The Winter 2019 Anime You Should Be Watching

Characters from Shield Hero & Kaguya-Sama

Introduction

We’re now more than halfway into the winter 2019 anime season, and with more than fifty different shows airing, it can be difficult to decide which ones to pick up. I would like to share my recommendations on which current anime you should be watching.

I will not be including leftovers from the fall 2018 season on this list, nor any second seasons, so you don’t have to worry about catching up with any of these.

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Boogiepop works better as a Light Novel.

Who doesn’t love her smug expression?

When the current Winter 2019 anime season started, one of the first shows to air was Boogiepop and Others, and it was the first I picked up. Its an adaptation of the light novel that kicked off the craze in Japan, and I thought the anime seemed promising at first – the production value was solid and Kensuke Ushio had done an ear-inspiring job with the music.

But unfortunately after three episodes I was finding Boogiepop a bit confusing and struggling to keep up. At first I was wondering if this would be another Steins;Gate, which made more sense as it went on. But I’m now six episodes in and it isn’t getting any better.

I eventually came to the conclusion that watching one episode per week isn’t ideal for a show like Boogiepop and Others where its good to remember little details, and decided to check out the light novel, which is being released in English by Seven Seas.

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The Rising of the Shield Hero, and why its controversial

Light Novel art for The Rising of the Shield Hero

Warning: This post contains minor spoilers and discussion of sensitive issues.

Introduction

Anime is no stranger to controversy – last season threw up Goblin Slayer and this time we have another isekai anime adapted from a light novel. Its titled ‘The Rising of the Shield Hero‘ and has caused quite a stir on social media for more than one reason.

The 47-minute pilot episode introduces us to a 20-year-old university student named Iwatani Naofumi who picks up a book about an ancient legend when he suddenly sees a bright light and ends up – you guessed it – summoned to another world.

Iwatani soon learns that he’s one of four heroes summoned to save the Kingdom of Melromarc from wave after wave of calamity, and is essentially forced to fight monsters and gain experience before the next wave.

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Learning to love your hobby with ‘Fastest Finger First’

Introduction

Anime set in a high school can be exhaustingly unimaginitive – there are so many ecchi harems and romantic comedies that reuse the same formula every season, and it gets incredibly tiring. So I tend to avoid school anime unless it has some kind of unique element, and Fastest Finger First is a show that I can’t really compare to anything else.

Years of watching them with my grandmother has caused me to enjoy TV quiz shows such as The Chase, Eggheads, and Tipping Point, so I was really excited to find out there’s an anime about competitive quiz teams – but did it live up to the hype?

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Recent Pickups: Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky (UK Blu-Ray)

The most common starting points that longtime Gundam fans recommend to newbies are the original Mobile Suit Gundam series from 1979, the resulting movie trilogy, or 2007’s spectacular hit Mobile Suit Gundam 00.

All of those are great, but if you’re not entirely sold on the franchise and want a quick taste of what it has to offer, you might prefer Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky, which is a film released in 2016 with a fairly short running length of 1 hour and 10 minutes.

The film does not require any prior knowledge of the Gundam franchise so new viewers should have very little difficulty following the story and understanding what’s going on.

I ordered the UK Blu-Ray release last week and received it today, and have been taking a look at the extras that Anime Limited / All The Anime have included.

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