Get Ready to Channel Your Inner Otaku!
2018 was a big year for the anime industry. While we saw some of the most popular series launch new seasons, we also got to enjoy some brand new offerings.
The ones that stand out most in my mind are the absolutely amazing Devilman Crybaby, a modern retelling of the classic horror manga by Go Nagai; Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, adapted from the long-running shonen series by Hirohiko Araki; and the second season of Castlevania, adapted from the best-selling video game series by Konami (and one of this author’s all-time favorite game series!)
Still, as great as 2018 was, 2019 promises to be even better.
To help get you pumped up for all the great anime coming our way this year, here are the Top 5 most anticipated anime series coming to streaming services in 2019!
5. Mob Psycho 100 II (Jan. 7, Crunchyroll)
We’ll start this list off with a great show that you don’t have to wait to dive right into! Following up on the highly acclaimed first season, season 2 will continue the adventures of Mob, an extremely powerful psychic desperate to the live the normal life of a high-school student.
The first season featured some of the best animation that studio Bones has produced to date. It channeled the quirky, highly entertaining writing of One-Punch Man’s ONE to great effect. Season 2 promises to keep the same of quality animation, action, and zany humor that made the first season so addictive, but deliver it all in a bigger, even more ridiculous way!
4. Attack on Titan, Season 3.5 (April 2019, Crunchyroll / Hulu / Netflix)
One of the most popular anime series of the past decade, Attack on Titan quickly established itself as a powerhouse that took both Japan and America by storm. The show follows a group of human soldiers battling against massive, humanoid monsters called Titans, which have driven the human race nearly to extinction.
The show has received great acclaim for its compelling characters, exploration of human corruption and courage, political undertones, and grotesque, but gorgeous, animation. Fans were disappointed after it was announced that the third season would be delayed. Come April, we’ll all be able to slake our insatiable love for all things AoT!
3. Persona 5: The Animation, Season 2 (Late 2019, Crunchyroll / AnimeLab / Hulu)
Adapted from one of the best JRPGs ever made, Persona 5 follows the exploits of the Phantom Thieves, a group of socially outcast high-school students as they combat sinister forces in both the real world and an alternate dimension called the Metaverse. Each of the group’s members, including Joker, Ryuji “Skull” Sakamoto, Ann “Panther” Takamaki, and Morgana has the ability to summon a Persona – a supernatural alter-ego who fights beside their respective hosts in the Metaverse.
The game was absolutely phenomenal and the anime series is a masterpiece in its own right. While animation studio CloverWorks is a newcomer to the industry, they’ve proven they can keep pace with the giants through their work on Persona 5. The animation is sleek, the voice acting top-notch, and it stands as one of the best video game adaptations ever made. While we don’t have confirmation of a 2019 American release date for the second season, it’s due to premiere in March in Japan. Considering the following the series has in America, there’s a good chance it’ll make its way to the West before the year is out.
2. Ultraman (April 1, Netflix)
Based on the 2011 manga that continues the classic 1966 Japanese TV show, Ultraman follows Shinjiro Hayata, son of Shin Hayata, the original Ultraman. Taking up his father’s mantle as the defender of Earth, Ultraman must battle invading alien forces and potentially sinister forces from within the Earth’s Science Patrol. If the premise sounds a bit hoaky, don’t be discouraged. This is very much a modern take on a cultural icon who’s endured in Japan for over 50 years now.
I’m cautiously optimistic about this one. Netflix has a proven track record with CGI anime, including Blame!, Knights of Sidonia, Ajin: Demi-Human, and the new Godzilla film series. Production I.G. is one of the most recognized names in the anime industry, having made their name with titles like Ghost in the Shell and Psycho-Pass. Still, I’m not getting too pumped just yet. There’s just a certain magic about hand-drawn animation that’s lost with CGI. This was proven especially true with 2016’s adaption of Berserk. (I still watched the whole thing, though.)
Still, there’s plenty of potential here. The manga is one of my modern favorites, and with such great source material, I hold out hope that this will be an adaptation that will leave me pleasantly surprised.
1. Dragon Ball Super: Broly (In Theaters Jan. 16 – Streaming 2019 / Funimation)
Hot off the heels of the latest offering in the Dragon Ball Universe, the first film spinoff sees the return of fan-favorite Broly, a long lost Saiyan who was the first in history to achieve the Super Saiyan form, becoming the “Legendary Super Saiyan” Vegeta alludes to during the Namek Saga.
Fans were eager for a proper return to the Dragon Ball universe after the disappointment that was Dragon Ball GT. Dragon Ball Super delivered on those hopes in a big way. While it kept the quirky humor and high-stakes battles that made Dragon Ball Z one of the first series to introduce anime to a wider audience, Super enjoys the kind of high-fidelity animation that advancements in modern animation allow.
What’s truly impressive is just how big an impact this movie’s already had, despite its limited theatrical run in most countries outside of Japan. It’s slated to hit select American theaters on January 16, so if you want to experience one of the year’s early contenders for best anime film, get your tickets now!
Which animes are you most looking forward to in 2019?