocchi no Marumaruseikatsu
Hitoribocchi no Marumaruseikatsu is a very entertaining slice of life story focusing on Bocchi trying to become friends with everyone. Sure, Bocchi is very shy and thought that she couldn’t do it, but she made progress.
She made friends with Nako, who looks tough, but actually kind and supportive of Bocchi. Not only that, I find the antics with Nako calling Aru unfortunate quite hilarious even though she causes it on herself in some instances. Also, Sotoka is a nice addition who is amazed by Bocchi’s hiding skills and believing that she is a ninja. Hopefully if they decide to make a sequel, hopefully Bocchi will try her best to make even more friends than the first year.
Endro is a very funny take on a fantasy adventure story with the cliches you see in every Japanese role-playing game. While the Yulia and her friends are skilled, they are also really ditzy, which leads them into crazy situations that turn out well in the end.
I do find the cast really enjoyable in their own way. I can’t get enough of Mei’s obsession over Cartado Cards. Not only that, Mei has the same voice as Chino’s. Also, there is various times where Fai bites Seria’s ear when she is hungry, which I find funny. Also, there is Yulia’s endless desire to become the hero who somehow manages to succeed despite being easily distracted. Of course, there is Princess Rona who develops a huge crush on Yulia. She even decides to change the law to make same sex relationships legal. That way, she can make her romantic relationship with Yulia possible.
Lastly, you can’t forget about Mao, who tries to derail Yulia’s and her friends attempt to stop them from facing the demon lord. The funny thing is, Mao just wants a normal life without the demon lord duties. I like how one of her teachers become smitten towards Mao because of how cute she is. Either way, this show is obviously packed with yuri moments besides the comedy, which makes this a very enjoyable story.
4. Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!
Although there is an age gap pairing with Miyako becoming lock-struck towards Hana, it’s a lot less creepy compared to UzaMaid. While Miyako sometimes gets into trouble because of her extreme shyness, which is probably worse than Bocchi’s, she is still a kind lady. Not only that, Hinata’s classmates look up to her. Still, Miyako still has her younger sister, Hinata, whose love towards her is massive.
As expected, the characters are really enjoyable, especially Hinata and Noa. They make a nice pairing, which is not too surprising since Hinata complimented her on her cuteness. Not only that, I find Noa pretending to be Miyako and spoiling Hinata with sweets quite funny and cute. Also, you can’t forget about their movie date as well.
Lastly, there is also enjoyable pairing with Kayori and Kanon. Although Kayori is not as dependable compared to Kanon, they spend a lot of time together with some moments where they can be seen as a true pairing. Pretty much to the likes of Maya and Megu from Gochuumon.
Granbelm is an interesting show with a blend of magical girls using mecha to fight. Sure, the show look like a battle royal type of competition, but it developed into something else. While Mangetsu appears to be the main character at first, there is a plot twist. Ernesta is actually the main heroine and that Mangetsu is created as a companion to help her achieve her goals. Sure, Anna got somewhat annoying with her endless hatred towards Ernesta and her destructive behavior, it’s for a good reason.
I have to admit that the developments are interesting. Also, the production looks great as well. While the ending was an interesting one and bittersweet, I have some hope that she will meet reborn Mangetsu again. Also, you can’t forget the Kibou and Nene pairing as well!
Honorable Mentions: Re:Stage Dream Days, Manaria Friends, Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?, Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta you ne!
Top 10 Anime of the 2010s
1. Hibike! Euphonium
Despite the tragedy that struck Kyoto Animation in July, we should remember them by the great anime productions they have done. To me, Hibike! Euphonium is probably the one of the best-looking productions in terms of animation and music. While I haven’t watched the movies yet, it’s nice to see the struggles and the challenges the band faces on their road to nationals. Believe me, this stuff is relatable since I was part of the high school concert band as an elective and participated in band competitions.
2. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Madoka Magica is probably one of the most influential magical girls show in the decade since it shook up the magical girl genre by deconstructing it. The magical girl genre is usually a coming of age story with some bad-ass adorable girls beating up monsters or villains with magical powers. Madoka Magica turn it into something dark where girls make wishes that they end up regretting in the end along with the harsh realities. Yes, it’s magical girls who are in despair losing all consciousness and turning into witches. It also focuses on other concepts such as hope, despair, entropy and psychological issues.
While the franchise eventually had three movies, one in which being a sequel, it had an influence on magical genre as a whole. Yes, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku imitates this, but being a bit edgier and of course bringing in the whole battle royal thing. Even so, it seems that the franchise is going strong as a spinoff, Magia Record airs pretty soon.
3.Yagate Kimi ni Naru
In the 2010s especially in the second half, there is finally more yuri genre shows coming out. 2018 was packed with them with Citrus, Kase-san, and Yagate Kimi ni Naru. The latter in particular was the best show in my opinion last year. I liked how the relationship between Yuu and Touko develops. While Yuu doesn’t know how to show feelings of love, she allows Touko to love her back.
While Touko is conflicted with herself and wanting to be like her older sister, it becomes apparent that Yuu prefers Touko’s true self. But overall, I liked how their relationship develops given Touko’s issues and Yuu’s inability to love, until she starts discovering that feeling towards the end, which she contains. The nice animation also helps with this as well. Still, I hope that the rest of the story will receive another season or a movie in the future.
