Feature Article

8 Must-See Summer 2019 Anime: Promare, Carole & Tuesday, And More (US)

Beat the heat by just staying inside all day and watching anime.

Summer 2019 is almost over, meaning you're running out of time to binge through all the excellent anime series and movies from the season before Fall 2019 begins. There are plenty of shows you should watch and now that Promare has officially made its theatrical debut in the US, you have a reason to go to the cinema as well. In the following guide, we outline the eight anime from Summer 2019 you should watch. The list includes anime available in US theaters or that premiere on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hidive, Prime Video, Netflix, or Hulu.

If your itch for more anime isn't satisfied by the time you finish this guide, consider checking out our other anime guides for 2019. The links to each are listed below. There have also been several releases for anime or anime-like games this summer. If you're looking for something to play, read through GameSpot's Astral Chain review, Oninaki review, Kill la Kill: IF review, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers review, and Dragon Quest Builders 2 review or watch our video about how you should play River City Girls.

Other 2019 Seasonal Anime Guides

Dr. Stone

Where to watch: Crunchyroll, Funimation, and VRV

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Dr. Stone manages to meet the high expectations that fans have had for it. The seres is yet another Weekly Shonen Jump series in the evolving shonen demographic that wants to see more introspective characters that solve problems without fighting, incorporate darker themes in their stories, and have more nuanced villains. Think along the same lines as The Promised Neverland.

The story of Dr. Stone begins in the present day, with average-performing but physically fit high school student Taiju confiding in his best friend, science-loving Senku, that he's going to confess to Yuzuriha, the girl he's had a crush on for five years. However, just before Taiju is able to express his love, a strange light shines over the entire Earth and encases every human in stone. As time passes, Taiju is able to stay conscious through his desire to confess while Senku simply counts the seconds. Nearly 4000 years later, the two manage to free themselves and begin working together to find a way to undo everyone else's petrification so as to recreate every scientific breakthrough that mankind has ever made.

Fire Force

Where to watch: Crunchyroll, Funimation, and VRV

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My Hero Academia fans who are anxiously awaiting Season 4 will most likely enjoy this firefighting shonen series, which contains plenty of superpowered battles and an easy-to-love protagonist with aspirations of being a hero. Plus, the animations for Fire Force--especially when fire, flames, or sparks are concerned--are absolutely gorgeous to look at.

Created by the author behind Soul Eater, Fire Force takes place in a world where a strange phenomenon has affected certain individuals. Those in the first generation affected eventually spontaneously combust and become mindless demonic Infernals, while the second generation can control fire, and the third can produce fire and are flame-resistant. Shinra Kusakabe is a third-generation able to channel fire through his legs to move at supersonic speeds. Blamed for the death of his mother and younger brother, who died in a mysterious house fire, Shinra joins an elite firefighting unit that subdues Infernals in order to find the one truly responsible for his family's death.

Astra Lost In Space

Where to watch: Funimation and Hulu

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In the span of a single episode, Astra Lost in Space establishes the personality of all its characters, sets up an intriguing storyline, and builds a futuristic setting without any clunky exposition. It's incredibly rare for a science-fiction or fantasy story to handle world-building so well in a first episode, and Astra Lost in Space continues to build on its premise with well-crafted, emotional stories in pretty much every following arc.

In the year 2063, a group of high school students is set to begin summer camp--which in the future means staying on another planet without adult supervision for five days. After being dropped off, however, a mysterious sphere attacks and transports them into space over 5000 light years away. Managing to board an abandoned spacecraft, the group quickly realize they are months away from reaching their home sector of space and only have enough food and water for a few days. In order to survive, they'll need to jump from planet to planet and scavenge for supplies on alien worlds they know little about.

Carole & Tuesday

Where to watch: Netflix

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After premiering in Japan, the long-awaited Carole & Tuesday anime has finally debuted in the US. A musical comedy, Carole & Tuesday is a beautiful collaboration of Eastern and Western art, featuring enchanting Japanese-style animation and magnificent performances by talented English-speaking singer-songwriters. The series is helmed by the director behind Cowboy Bebop and Space Dandy and features a diverse cast--including a black woman as one of the two stars.

Taking place in the future on a terraformed Mars, the anime follows the musical journey of the titular heroines: Carole Stanley and Tuesday Simmons. Carole is an orphan constantly moving between jobs she's being fired from while trying to carve out a career for herself as a musician who plays the keyboard. Tuesday is a pampered rich girl who's fed up with her sheltered life and runs away from home to be a guitarist. Though the two are from completely different socioeconomic backgrounds, Carole and Tuesday forge a bond through their shared desire to create music and decide to pursue their dreams together as a singer-songwriter duo.

