Category: Miscellaneous

World Building in Anime

World Building in Anime

Introduction to World Building

According to my calendar today’s topic is world building in anime. A behind the scenes fact about DoubleSama.com is that I don’t plan what I’m going to write ahead of time. I just come up with topics, and when the day comes, I write about them.

But, as you probably expect, crafting an entire world takes a lot more planning than that. And while what I’ll be discussing today can really be applied to any medium in which a world is crafted and a story is told within that world, this is an anime blog.

So today I’ll be covering four different aspects of world building in anime: Story & characters, physical world building, cultural world building, and large & small scale worlds.

Story & Characters

Before you yell at me in the comments, over on Twitter (@DoubleSama), or even via email as one particularly angry reader has in the past, I understand that some people would say story and characters aren’t world building. But I’m here to tell you that they are.

The story is really the framework upon which the world is built. And the characters are what make that world come alive. Without either, you don’t have a world — you have an empty wasteland nobody cares about.

To see how the story affects world building, let’s take a look at different genres of anime. Of course, there are always going to be series which cross between genres, but to make things simple let’s pretend they don’t.

A map from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
A map from The Rising of the Shield Hero

Adventure anime tend to lend themselves to expansive worlds which we get to explore a large portion of. On the other hand, slice of life anime tend to be fixated on a single, or small group of, location(s). This ties into the large & small scale world’s I’ll be discussing later on, but the point for now is that the type of story you’re telling is going to affect the world.

And while the story is what sets up the world, the characters are what complete it. Once the world has been physically created, the characters who inhabit it should be molded by the world in which they live. This will become more apparent when we get into the section on cultural world building.

Physical World Building

If you’ve read any of my episodic fantasy/adventure series reviews, such as those for That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (TenSura) or Somali and the Forest Spirit, you’ll likely be familiar with my love for maps in fantasy series. Maps are a great way to quickly give viewers an overview of the physical world which has been built.

Those of you who enjoy fantasy/adventure novels are probably also familiar with this. Why do you think basically every fantasy/adventure novel has a world map right on the first couple of pages?

Once the story has been established, the physical world in which the story is going to take place needs to be built. Going back to the fantasy/adventure example, what does the world physically look like? Is it mountainous? Is it an archipelago? Are there many different biomes spread around the “known world,” or is it fairly monotonous?

A map of Morioh from the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable manga
A map of Morioh from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable

These questions can be further specified to be geared towards smaller worlds as well. If the series takes place in a single city, what’s the layout of that city like? If it takes place in a single building, what’s the layout of the building like? A single room, how is that laid out?

When the physical world is being built — that being the world which the viewers will actually see — scale doesn’t matter. Regardless of scale, the same amount of detail needs to be added. The only difference is how small of a space that detail is condensed into.

For example, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable takes place entirely in the fictional town of Morioh. So for this series, while we don’t know where Morioh lies compared to other towns, we know where various notable areas around town are compared to each other.

Cultural World Building

Now that the physical world building is complete, it’s time for the cultural world building. This is where the characters first come into play, but at this stage there aren’t necessarily any individual characters yet. Basically, you look at the world and come up with what life would be like for those who live there.

Depending on where people live, how they live can be very different. People who live in the slums of a city aren’t living the same as the high-ranking government officials. And people who live in a rainforest aren’t living the same as people who live in the desert, or on mountains, or in grasslands.

If everyone lived the same way and had the same traditions regardless of location, that would make the world feel fake. That’s not how our world works, and that’s not how any world would realistically work. It goes against the physical world building.

Hellywood towering over the wasteland from the anime series Now and Then, Here and There
Hellywood towering over the wasteland from Now and Then, Here and There

Now and Then, Here and There is a great example of cultural world building. The world in that series is a post-apocalyptic wasteland in which water is the most valuable resource. People live in scattered communities around a giant desert and fight for what little water they can find.

However, it’s not like everyone in this world lives the same. There are the small villages barely hanging onto life, and there’s the giant, mobile fortress nation which oppresses them. Both are products of the world in which they exist, and yet they’re extremely distinct because they represent different aspects of the world.

Cultural world building can even work on small scales, like how people behave based on where their seat is in a classroom.

Large & Small Scale Worlds

What I find most interesting about building both large & small scale world building is that it’s basically the same. Aside from the scale, the only real difference is what part of the world they prioritize.

