Best Original Anime of 2019

Almost all anime are based on some kind of source material, whether it be manga, light novels, comic strips, or even mobile gatcha games, but the bravest studios will occasionally release a completely original anime. These ambitious projects can easily fall on their faces, but the best of them can make huge impacts on the medium as a whole. We had plenty of original anime in 2019, so let’s take a look at our favorites and see if any of them will make waves in the coming years!


5. Granbelm

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2019 – September 2019

Magical girls and mecha seem like an odd combination, but if Magic Knight Rayearth could do it back in the ‘90s, then why can’t Granbelm update the concept for a new generation? Six young mages compete once every full moon to become the all-powerful Princeps, who can grant any wish a person could desire. The character writing is solid, the orchestral soundtrack fits the over-the-top style to a tee, and even the chibi mecha designs work well within the context of the world. Granbelm may not be flawless, but it’s definitely entertaining and a must-watch for mecha fans.


4. Isekai Quartet

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2019 – June 2019

The cast of Re: Zero, KonoSuba, Overlord, and Tanya the Evil come together for their greatest challenge yet – surviving high school together! This may be cheating a bit, since Isekai Quartet takes its characters from other shows, but the hilarious scenarios and interactions are all original. Tanya and Ainz, who were adult salarymen in their original worlds, establish themselves as authority figures to be feared, while teenagers Kazuma and Subaru carve out niches of their own. It’s a bit like Attack on Titan: Junior High – a self-parody that works so well, you wish you didn’t have to go back to the real world!



3. Hoshiai no Sora (Stars Align)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2019 – December 2019

Hoshiai no Sora starts out as a typical sports anime—the boys’ soft tennis club is underperforming and under threat of disbandment, so firey captain Toma drags reluctant prodigy Maki onto the team—but that’s where the paint-by-numbers setup stops and a dark, brooding character drama takes over. Each member of the team has their own hardships, from Maki’s abusive father (portrayed with disturbing realism) to Toma’s mother being scared of her own son to the young manager Yuta’s secret crush on Toma. We only wish that this show hadn’t had its slated 24-episode run cut in half—then we could’ve learned more about these characters at the relaxed pace that was originally intended!


2. Sarazanmai

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: April 2019 – June 2019

Perhaps we should’ve expected this kind of insanity from Kunihiko Ikuhara (of Mawaru Penguindrum, Yuri Kuma Arashi, and Revolutionary Girl Utena fame), but somehow the quirky director managed to out-do himself this time. This touching tale about connecting with others in an increasingly digital world stars three kids who transform into kappas so they can extract the embodiment of human desire from other people’s anuses, all while singing and accidentally revealing embarrassing secrets to each other. Just trust us—if you can handle the strangeness, Sarazanmai is a beautifully written and animated show that’s absolutely worth your time.


1. Carole & Tuesday

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2019 – October 2019

In a future where most music is produced by AI programs and human creativity goes unnoticed, budding acoustic musicians Carole and Tuesday strive to make a name for themselves and show Mars what real passion looks like. Studio Bones has created a feast for the eyes, from glittering stage lights to subtle body movements, and the jaw-dropping variety of international artists who contributed to this show make the musical sequences simply sublime. The actual storytelling is less impressive than everything else, but if you want a truly original anime that you’ll remember well past the year’s end, Carole & Tuesday is for you.


Final Thoughts

RobiHachi and Fairy Gone also had creative ideas that they explored in new and interesting ways, but neither of their final products managed to stick the landing, so they ended up as worthwhile experiments and nothing more. We hope their creators have more success in their future projects!

What did you think of our list? Did we leave out any of your favorite original anime from 2019? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!

Isekai-Quartet-Wallpaper Best Original Anime of 2019

Writer

Author: Mary Lee Sauder

After the hard-hitting East Coast lifestyle hit me a bit too hard, I started pursuing my passion as a writer in my cozy home state of Ohio. Aside from that, I spend my time cooking, cosplaying, collecting anime merch, and being an improv comedy actor. I also love sneaking alliterations and stupid puns into my writing, so be on the lookout for them! 😉

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