You might hear of this since Gen Urobuchi worked on the prequel of Fate/stay night before working on Madoka Magica. Fate/Zero focuses on the Fourth Grail War. We get to see Emiya Kiritsugu’s ideals of saving anyone and everyone as he competes in the Grail War. Of course, that gets deconstructed as he ends up killing more people just to save a few. It’s too bad that Emiya Shirou eventually take on his ideals without realizing the consequences. But hey, we won’t have Heroic Spirit Emiya without that. Aside from that, the production is a lot better than Studio Deen’s adaptation of the Fate arc. This will carry on with the adaptations of Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven’s Feel, which I have yet to watch.
Not only that, Weaver and Rider is also the next best part of the show along with Shirley, who is Kiritsugu’s first love. Too bad she didn’t last too long because curiosity kills the cat.
Hyouka is an interesting show which focuses on the Classic Literature Club. Yes, anyone who watched the show know about Eru’s famous catchphrase, “I’m curious!” Sure, the mysteries are nothing special, the character interaction as they solve the mysteries is what really makes the story enjoyable. As always, Houtarou’s desire to live a low energy life is ruined thanks to the curious Eru who he eventually develops feelings for. Also, the animation is the strong point of this show, especially in certain scenes.
It’s not too surprising to see Shirobako on this list. It’s not too surprising since this show focuses on the behind the scenes of anime production. The show does a good job showing the behind the scenes of anime production. Of course, it’s not easy given the tight deadlines, sudden production changes, missed deadlines leading to quality issues and all that sort.
While the show focuses on a fictional animation studio working on a production, it’s still one of the important, but still very enjoyable anime of the decade. After all, successful anime productions are difficult, especially with some studios noticeably struggling not only tight deadlines, but poor working conditions, which is not covered in the series.
Still, it does highlight how competitive the voice acting industry is, especially for female voice actress. Shizuka had a hard time landing a role until she got lucky. I guess the same can apply to those who are trying to apply for jobs as well.
7. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
I have to admit that Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka is probably one of the most enjoyable Manga Time Kirara series of this decade. Sure, it focuses on Cocoa working in a café called “Rabbit House” with Chino and Rize. I enjoy the characters a lot since the cast has really enjoyable personalities.
Also, there are a lot of fun and enjoyable moments between the two seasons and the first original animation. The magical girl Chino segment was the most amusing scene. Chino transforms into a magical girl and turns everything into rabbits in front of young Cocoa. Not only that, the five-star Chino in the mobile game Kirara Fantasia is also based on her magical girl form.
Obviously, my favorite characters are Rize, who is a military nut, but also enjoys cute things. Of course, there is Sharo, who while looks rich, but actually poor. However, she has a huge crush on Rize and see her as a role model. Not only that, she gets drunk on caffeine, which I find amusing.
Aside from that, the animation and music are really nice. With a third season coming in 2020, more cuteness awaits besides the second original animation that released this year.
8. New Game!
New Game is a surprisingly enjoyable work comedy slice of life focusing on video game development. While video games are one of my hobbies, it’s nice to see the girls work on developing video games in an actual company. Also, some of the things are relatable if you work in a white-collar job. Of course, the characters are really enjoyable. Since this is a Manga Time Kirara series, there is yuri pairings, which the most obvious are Hifumi and Aoba, Rin and Ko, Yun and Hajime and Nene and Umiko.
The second season is more of the same, but better as they work on a new intellectual property, PECO. Tsubame and most importantly, Momo joins Eagle Jump as interns. As expected, there are a lot of fun moments with Hajime going on what can be seen as a date with Yun, but with her siblings tagging along. Also, there is the scene where Hazuki dressing up Aoba, Yun, Hajime and Momo as maids and Aoba doing the “moe moe kyun” thing. The funny thing is that Umiko have to come and drag Hazuki away before she got carried away.
9. The Idolmaster
The first Idolmaster anime that aired in the 2000s wasn’t the one that fans hoped for. At least the second one was a lot better as it finally focuses on the whole premise, idols! It’s nice that each character receive one dedicated episode. I have to admit that the cast is really enjoyable, except for Project Jupiter. Also, the producer is enjoyable since he provides moral support to the girls opposed to creating a harem.
Of course, there is a movie that came out a few years later featuring a few girls from Million Live. They are Kana, Minako, Nao, Yuriko, Shiho, Anna and Serika. What I find interesting is that all the TrySail girls (Asakura Momo, Natsukawa Shiina, and Amamiya Sora) are in this anime voicing their respective characters (Serika, Anna and Shiho). This is before they formed a unit in 2015. I didn’t actually start getting into their music until a year later.
As expected, Cinderella Girls received an anime adaptation a little over three years later. While it’s still enjoyable, it’s not as good as the 2011 anime mostly because of the cast being too big. Still, it has its own enjoyable qualities.
10. Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
Lastly, there is Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon, which is Kyoto Animation’s first show with a mostly female cast with yuri. A dragon girl named Tohru falls in love with an average woman who works as a programmer. The characters are really enjoyable, especially Kanna. Besides being a big eater and her adorable appearances, the moments with her and Saikawa, who has a huge crush on her are funny. Also, you can’t forget the crazy retelling of Little Match Girl towards the end of the series. Still, I can’t get enough of Tohru trying to feed Kobayashi her tail meat.
While it will be a while until we see a second season given what happened. But still, I still think that Kyoto Animation’s first attempt at an actual yuri genre story is excellent. Also, Hibike! Euphonium doesn’t really count for this for obvious reasons. Kumiko ends up with Shuichi in the end in the last movie from what I heard.
With that, this wraps up the top 5 anime for 2019 and top 10 anime of the decade. With that, what are your favorite shows of 2019 and the 2010s. Feel free to share them in the comments. ¶