Large worlds are large. That may seem obvious, but what I mean is that they often create a sense of scale much larger than what we ever actually see in the series. This is accomplished through maps, which show us distant places our characters will never actually travel to, and simple mentions of faraway places, like other countries.

There are anime which I would say take place in small scale worlds, but from which we actually see just as much of the world as some large scale world series. The difference is that these small scale worlds are essentially self-contained. They don’t frequently mention the world outside of what we immediately see.

Namishiro Park from the Monogatari Series anime
Namishiro Park from the Monogatari Series

The Monogatari Series is a pretty good example of this. We know there’s a world outside of what we see, but it’s hardly ever mentioned. Instead, we see a bunch of self-contained areas within a single city with no idea how exactly they’re connected. The greater world isn’t what matters in that series, the specific locations are what matter.

And for anyone who would argue that the Monogatari Series locations are too abstract to be meaningful, I counter that by saying they’re all distinct and give off different feelings. Even the various rooms in the Araragi household are extremely unique and can tell us about those who inhabit them.

In a large scale series we might have cultural world building between nations. In a small scale series we might have cultural world building between different after school clubs. It’s all the same at the end of the day — the focus is just different.

Conclusion

Hopefully this has given you a greater appreciation for world building in anime. It might not be as flashy as shounen battle series character abilities, but there’s arguably just as much, if not more, to discuss about world building.

What’s your favorite anime world? Let me know in the comments. I know I didn’t mention it at all throughout this discussion, but the world of Naruto is definitely up there for me. There’s just so much content within that world that the world itself has been fleshed out by proxy.

If you enjoyed this discussion of world building, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Monogatari Series Titles Explained

Monogatari Series Titles Explained

Monogatari Titles

Considering my love for the Monogatari series, it’s a bit surprising that it’s taken me this long to sit down and write this post. If you’re already extremely familiar with the Monogatari series, of even if you have a fairly rudimentary understanding of Japanese, you may not need the titles of this series to be explained.

But this post is for everyone else who might not yet know the naming conventions of the series. So, with that in mind, we’re going to start off with the most basic thing you need to know about the Monogatari series titles, and that’s what the word monogatari even means.

Monogatari (物語) simply means story, or tale. The series isn’t exactly what we would refer to as an anthology because the different parts are all connected, but you can kind of view it as an anthology of stories.

Each part of the series features a story — or stories grouped together by a common theme which is then represented in the title of the part. So for example, if this blog was the theme of a part, the title would be DoubleSamaMonogatari.

Got it? Alright, let’s get into the actual series. And just so you know, there will be spoilers.

Bakemonogatari

Bakemonogatari (化物語) means Monster Story. It’s a combination of the words bakemono (化物) and monogatari (物語), with the kanji for mono (物) shared between them. The monster(s) referred to in the title are the apparitions featured throughout the series.

In this part specifically we get the crab, snail, snake, monkey, and cat apparitions.

Nisemonogatari

Nisemonogatari (偽物語) means Fake or False Story — either one works, they mean the same thing. Nise (偽) means fake, and as we already know, monogatari means story, so it’s as easy as adding those two words together. No overlap required this time.

The meaning of the title this time is a bit more deep than it was with Bakemonogatari though. The “fakes” the title refers to are the two apparitions featured in the series.

The bee is an apparition which manifests after the victim already falsely believed they had been targeted by an apparition, so in that sense it’s a fake. The phoenix apparition, on the other hand, is a fake because it’s pretending to be (or believes it is) a human rather than an apparition.

"Fire Sisters" Tsukihi and Karen Araragi from the anime series Nisemonogatari
“Fire Sisters” Tsukihi and Karen Araragi

Nekomonogatari

Nekomonogatari (猫物語) is probably the most obvious of all the Monogatari series titles, even for those who don’t know much about Japanese or the series.  It’s a combination of neko (猫), meaning cat, and monogatari — Cat Story. The title also refers to the feline apparitions featured in the part.

But what I like most about Nekomonogatari is that it can also be translated as Cat Tale, which is a pun on cat tail.

Kuro & Shiro

Nekomonogatari is also notably split into two halves, kuro (黒) and shiro (白), meaning black and white respectively. These colors (shades, actually) refer to the two halves of Tsubasa Hanekawa. However, while kuro definitely refers to “Black Hanekawa,” shiro could also be a reference to the color of Kako, the white tiger apparition.

