Anime Winter Season 2019: First Impressions

2019 winter anime season

It’s that time of the year again, so enjoy our First Impressions of the 2019 winter anime season that just started~

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019)
Studio: Madhouse • Genre: Horror, Mystery, Psychological

boogiepop wa warawanai
It’s a simple truth that there just aren’t enough good horror anime out there, and once I saw that Madhouse was behind this one, my expectations for it suddenly shot up. The first two episodes seemingly came out concurrently, but this slightly larger sample size hasn’t done anything to dash my hopes that it could turn out to be pretty good.

Even though it’s listed among the genres, this seems a lot more psychological than I anticipated, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. There hasn’t been much in the way of action, yet the story seems to be slowly coming together, and it’s definitely moving in an intriguing direction. So far, there’s been shapeshifting, a mysterious drug, and cannibalism, so needless to say, this has been pretty dark stuff. We haven’t seen a ton of Boogiepop thus far, but they’re definitely an interesting character, and I’m looking forward to seeing what role she really plays in all of this.

From what I read, this anime is the first anime adaptation of the light novels starting from the very beginning, so there’s no need to have watched previous Boogiepop anime in order to understand what is going on here. It’s grim, and I expect things to only get darker and more violent, but I think the show’s off to a promising start, and for all the crappy horror anime that’s come our way in recent years, this one might end up being a winner.

Studio: Studio Gokumi • Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Slice of Life

endro~! anime
When one thinks of slice of life anime, you probably think of school life, but thankfully, Endro~! bucks the trend and instead takes place in a fantasy setting, which is some pretty great news. The fantasy and magical elements add a little spice to this show, and even though the first episode wasn’t great or anything, the show does have some things going for it.

The previously mentioned fantasy elements are one thing I kind of enjoyed, and our party of four adventurers did seem a little charming, yet I have to see more from them in order to be sure about that. However, it wasn’t Yusha (the hero), Seira (the priest), Mei (the mage), or Fai (the warrior) that I enjoyed most. It actually ended up being Maou, the diminutive demon lord, that really won me over. Overall, the comedy was fairly enjoyable, the animation was pretty solid for the slice of life genre, and the story wasn’t bad, so this is looking like a respectable entry to the cute girls doing cute things genre.

As for any potential yuri, there was one character sucking on another character’s… ear, but aside from that, there wasn’t much to show for it. Because of the genre, the all-girl cast, and Namori’s involvement as the original character designer, I think we all expect there to be at least some subtext, so hopefully this follows in Release the Spyce‘s footsteps and gives us something to talk about.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Studio: A-1 Pictures • Genre: Comedy, Psychological, Romance, School

kaguya-sama love is war
One of the things that kind of sucks about being a yuri fan is the lack of options when it comes to yuri anime. Everything just seems so basic, and even something as simple as a typical romcom is pretty hard to come by, so for someone like me who likes romcoms, I’m often left looking elsewhere for a fix. Kaguya-sama seemed like it could be a decent option, and with one episode down, this het romcom could end up being a lot of fun.

The twist to this show is that the two main characters, one the student council president and the other the VP, engage in an unspoken competition to make the other fall in love with them, so the person who falls in love loses. Both characters are conceited and overly prideful, so they would probably make a good pair, but the fun comes from the tactics they employ to manipulate the other. This is anything but lovey dovey, and half the fun of romcoms is the bumpy path the protagonists take on the road to romance, so this battle of wits is already shaping up to be quite entertaining. The narrator even adds to the entertainment by spelling out the characters’ intentions, making it very clear how elaborate their game of 4D chess is.

I’m really liking the conflict between the two main characters, as well as how this doesn’t quite feel like every other generic romcom out there. If Kaguya-sama can keep it going, I think this has all the makings of one of the better romcoms of the last few years, so for someone like me, that’s really exciting stuff. Now can we get something like this for yuri fans? Pretty please?

Studio: MAPPA • Genre: Drama, Game, Mystery, Psychological, School

A lot of us have been waiting for a continuation of this gambling masterpiece, and who would have guessed, the wait ended up being pretty short. The anime jumps right back into action, presenting another ridiculously dangerous game that probably no sane person would ever agree to.

