Animation - Anime, Anime, Anime Yearly Summaries

2019 Anime Summary


Yeah, I’m doing this too. As a whole, I consider 2019 a great year of anime, especially comes right after 2018 which I consider the worst year of the decade. It’s a year where many Anime Auteurs – some of the best working Anime directors today – helming original visions. Ikuhara, Shinichi Watanabe, Yuusa, Shinkai all have their original, passionate projects, and many manga classics like Vinland Saga and Kimetsu no Yaiba receive anime treatments. 2019 also saw many reboot from the 90s, early 00s decade with varying degrees of success, such as Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019), Fruits Basket (2019) and Blade of the Immortals. On the negative side, the amount of isekai escapism is at its peak, at least in terms of quantity and not for their quality. My format is gonna be this: look at the most Popular show of the year,  the most Underrated show, then some honorable mentions before I get to the top 10. Hope you enjoy the countdown.

Most Popular Show of 2019: Carole & Tuesday

If I have to give one definite quality of Carole & Tuesday, it’s “accessible”, for better or for worse. Streaming in Netflix with the majority of the audiences isn’t used to watching anime, I can see this show as a getaway to have a first dip of what modern anime is like. And there are many aspects of Carole & Tuesday to support that approach: the animation is expressive, the art styles are gorgeous and attentive to details, the plot is simple but inspirational, the leads are likeable enough and most of all, the music is well-produced – everything you would expect from the great master Shinichi Watanabe. On a flip side though, because the anime is too mainstream it unfortunately doesn’t have enough edge or depth. The titular characters Carole & Tuesday suffer from that the most. There is little to no conflict between them, and throughout its 2 cours runtime they often act like one, there is no personality to them at all. That is why the supporting cast is often more interesting than the leads themselves. Second, the story arcs remain quite simple and predictable, and it becomes clear that the show is more concentrated on the music than the story. All in all, with the gorgeous visual, crisp animation and the top-notch soundtrack, if you don’t expect too much of it, you’ll enjoy it as you go along the ride.

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2010s Animated Movies, Animated Movies, Animation - Anime

Animated Movies of 2010s – #05: Funan, Modest Heroes & Seder-Masochism

This time we head back a year to some festival-friendly animated indies in 2018. These films are pretty much passion projects from the creators, and you can see the love for the craft every single minute in the films. Three very different stories from three different regions. From the true story of his mother during the Khmer Rouge in Funan, to Studio Ponoc’s several intimate shorts and finally to Nina Paley’s 7-year in production for a film that eventually released for free. It’s a solid batch of films all around. Next time, we’ll head to Spain for some of their most acclaimed features in 2010s. For now, enjoy.

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2010s Animated Movies, Animated Movies, Animation - Anime

Animated Movies of 2010s – #04: The Swallows of Kabul, Children of the Sea & Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon

Well, I promise that this post is the last 2019-centric coverage before I move on to other specific years/ themes (not that this is the end of 2019 titles oh no there are still lots of good ones out there). For this part I decide to pick 3 smaller entries around the globe, with different art styles, aesthetics and target audiences. One from the respected female filmmakers about the harsh lives of people in Taliban, another is a manga-turn-anime tale about growing up, and the last is another addition to an all-time family-friendly classic from the UK. I hope you enjoy the piece.

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2010s Animated Movies, Animated Movies, Animation - Anime

Animated Movies of 2010s – #03: Toy Story 4, How to Train Your Dragon 3 & Missing Link

Out of all the categories in Oscars, I personally feel the most positive about Best Animated Race. Well, the recent change regarding “all Academy members will vote for the nominees instead of Animation branch” is silly, which is another topic altogether so I won’t delve into it this time, but more than any other categories, and more than any Animated Season Awards, the committees do expand their view to champion films that are outside of the US, and pick films based on the merits of quality itself instead of big names big campaigns. Pixar still dominates the category and they still ignore many worthy anime films, which hurts. As for the 2019 race, I’m quite happy with the nominees with each film has its merits to be there. The only surprise is HTTYD edges out Frozen 2 but consider how HTTYD is always a strong franchise, and this 3rd film closes off that franchise on a conclusive note, I have no complaints whatsoever. Next one, we delve one more time to 2019 releases before we head to more theme-specific, or region-specific animated movies. Enjoy for now. 

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2010s Animated Movies, Animated Movies, Animation - Anime

Animated Movies of 2010s – #02: I Lost My Body, Klaus & Ruben Brandt, Collector

For this #2, we are heading to Western Animation to truly appreciate animation as an artform. This batch includes all install-classic offerings, with innovative and unique hand-drawn art styles that not only rare to find in the age (where CG dominates the box-office), but the styles integrate strongly to the story it’s telling. Two 4-star ratings (little spoilers, as far as all the films I’ve seen this decade I only awarded 14 movies with perfect 4-star, with this third film being the latest addition) and a hard 3-star, that alone speaks to the quality of this second batch. For the next batch we will have a look at other 3 Best Animated nominees from the year 2019. Enjoy.

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2010s Animated Movies, Animated Movies, Animation - Anime

Animated Movies of 2010s – #01: Weathering With You, Ride Your Wave & Promare

Let’s start with some anime big boys of the last year of the last decade where they all basically establish their house styles. Shinkai with his obsessions for both background arts and teen romance, Yuusa for his distinctive and unconventional vision and Studio Trigger for their colorful, loud and rush-of-adrenaline qualities. Not all of them are successful, but it’s clear that their ambitions alone make them a worthy watch already. Check the reviews out below:

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Alright, for the next few weeks I’ll be checking out animated movies in the 2010s. The plan is to watch all the films I have missed out, as well as re-watch some in the early years of the decade, then I will make a top 10 list for each year and eventually the masterlist Animated Movies of the Decade. I’m looking around 40-50 films at this moment, range from anime to Hollywood fares to indie films around the world (and the list keeps growing), but since it’s animation it’s less of a demand watch than live-action films (well, at least in my case). I’ll also do short reviews in a batch of three films, so make sure to check back often to see my thoughts on these films. Another thing, for this project I’m gonna use a different, simpler grading system. 4 stars is awarded for modern classic films, 3 stars for good, 2 for decent and 1 for mixed. Also while at it, I’ll post the top 10 Anime Series of each year for the 2010s, and then onto the top 50 Anime of the Decade. Stay tune and I hope you enjoy reading.