Kabukimonogatari

Kabukimonogatari (傾物語) is where things get a bit more complicated. At first glance, it appears that it’s a combination of the words kabuki (a type of Japanese play) and monogatari. However, that’s not actually the case. It’s a combination of kabukimono (傾物) and monogatari.

Kabukimono refers to a flamboyant style of dress in the edo period, which is why the series is translated as Dandy Story (or tale) in English. However, the kabuki (傾) in kabukimono is written with the a kanji that refers to a tilt, as in something which makes you tilt your head in confusion.

So basically the title is referring to the puzzling situation Koyomi and Shinobu find themselves in after they travel back in time, rescue Mayoi, and then return to find the world they knew has been destroyed by vampire zombies.

Otorimonogatari

Otorimonogatari (囮物語) translates to Decoy Story, with otori (囮) meaning decoy. That was pretty easy to explain after Kabukimonogatari, and luckily the rest of the titles are similar in difficulty.

The decoy referred to in this title is when Hitagi calls Nadeko at the end of the arc and persuades her to hold off on killing Koyomi until after graduation. This phone call is a decoy designed to buy time so that Hitagi and Koyomi can come up with a plan.

Nadeko Sengoku (Medusa form) from the anime series Otorimonogatari
Nadeko Sengoku (Medusa form)

Onimonogatari

Onimonogatari (鬼物語) simply means Demon Story, which probably comes as no surprise to most of you considering oni (鬼) are Japanese demons which frequent anime, manga, and light novels alike.

However, what isn’t entirely clear is who, or what, the is being referred to as the demon in the title. It could be, and probably is, referring to Shinobu. But it also could be referring to either Shinobu’s first servant or the “Darkness” which swallows up rogue apparitions.

Koimonogatari

Koimonogatari (恋物語) is another easy one, with koi (恋) meaning love — Love Story. The title refers to the love between Koyomi and Hitagi, and specifically how Hitagi is willing to confront her past if it means saving Koyomi from Nadeko’s fury.

Hanamonogatari

Hanamonogatari (花物語) is Flower Story. Hana (花) is the Japanese word for flower, and then we just add monogatari onto the end of it. While the title doesn’t refer to the flowers we see in this part of the series, it should be noted that the cherry blossom scenes in this part are referencing back to the title.

So if the flower in Flower Story isn’t referring to a literal flower, then what is it referring to? This is the part of the series in which Suruga “blossoms” into an adult and fights her own battles. This theme is also featured in the opening song for the part, “the last day of my adolescence.”

Tsukimonogatari

Tsukimonogatari (憑物語) means Possession Story. It combines tsuki (憑), which in this case means possession, with monogatari. Yotsugi is the main heroine of this part, and she’s a man-made sort of apparition which possesses a corpse, hence the title.

A fun fact about Tsukimonogatari is that if you change the writing of tsuki (月) you get the word for moon. This play on words is used throughout Tsukimonogatari by way of Sailor Moon references, such as the one pictured below of Yotsugi doing a Sailor Moon’s pose.

Yotsugi Ononoki referencing Sailor Moon from the anime series Tsukimonogatari
Yotsugi Ononoki referencing Sailor Moon

Owarimonogatari

Owarimonogatari (終物語) is a combination of the words owari (終), which means end, and monogatari to create Final Story. The title is hinting that this is either the end of the Monogatari series or the end of Koyomi’s role in it. However, neither of those turned out to be true.

Zoku

Later on in the series we also get Zoku Owarimonogatari (続・終物語) which simply adds zoku (続) onto the beginning of Owarimonogatari. Zoku means continuation, or continued, so the title basically means Final Story: Continued.

Koyomimonogatari

Koyomimonogatari (暦物語), or Calendar Story, is pretty underrated in my opinion. The title is a combination of the word koyomi (暦), meaning calendar, and monogatari. The reason it’s called Calendar Story is because each episode of this part takes place during a different point in the year.

Also, there’s obviously the double meaning to this part’s title, with Koyomi being the name of the protagonist of the series.

Kizumonogatari

Kizumonogatari (傷物語) is one of the more interesting parts of the Monogatari series title-wise, but not because of the main title. Kizumonogatari is simply a combination of kizu (傷) and monogatari to mean Wound Story. This refers to the physical and mental wounds Koyomi and Shinobu both receive.

But like I said, the main title isn’t why Kizumonogatari is interesting. In the anime, this part is broken up into a trilogy of movies, each with their own subtitle.