O Maidens In Your Savage Season

Where to watch: Hidive and VRV

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O Maidens in Your Savage Season tackles perhaps the most awkward part of growing up--learning about sex and managing sexual urges and thoughts--but does so in a pretty hilarious and relatable way. The first episode contains one of the funniest masturbation scenes I've ever seen, though I'm still trying to figure out if I was tearing up from laughter or because I could so easily empathize with the awkwardness of these teenagers as they shamefully try to hide their urges and kinks from others. Don't be mistaken, O Maidens in Your Savage Season is funny, but it's an emotional rollercoaster too. For context, the writer also worked on Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day and directed/wrote Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms.

O Maidens in Your Savage Season focuses on the changing relationships among the literary club at a high school after one of the members expresses a desire to have sex before she dies. After being spoken out loud, all of the girls in the club begin to realize they've--consciously or not--had the same desire. Of course, teenagers being teenagers, this want of sex is mixed with exploding hormones, a longing for acceptance by peers, and a yearning for love. In their pursuits to claim what they most want, these girls will break and mend friendships, awaken gay desires, forge healthy relationships (and a few unhealthy ones), and claw their way into adulthood.


Where to watch: Theaters

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Studio Trigger--the anime studio behind hit series like Kill la Kill and Little Witch Academia--made their theatrical debut in the US this summer with Promare. In GameSpot's Promare review, I wrote, "Promare's plot does stumble, most notably when it comes to how it builds its world and fleshes out the main cast, but it takes enough cues from what made Kill la Kill such a hit to then go out and tell its own take on why discrimination is bad and why everyone should learn to love their fellow person. Galo's origin story of becoming a firefighting superhero is framed with over-the-top action pieces, comedy, and well-timed pieces of music, and though he delivers an incredible finishing blow in the epic final battle, it's his evolving rivalry with Lio that gives the movie its satisfying ending."

Similarly to Fire Force, Promare sees a subset of the population develop fire-based abilities. However, instead of devolving into mindless beasts, Promare's Burnish are just regular people trying to live their lives and not accidentally hurt anyone. However, a subgroup called the Mad Burnish do enough damage that a special firefighting unit is put together to don mech suits and battle against the pyrokinetic terrorists. The newest member of this team, Galo, aims to extinguish all of the world's fires and won't stop until he's saved his city from the Mad Burnish threat. His actions lead to a confrontation with the terrorists' leader, Lio Fotia.


Where to watch: Crunchyroll and VRV

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An original anime series, Granbelm mixes together narrative beats from both magical girl and mecha anime to craft a story that is just so, so good. The anime is helmed by the director behind Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World and its story is penned by the writer for A Place Further than the Universe. I'm not a huge fan of the expositional lore dumps in the early episodes, but the action scenes are all pretty top-notch, main character Mangetsu Kohinata has a great shonen protagonist battle cry, and the drama of the evolving relationships will leave you wanting to binge just one more episode.

Granbelm takes place in a world where magic was once commonplace. However, when humanity began abusing magic for war, seven mages gave their lives to seal all of the magic away forever. In the present day, Mangetsu Kohinata accidentally stumbles into the pocket dimension where all that magic is still stored and learns she's one of the living descendants of the mages that sealed it away--and thus one of the few people in the world who can still utilize magic in the real world. Before she knows it, she is flung into a battle royale between all the other living descendants where the victor will be able to claim the sealed magic for themselves. Each descendant is able to magically transform through the power they wield and summon powerful mecha to channel their unique abilities into more powerful attacks.

Vinland Saga

Where to watch: Prime Video

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A historical fiction anime, Vinland Saga will appeal to those who enjoy series like Dororo, 91 Days, and Golden Kamuy. Vinland Saga is a bloody tale that cleverly utilizes fiction to fill in the gaps surrounding King Cnut the Great's real historical rise to power. It's a phenomenal revenge-focused narrative that takes its time to build up its world before jumping into the main story. Oh, and its protagonists are anti-slavery, which is always a big plus!

Set at the start of the 11th century, Vinland Saga focuses on the expanding conflict between England and the Danish invaders (Vikings) that defined the time period in northern Europe. The anime actually begins with a prologue, utilizing its first several episodes to explain how protagonist Thorfinn became the skilled fighter he is in the main story, as well as why he has such a burning vengeance to kill his commander. It's an excellent narrative choice that adds a hefty level of suspense for first-time viewers who haven't read the source material. Go into this anime as blind as you can. You won't regret it.

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Jordan Ramée

Associate Editor for GameSpot, Jordan grew up wanting to be an anime protagonist, then a Pokémon Master, then the Hero of Twilight, then a Spectre, then an Assassin, and then finally a Titan Pilot. But he ended up in the lousy position of writing about those amazing jobs instead.

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