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Feature Article

Top 7 Winter 2019 Anime - Ones To Watch Right Now (US)

Binge 'em all before the spring season.

Now in the final month of the Winter 2019 season, it's almost time to start looking ahead at what anime series and movies are coming in the spring. However, before then, there's plenty of excellent shows you should be catching up on right now. Between everything on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hidive, and VRV, these are the anime that we think you should spend March catching up on.

Back in January, I described The Price of Smiles and The Magnificent Kotobuki as "keep an eye on this" recommendations, but both--especially The Price of Smiles--have proven they're worth watching as much as the anime listed below. Unlike the other anime on this list, these two are original stories that aren't based on pre-existing literature or media.

The Price of Smiles subverts expectations by presenting itself as a feel-good, cute anime, but is actually an emotional account of the cost of war. The anime follows two women that fight on opposing sides of the same conflict, with one being a 12-year-old princess who must lead her people after the death of her parents and the other a common foot soldier who just wants the war to end so people can be safe again. The Magnificent Kotobuki, on the other hand, is more light-hearted. The series follows a team of fighter pilots who sell their services as bodyguards for a trading company. You won't find much drama in this anime, but the series does have its occasional emotional gut-punch and it captures the feeling of aerial dogfights with its CG animation amazingly well. The Price of Smiles is available on Crunchyroll and VRV, while The Magnificent Kotobuki is available on Hidive and VRV.

The Promised Neverland is one of the best series this season, which comes as little surprise considering it brings to life one of Shonen Jump's better manga. This pulse-pounding thriller is best experienced without prior knowledge of the plot, so don't read up on it before diving in. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. The anime ups the tension of the manga with some stellar shots, which frame the characters in strange angles. It really sells the idea that everyone is being spied on at all times, and that something is very, very wrong with the orphanage that main characters Emma, Ray, and Norman call home. The anime, unfortunately, does little to fix its source material's poor portrayal of black women. However, it does wonders in bringing Emma, perhaps the best female protagonist Shonen Jump has ever had, to life. The Promised Neverland is available on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, Hidive, and VRV.

If you haven't already, you should also catch up on Mob Psycho 100 II, which is the second season to one of 2016's most popular anime. Made by the same folks behind One Punch Man, this series continues to deliver more hilarious misadventures of the young boy who's one of the world's most powerful espers. The beautifully wholesome nature of this season's plot is already shaping up to be one of 2019's best stories. This show is a must watch. Mob Psycho 100 II is available on Crunchyroll and VRV.

Anyone who knows a story that's focused on a beloved pet can probably guess almost every plot point My Roommate is a Cat explores. However, despite the cliche nature of the anime's story--a socially awkward man finds the push to open up to others after adopting and befriending a stray cat--the show is still quite compelling. Through the anime, we see the same set of events through both the perspectives of the main character and his feline friend, and it allows for moments of both hilarious misunderstanding and heartfelt connection between the two. They're both lost souls that learn to love again by being together. Yes, it's super cheesy, but it's also absolutely worth watching. My Roommate is a Cat is on Crunchyroll, VRV, and Funimation.

In terms of action-focused series, check out Dororo, which is a remake of the 50-year-old anime of the same name. Taking place in feudal Japan, Dororo is about a ronin outfitted with prosthetics after his eyes, nose, ears, tongue, skin, and limbs are all ripped out of his body by demons. Despite being a rehash of a half-century-old story, this series breathes fresh life into its narrative with well-animated action sequences and adjustments to the backgrounds of certain characters. Although it hasn't managed to reach the same heights as Devilman Crybaby--which won Anime of the Year in the Crunchyroll 2018 Anime Awards--Dororo is another great example that classic series can be modernized for the better. Dororo is an Amazon Prime Video exclusive.

Although its story is a little bit out there in comparison to the other anime on this list, Boogiepop and Others is another great series you'll want to catch up on. This new series has nothing to do with the first Boogiepop anime--instead it follows the original light novels. This makes it an excellent jumping in point for anyone who's missed out on the past two decades of this critically acclaimed supernatural series. You're going to have to trust me on this recommendation. Just get through the first episode--I know it's boring--and keep going. This anime seems dull and uninspired at first, but Boogiepop leaps between multiple points of view pretty much every episode to slowly deliver bits and pieces of its spooky narrative. You'll need to watch at least the first arc to realize there's way more to this story than a high school girl with an androgynous-looking split personality, her boring boyfriend, and a cannibalistic serial killer. Boogiepop and Others is on Crunchyroll, VRV, and Funimation.

Below, we've listed every anime that's airing in the United States this season, just in case you plan on catching up on absolutely everything. If you happen to be caught up on everything--kudos to you--check out our recommendations of what to watch from last season. There are some really good series in there for some weekend binging.

Where To Watch Winter 2019 Anime (US)

Movies And Short Film Anthologies

  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly -- Select Theaters
  • Godzilla: The Planet Eater -- Netflix
  • I want to eat your pancreas -- Select Theaters
  • Made In Abyss: Journey's Dawn -- Select Theaters (premieres March 15)
  • Modest Heroes -- Select Theaters
  • My Hero Academia: Two Heroes -- Funimation (releases March 26)

Action And Adventure Series

Slice Of Life And Comedy Series

Romance And Harem Series

Thriller, Drama, And Supernatural Series

Science Fiction And Fantasy Series

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James_xeno

hmmm..