Koyomi and Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade (Shinobu) from the anime movie Kizumonogatari: Reiketsu
Koyomi and Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade (Shinobu)

Tekketsu, Nekketsu, and Reiketsu

Tekketsu (鉄血), Nekketsu (熱血), and Reiketsu (冷血) translate to Iron Blood, Hot Blood, and Cold Blood respectively. As Kizumonogatari is the part of the series when Koyomi first meets Shinobu, it’s only natural that the trilogy subtitles would reference her epithet as the “Iron-Blooded, Hot-Blooded, Cold-Blooded Vampire.”

Conclusion

There are more Monogatari series titles currently — I think nine of them — but since they aren’t animated, and I mainly cover anime on this blog, we’ll leave those for later. As more of the series is animated, which it probably will be, I’ll add those additional part titles to the list.

If you enjoyed this very different kind of post, click the like button ❤ down below and post your thoughts in the comments. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Re:ZERO’s Seven Deadly Sins

Re:ZERO’s Seven Deadly Sins

What are the Sins in Re:ZERO?

When most people think of the seven deadly sins in anime, they probably either think of the series by the same name, or the homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist. But the concept of the seven deadly sins being embodied by characters is more widespread throughout anime than just those two series.

If you’re familiar with Re:ZERO, then you’re probably already aware of the fact that the sins are featured in this series as well. And it’s these sins which are the focus of today’s discussion.

But before I go any further, there is something I need to point out: Everything I know about Re:ZERO comes from the first season of the anime. I have not read any of the light novels. So if some of the things I mention here are disproven later in the series, we’ll find out when the anime gets there.

Sloth - Betelgeuse Romanee-Conti from the anime series Re:ZERO
Sloth – Betelgeuse Romanee-Conti

With that disclaimer out of the way, what exactly the sins are in Re:ZERO hasn’t been explained very well yet. Based on information from the anime, we can come to a couple different conclusions about them.

At the start of the series we might assume that the sins are merely cataclysmic monsters or people who pose an extreme threat to the world, but are otherwise unrelated. However, later on it appears that they’re actually a cohesive group led by one of their members.

But, if we look at the group as a whole, or at least as a whole based on the members we know exist so far, there may be a greater evil behind them. There could be someone controlling the sins, despite them seeming to be the main antagonists at this point in time.

And if that’s the case, I’m not sure how I feel about the story.

Envy, Sloth, and Gluttony

The first of the sins we hear about is the Witch of Envy, Satella. We haven’t actually seen her yet in the series, but we can assume that she looks pretty similar to Emilia based on the fact that they’re both silver-haired half-elves.

It’s also implied that Satella is also the one who summoned Subaru to this world, which lends some credence to the idea that Satella is the leader of the sins despite being one herself. However, once Sloth is introduced into the series, it becomes more plausible that Envy is the leader.

Betelgeuse Romanee-Conti is a high-ranking member of the witch’s cult and also the sin of Sloth. The fact that he’s both one of the sins and someone who works for Satella furthers the idea that although Satella is one of the sins, she’s also the leader.

Of course, Betelgeuse’s following of Satella could also be similar to how Sloth follows Lust in Fullmetal Alchemist despite Lust not being the leader of the homunculi.

Gluttony - The White Whale from the anime series Re:ZERO
Gluttony – The White Whale

The third and final member of the sins we’re introduced to in the first season is Gluttony, the White Whale. This is where the idea of Satella being the ringleader doesn’t make as much sense. As far as I remember (I’ll find out if I’m right when the director’s cut gets to this point), the White Whale is unrelated to Satella.

The White Whale fits more into the description of the sins as calamities which the citizens of the world fear rather than one cohesive group. After all, it’s not even a person, it’s a giant animal which just so happens to attack people who stray too near.

Lust, Pride, Greed, and Wrath

The final four sins technically haven’t been introduced in the series yet, but there are four characters who match these sins who have. The reason I’m writing on this topic is because I just watched the episode of the director’s cut which covers the start of the royal selection — and that’s where we see these characters.

You may recall that there are five candidates, Emilia, Priscilla, Crusch, Anastasia, and Felt. If you remove Emilia from the lineup, the remaining four girls appear to be Lust, Pride, Greed, and Wrath.

Priscilla is obviously the Lust of the group. Everything about her is supposed to be sexualized and she’s kind of a dominatrix. Then we have Crusch who comes from a military family and fits the definition of Pride perfectly. She won’t do anything to dishonor herself or her family.