Good thing lead character and undeniable best girl, Yumeko, hasn’t changed one bit and surely won’t miss out on any opportunity to gamble away and enjoy some insane bets, having some quite important body parts and sometimes even her own life on the line.

I guess you could say she is quite the insane character, but oh man this girl is so cute, fun, and actually endearing that I can’t help but root for her to get all the (dangerous) thrills she’s yearning for. By that I also mean some yuri thrills, and I heard we might be in for quite a bit of that in this season~

Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka
Studio: LIDENFILMS • Genre: Drama, Magic

mahou shoujo tokushusen asuka
Another magical girl anime? That’s right, but after watching the first episode of Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka, this one ended up being a little different than I expected, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

I think when most people think of magical girl anime, they think of a group of girls fighting otherworldy forces that have a tremendous amount of supernatural power, and for a portion of this first episode, it seemed like that would be the case in this show as well. But by the end of the episode, we see the main character, Asuka, dismembering seemingly ordinary terrorists, and I didn’t expect that at all. However, I guess I’d rather see magical girls taking on more real-world conflicts than fighting stuffed animals, which is what the Disas—a hostile lifeform that we see in flashbacks trying to invade the world—appeared to looked like. I don’t think I could take this anime seriously had the enemies looked like a cross between stuffed animals and a person in a mascot suit, so I don’t mind the shift the focus all that much.

The action wasn’t that bad, and neither were Asuka or some of the other girls we see (magical girl or otherwise), but overall, I wasn’t left feeling incredibly enthused about the prospects of this anime. What we’ve seen so far of the story is pretty lackluster, but at the very least, it was mentioned in the comments of another post that this anime will most likely have some yuri, so that’s something to look forward to. It sucks that yuri is probably going to have to save what’s most likely going to be a mediocre show, but that seems to be the norm nowadays, so until better anime with yuri elements comes along, we have shows like this one to watch. 😛

Manaria Friends
Studio: CygamesPictures • Genre: Action, Adventure, Demons, Fantasy, Magic, Supernatural

manaria friends anime
For a while, it seemed like we’d never get to watch Manaria Friends, but a few years later, it’s finally here. This show is only about half the length of a normal TV anime, so there isn’t a lot of room for story development, and I don’t really expect the story to end up being all that great. The list of genres is pretty misleading—at least through the first episode—and despite the fantasy elements, this doesn’t really resemble Shingeki no Bahamut all that much. However, what it does kind of feel like is a yuri anime, and that’s some pretty great news for fans who’ve been keeping their eye on this show.

What the episode lacks in plot, it makes up for with a very promising relationship between two princesses, one of which is half-dragon. The mood during these scenes between Anne and Grea is a little like the soft, sweet goodness that you’re likely to find in a yuri anime, and that’s only accentuated by the music, which adds quite a lot to the nostalgic atmosphere. It may only be subtext at this point, but you definitely get the sense that Anne and Grea’s relationship is going places, and if you remember the second PV, it shows what looks like Grea kissing a girl (although it only shows their shadows), so I guess where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

All in all, this is looking like a really nice watch for yuri fans, so I’m perfectly okay sacrificing things like story and action, if it means we get a cute, yuri-flavored winter treat~

Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!
Studio: Doga Kobo • Genre: Comedy, Yuri

watashi ni tenshi ga maiorita wataten
The winter season sees another anime that features a “relationship” that people probably aren’t going to like, since it once again features a grown woman that’s in love with a child. Like the previous anime that dealt with an issue like this (Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru), Wataten! tries to cover that unpleasant thought with some comedy, and even though this anime is quite a bit cuter than UzaMaid!, there’s no getting over that this simply isn’t the type of relationship that a lot of yuri fans want to see.

To the show’s credit, Wataten! isn’t as in-your-face about it, for lack of a better word, and Miyako looks angelic in comparison to UzaMaid‘s Tsubame, but it doesn’t change the fact that this show is still about a woman in love with a little girl. If you can get over that, this cute girls doing cute things anime appears to be mildly entertaining, yet I didn’t really get the impression that the characters or the comedy were good enough to win over those who’ll immediately dismiss it.

