The Winter 2019 season of anime is coming up quick! Here are my top picks:
Boogiepop Never Laughs (Boogiepop wa Warawanai)
January 4, 2019
An urban legend tells of a shinigami that can release people from their pain and suffering – and its name is Boogiepop. A mysterious series of disappearances at Shinyo Academy causes some of the students there to start believing that the legend is real. Is it indeed Boogiepop, or something else entirely?
I am very excited about this anime because of its seemingly dark theme and psychological horror aspects. I have seen very few anime that pull this off effectively, so it will be interesting to see if Boogiepop Never Laughs manages to succeed where others have fallen short.
Madhouse is the studio behind Boogiepop Never Laughs, and their catalog of excellent work causes me to be cautiously optimistic. I absolutely love One Punch Man, and I’m thrilled to see Shingo Natsume and Tomohiro Suzuki collaborating again on this new project.
January 7, 2019
A samurai lord offers his newborn son’s organs to 48 demons in exchange for the ability to dominate the battlefield. The son survives and is granted new and brutal power; his only goal to hunt the demons and regain what was taken from him.
On the surface, Dororo may appear as a typical revenge story. However, I believe that Kazuhiro Furuhashi is more than capable of bringing unique and interesting elements to the anime. His work with Hunter x Hunter was great, and inspires confidence for Dororo.
MAPPA is the studio behind Dororo, and I am sure they’ll utilize their talents to make the anime visually pleasing. I really enjoyed the art and fight sequences from this year’s Garo: Vanishing Line, and hope to see Dororo follow in a similar direction.
The Rising of the Shield Hero (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari)
January 9, 2019
There are myths and stories of four otherworldly heroes who defend the land from devastation. As a last resort, these champions are summoned to the fantastical kingdom of Melromarc. Meanwhile in modern-day Japan, four unsuspecting people are transported to Melromarc to become the heroes that are desperately needed.
There are many anime about modern-day clashing with fantasy, and people being transported between worlds. The Rising of the Shield Hero, if nothing else, promises an interesting delve into a new fantasy realm.
Kinema Citrus is the studio behind The Rising of the Shield Hero. The only anime I’ve seen from this studio is Made in Abyss and, while I didn’t necessarily care for the anime itself, the art and style displayed cannot be ignored.
January 10, 2019
Daisuke Toujima is a second-year high school student who was abducted as a child. He and his friends were involved in a phenomenon called the Shibuya Drift, and were transported 300 years into the future. The group will meet strange new people and encounter incredible enemies in their quest to return to their own time.
Time travel and giant robots are two incredibly cool concepts, and putting them together has the potential for an awesome anime. Revisions also provides the potential for a complex story that investigates both Daisuke’s past and the time travel incident.
Shirogumi is the studio behind Revisions. I have not seen any anime by the studio, but having Gorou Taniguchi as the director definitely causes me to be optimistic. If there is anyone who knows giant robots, it is the creator of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.
The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Neverland)
January 11, 2019
The Grace Field House is a home for orphans, all of them adopted by the age of 12. The only rule is that they must never leave the orphanage. When two adventurous orphans – Emma and Norman – venture past their boundaries, they discover the horrible truth about the orphanage and the children there.
I am excited for another horror anime this upcoming season. The premise of a seemingly benevolent orphanage that is harboring a dark secret is intriguing, and could certainly lead to an interesting and complex plot.
Cloverworks is the studio behind The Promised Neverland, and I have not seen any anime from them. Mamoru Kanbe, director of Elfen Lied, is the direction behind this new anime. Though I have yet to watch Elfen Lied, I have heard nothing but good things about it and that itself lends some hope for the success of The Promised Neverland.
Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka (Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka)
January 12, 2019
The Disas, creatures of soil from the land of the dead, appeared and began to attack the world of the living. Mankind was saved by mysterious magical girls that wielded some form of magical power. After the Disas were driven back, the magical girls attempted to return to their normal lives. Three years later and things have begun to happen once again, and the Magical Five may have to save the world once more.
Part of me is excited about Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka, and part of me is concerned that it will be too over-the-top. The premise seems very interesting and cool, and I’m hoping that the anime focuses on the battle between the Magical Five and the Disas. The mysterious nature of these creatures from the land of the dead is certainly intriguing.
LIDENFILMS is the studio behind Magical Girl Spec-Ops. I’ve not seen any anime by this studio, but it is concerning that they were involved with the universally-maligned Berserk adaptations. Hideyo Yamamoto is the director behind this new anime, and I’ve not seen anything that he has worked on either. I have low expectations for Magical Girl Spec-Ops, but I’m hoping that it will surprise me.