With 2020 just beginning, we want to look back at a fantastic year in anime, one that featured a number of very strong series and a few that may eventually turn into classics. We asked you to determine which of them was the very best anime series of 2019. While we normally throw our polls up for social media followers to vote on, this time it was solely up to our beloved blog readers, though we did ask our subscribers to help us whittle down the group. Here were the ten you got to vote on:
- Chihayafuru (season 3)
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
- Dr. Stone
- Fruits Basket
- Mob Psycho 100 (season 2)
- My Hero Academia (season 4)
- The Promised Neverland
- The Rising of the Shield Hero
- Vinland Saga
Going into the voting, which lasted through the month of December, I had my eyes on these three series in particular as those that I thought might win:
Demon Slayer (The Popular Favorite)
Demon Slayer has already been crowned the top anime of 2019 by various outlets and many individuals, especially on AniTwitter. And it’s hard to argue against that—it’s the most popular new series of 2019, and one whose animation (Ufotable delivers again) has been adored by almost every viewer. The story, too, is highly regarded for being hard-hitting, fast-moving, and unrelenting. While it shares the typical shounen genre conventions, they’ve rarely seemed so cutting edge. It feels almost unstoppable.
Vinland Saga (The Critical Darling)
Coming on strong during the last half of 2020 was Vinland Saga. This anime blogger was astounded to read this sentiment over and over on social media: “Yeah, Demon Slayer is good…but have you seen Vinland Saga?” The Viking anime deftly mixed strong action scenes and at times graphic, medieval violence with a strong narrative—rarely has historical fiction in anime been this fun to watch. Perhaps there are enough viewers of this lesser known show to put it over the top in the race for best anime.
Fruits Basket (The Dark Horse)
Can a romantic comedy—and one based on a manga over a decade old—survive against anime with sensibilities of today? I believe the answer is yes! Fruits Basket intended to take one of the most beloved manga of all-time and improve upon its adaptation, and so far, it has—strong animation, excellent voice acting (in Japanese and English), and production that doesn’t stray from the emotional and tear-jerking original material. Maybe among all the slicing and dicing, this story of love and grace might just slip ahead.
So…did any of those three end up as anime of the year? My predictions were strong—each received over 10% of the vote. But to find out whether one of my predictions won, or another of the nominees, you’ll need to hit the link below!