Part of me liked UzaMaid! for how ridiculous it was, yet the cringeworthy relationship ended up being a pretty big turn-off. If Wataten! can find a solid middle-ground where it’s not too cringey but is still funny, this could turn out to be a somewhat entertaining slice of life anime, yet the first episode didn’t exactly blow me away, so who knows how it’ll play out.

Yakusoku no Neverland
Studio: CloverWorks • Genre: Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

yakusoku no neverland
The description for this show kind of gave me Shinsekai yori vibes, and since that was one of my favorite shows that I’ve seen in the last few years, I was pretty hyped for this one. Well, the first episode has come and gone, and it seems that my hype for this was justified.

This always appeared to be the type of show that’s really grim and unsettling, and by the end of the first episode, things have already become messed up. But these are kids we’re talking about here, so the dark turn this anime takes hits even harder, yet that works to the show’s benefit, and that results in a really great sense of tension and drama that you don’t get in most anime. The story is setting up to be all kinds of intriguing, and I don’t know about you, but I tend to like dark subject matter, so this is right in my wheelhouse.

To me, this is definitely the front-runner for anime of the season, and it’s not even that close. It’ll be interesting to see where the show goes from here, but it’s undoubtedly off to a great start, so if you have the stomach for it and don’t mind seeing bad things happen to cute kids, I’d highly recommend checking this show out.


20 thoughts on “Anime Winter Season 2019: First Impressions

  1. Although this season isn’t as gay as i’d like it to be, both Kakegurui and Manaria Friends look promising enough for me. Also, are there any news on the Citrus Spin-Off? We havent heard anything since a while…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mhhh this Season isn’t so good and gayas I wished. Togehter with a friend I watch “Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!” and we think it is funny (even if the promise is morally questionable) – the kids are so cute, sweet and funny. The Anime “Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale” is a cute Slice-of-Life aimed for young females but we both like it because it is so calming and happy – the perfect Anime after a lomg worki day. The best show is for sure “Endro” – cute Girls doing cute Adventures – funny, sweet and unique. We also started “Pastel Memories” but are not sure if we continue this one besides the references to other Manga and Anime it is so boring and the character Designs are too ecchi for my liking. Because my friend dosen’t like CGI Anime I watch alone also “Kemono Friends 2” – I love this Franchise (watched Season one fourtimes ^^).


    • After how much we were spoiled last season, every future season is going to seem so bad in comparison…

      That show is definitely cute. Almost so cute that I forget what it’s really about. Keyword: almost. 😀

      Eh, the Bermuda Triangle show seemed too boring for me (same for Pastel Memories, but Endro~! has been nice so far. That’s definitely my go-to show right now to just relax and unwind~

      It was probably because of the CG, but I never got into Kemono Friends, so probably the only way I’d watch it now were if there were more Prarie Dog kisses or something. 😛


  3. Some interesting shows to watch this season! I’m watching Manaria Friends very closely, hoping for it to turn out as yuri as we hope. Either way it looks like a fun fantasy series and Grea is without a doubt, a CUTE! 😀

    Endro seems like it is getting a lot of positive feedback so I will have to pick that one up too! But I have to say, those lewd ear sucking scenes, I’m surprised this hasent been classified as hentai! Children could watch that on accident! What is up with Japan?! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • For some reason, I’m having trouble getting into Manaria Friends.
      It’s weird, like a few years back, I would have been overjoyed with a show like this – we can expect yuri, but no one knows when it will hit or how hard it will. Sounds exciting, right?
      But now, maybe since we got spoiled so much, I can’t seem to find as much pleasure in waiting and hoping for the yuri to hit…

      I’m getting old it seems 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe that is true. Maybe we are getting spoiled now with so much yuri being released. And a lot of it throws the yuri right into our faces from the start that waiting for yuri to happen can seem like a chore now. But We gotta keep pushing through Lena! The yuri will come for sure and it will be all worth it in the end! you just need to remember how great it feels to finally get what we want after waiting for it for so long! 😀 Just gotta keep pushing forward Lena! 🙂

        And hey we may all be getting older but just be glad you aren’t past your 20s yet like a certain visitor to this site! 😛

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m still only on the second episode, but people are saying the show isn’t bad, so I’m crossing my fingers that that’s true… once I finally get around to catching up. 😀


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