It should come as no surprise that Anastasia would be Greed — I think this is the most obvious one of all. She comes from a tycoon family and stated that she sees becoming the ruler of the country as a great way to make more money.

The royal selection candidates (and Reinhard) from the anime series Re:ZERO
The royal selection candidates (and Reinhard)

And lastly we have Felt, who would technically be the first sin we actually met if this does turn out to be accurate. When she finally agrees to take part in the royal selection, she declares that if she wins she’s going to tear down the country and destroy everything it stands for because of what it’s done to the poor. She’s Wrath.

Now, I’m not saying that these girls are part of the same organization as Satella or Betelgeuse, but if we consider the sins as calamities which could destroy the kingdom, then they make sense.

Satella and Betelgeuse seem to want to destroy the kingdom. The White Whale causes mass destruction simply by existing. And each of these four girls would bring about the destruction of the kingdom in a different way if they were to become the next ruler.

Conclusion

I’m not really sure how I missed the connection between the four royal selection candidates besides Emilia and the remaining sins the first, second, or even third time I watched Re:ZERO. It was only during this most recent rewatch (the director’s cut broadcast) that I put the pieces together.

Of course, all this theorizing could be completely wrong. But, I like to think that there was at least a reason for these girls to be written to perfectly match the remaining sins — even if it was done just to throw someone like me off the trail of the real threats to the kingdom.

If, like me, you’ve only seen the first season of the anime so far, what do you think about this theory? Are the sins really just a random group of dangerous people or creatures? Are they a cohesive group with a plan? And, are the royal selection candidates even sins at all? Let me know in the comments.

Remember to click the like button ❤ down below if you enjoyed this post. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

I also have a review of the Re:ZERO – Memory Snow OVA for those interested.

My review of the first episode of the second season is available now.

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3 Best Ecchi Anime

3 Best Ecchi Anime

Ecchi Anime

Last year for Valentine’s Day I wrote about 3 Wholesome Romance Anime, so it’s only fair that I write something to celebrate Single’s Awareness Day this year. Also, I didn’t want to write about “3 More Wholesome Romance Anime” and didn’t know what else to write.

But let’s be honest, that’s probably going to be next year’s Valentine’s Day post.

So, if you don’t already know what ecchi is, I suggest you check out this article on ecchi in anime first, then come back here. But today we’re not merely discussing ecchi as it’s used in anime. No, today we’re discussing three of my highest rated anime which focus on ecchi.

A lot of series have ecchi in them, but an ecchi series puts the ecchi front and center — it’s the reason you’d watch these series in the first place. So no, the Monogatari series will not be featured in this post. Yes, it has ecchi, but no, it’s not an ecchi anime.

Also, as one final note before we get into the list, the anime on this list are all censored. Uncensored ecchi series do exist, but those fall into a gray area between ecchi and hentai, so they’re not included.

1. Kiss x Sis

This may come as a bit of a surprise, but Kiss x Sis is the best ecchi anime I’ve watched so far. The reason for this, however, is because there’s actually sort of two Kiss x Sis anime. There’s the TV series, which is good in its own right, and there’s the OVA series which is much better.

But, it’s not as if these two anime are separate entities. They’re actually intertwined, much like Non Non Biyori and Non Non Biyori Repeat. If you plan to watch this series in the chronological order, you’ll be switching back and forth between the two anime every few episodes.

And if you’re interested in the watch order for Kiss x Sis, it can be found over in my full review of the series.

Riko Suminoe in a leopard cosplay from the anime series Kiss x Sis
Riko Suminoe in a leopard cosplay

So, what makes Kiss x Sis the best ecchi I’ve seen? For starters, it simply has the best ecchi scenes. They may not always be the most revealing scenes, but they’re potentially the most suggestive. The third entry on this list might have more suggestive scenes, but that one also includes comedy in the scenes, so they aren’t straight ecchi.

The other reason Kiss x Sis is the best is because it has the best girls. Although I’m definitely on #TeamRiko, both Ako and Riko are pretty great “heroines” if you can even call them that. And just about all the side characters are good too.

I don’t really think you can go wrong picking any of the girls as your favorite, but I’ll definitely judge you more depending on who you choose.

2. Miru Tights

Miru Tights is definitely the niche entry on this list, but hear me out — who doesn’t like a cute girl in tights? And in this series we get three of them (and their teacher who is low key the best character).

Now, I know some of you might be thinking that Miru Tights doesn’t really count as an ecchi because it isn’t as sexually suggestive as something like Kiss x Sis, but that doesn’t actually take away from the series. Yes, the girls are important, but the main focus of this series is really on the tights.

Also, as a bonus, if you’re into nice art, and occasionally really nice animation, then you might like this series even more. The picture below doesn’t really give this series justice, so just know that when it wants to look really nice, it does.

Yua Nakabeni in a maid cosplay from the anime series Miru Tights
Yua Nakabeni in a maid cosplay

Miru Tights also has an OVA which I actually just watched before writing this post. The original plan was to do a review solely on the single episode of the OVA today, but after watching it I realized there just wasn’t enough content to go off of.

Oh, and the reason for that, if you aren’t already aware, is that Miru Tights episodes are only 4 minutes long. That’s right, this is an ecchi series you can finish (including the OVA) in under an hour.

3. To LOVE-Ru

I think a lot of people probably expected To LOVE-Ru to be in first position on this list, and that’s a fair expectation. To LOVE-Ru is definitely a good ecchi series, and it has some great comedy as well if that’s something you’re looking for.

However, I’ve actually only seen the first season of the series, which is why it’s not farther up. I hear that the third season is the best one, and from the little I’ve seen of it that sounds accurate. But the first season wasn’t great, it was just good.

And although it’s more sexually suggestive than Kiss x Sis at times, as I mentioned, it uses a lot of comedy in those scenes as well. So while it is a heavily ecchi series, the ecchi is used more for comedic purposes than anything else.

Momo Belia Deviluke eating a popscicle from the anime series To LOVE-Ru Darkness
Momo Belia Deviluke eating a popscicle

Also, since I’ve only seen the first season, I think I have to say Lala is the best girl by default. I don’t actually remember the other girls from this series aside from Darkness, but Darkness doesn’t do much in season 1. Momo is clearly a high tier girl as well, but she only comes into the series later on.

Who knows, maybe by Valentine’s 2021 I’ll have seen the second and third seasons of To LOVE-Ru and I’ll have more to say about it then.

Conclusion

Have you seen these three ecchi anime already? If so, how would you rank them? And what’s your favorite ecchi anime not featured on this list? Based on my site’s analytics, I know a lot of you like Why the hell are you here, Teacher?!, but I have to say that one is pretty average — especially considering the censored version basically censors the entire screen.

If you enjoyed this post, or just because today is Valentine’s Day, click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And, come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Top 10 Anime of 2019

Top 10 Anime of 2019

Introduction

Not to be confused with my Top 10 Anime (2019 Edition) which covers my top 10 anime of all time, this end-of-year top 10 list is strictly about 2019 anime. Last year I ranked every single 2018 anime I watched in order from best to worst, but we’re not doing that this time around.

Also, tomorrow is Wednesday which usually means no post, but since it’s January 1st, there might be a “best anime of the 2010s” type post to commemorate the new decade.

And the final thing I feel the need to mention is that I’m sure this list is going to make a lot of people mad. But, rather than telling me what an idiot I am, I encourage you to leave your own top 10 lists of 2019 in the comments. I’m also more than happy to discuss why I ranked these anime as I did over on Discord.

1. Attack on Titan season 3 part 2

If you had told me at the start of this 2019 that Attack on Titan was going to be the best anime of the year (sorry, Mob fans, I haven’t actually seen Mob Psycho 100 II yet), I would have thought you were out of your mind. It’s not perfect by any means — I don’t even have it rated as a 10. However, it was this season that actually made me pick up the manga.

Unfortunately, there’s supposedly only one season of Attack on Titan left, and Studio WIT isn’t animating it. Based on what I’ve read in the manga though, I think 2 seasons would be preferable to reach the end without rushing through it.

Commander Erwin Smith from the anime series Attack on Titan season 3 part 2
Commander Erwin Smith

2. Vinland Saga

I can’t really think of a better way to end 2019 than with the ending of Vinland Saga season 1. The fact that this 24 episode season was just the prologue of the story is pretty incredible. I can’t wait to see where this series takes us next. Also, Askeladd may have been the best character of 2019.

And while my full review of Vinland Saga isn’t out at the time of this post, it should be out shortly (maybe by the time you’re reading it).

3. The Promised Neverland

The year started off strong with both The Promised Neverland and the fourth anime on this list. Although a fair amount of series attempt it, there aren’t too many that can successfully pull of a suspenseful game of cat and mouse quite like this one did.

My only fear regarding this series is the direction it’s headed in. This first season was so good, but from what I’ve seen of the manga, it goes off the deep end. Hopefully the single panels I’ve seen don’t tell the whole picture.

4. Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Luckily, the second season of Kaguya-sama: Love is War is coming out in 2020, because this is a great series. I wouldn’t really say it revolves around a game of cat and mouse like The Promised Neverland, but it kind of does. However, that’s not the draw of the series.

What makes this series so special is the characters and how they interact with each other. That, and Chika’s dance in the second ED.

Student council vice president Kaguya Shinomiya from the anime series Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Student council vice president Kaguya Shinomiya

5. Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

Back when I first reviewed this series I don’t think it actually had an official English title yet, which is why I stick with the Japanese one. But that has nothing to do with the fact that this was one of the best anime of the year.

Some people think Takagi 2 was boring because it’s basically the same as Takagi 1, but I disagree. I think this season improved upon the formula of Takagi 1, and it also shifted the focus a bit more onto the relationships between characters.

6. How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift?

Now, my rating of this series may be a bit biased because I watched it with a group of people from my Discord server. However, while that likely did improve my enjoyment of this series, I still think it was very good regardless of that fact.

I’m sure I mentioned this in my full review of the series, but just like Laid-Back Camp made sleeping outside in the cold seem like a fun idea, How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift? made exercising seem like a fun idea. That’s no small feat.

7. Babylon

While I don’t think this choice is going to be the most controversial one on this list, it kind of is. Babylon is the only anime which made it onto this list which isn’t actually complete yet. I think there’s going to be 12 episodes, but only 8 are out so far. And, of those 8 I’ve actually only seen 7.

So although I think Babylon is one of the best anime of the year right now, there’s still 5 more episodes for me to watch which could change my mind. It’s also taking its sweet time, so who knows when it will actually be completed.

8. O Maidens in Your Savage Season

In my mind, O Maidens in Your Savage Season is the most shocking anime on this list. I didn’t actually expect it to be good when I first watched it, but it turned out to be one of the best dramas of the year. And if you know me, you’ll know I like my drama anime.

As a bonus, this had one of the best anime OP songs of the entire year in Otomedomoyo by CHiCO with HoneyWorks. In fact, this would have been my pick for best anime OP song of the year if not for the next anime on this list.

Literature club member Kazusa Onodera from the anime series O Maidens in Your Savage Season
Literature club member Kazusa Onodera

9. Fire Force

Fire Force wasn’t one of my favorite anime when it first started, and it still isn’t now that the first season has come to a close. But it was still one of the best anime of the year. And yes, I think it’s better than Demon Slayer which is probably the other anime people put alongside this one.

As I just mentioned, Fire Force also has the best OP song of the entire year in MAYDAY (feat. Ryo from Crystal Lake) by coldrain. I don’t exactly think this is the best OP of the year, but it’s the best OP song. I’ve downloaded like every coldrain song, and some Crystal Lake songs, because of it.

10. We Never Learn (1 and 2)

Here’s where we get into the truly controversial territory as far as most of you are probably concerned. That’s right, I put both seasons of Bokuben: We Never Learn, on my top 10 list. Both seasons came out this year, so I figured I’d just group them together into one unit.

But what that really means is your favorite Demon Slayer didn’t even make it onto my top 10 anime of 2019 list. And neither did My Hero Academia season 4. Sorry, Bokuben is just better than those two — MHA still has a cour left, so it could end up being better though.

I get that Bokuben isn’t the greatest anime around, but it’s extremely enjoyable to watch the characters. They’re not the best, but they are well written. My only real complaint about season 2 compared to season 1 was that both the OP and ED were worse. Other than that, both seasons were good.

Conclusion

So, how mad are you about my top 10 anime of 2019 list? And which anime made your list? I can probably guess the anime on most of your lists, but put them in the comments anyway. Maybe you have a sleeper hit on there which I overlooked this year.

If you enjoyed this list, or at least didn’t think it was the worst top 10 list you’ve ever read, then click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, so it’s the best way to stay up to date.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier, CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting at the Sensei tier, and Rob Wright and Keyboard Kadabra for supporting at the Kouhai tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

I’ll see you back here in 2020.

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