This Week in Anime
Winter 2019 in Retrospect

by The TWIA Crew,

From The Promised Neverland to Kaguya-sama: Love is War, this winter was packed with memorable anime. This week, Nick, Micchy, Andy, and Steve break down the highs and lows of this past season, before jumping into their most anticipated picks for spring.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network.

@Lossthief @Liuwdere @A_Tasty_Sub @vestenet

Look Micchy, it's the end of the season and we are desperate for topics to cover, so unfortunately it looks like we have to talk about VIRTUAL-SAN LOOKING again.
What do you mean unfortunate? These vtubers were the highlight of my season!
Stop right the hell there. I'll be drawn and quartered before I let you two curse us with more of that hellshow.
Nick, why don't you understand that vtubers are the future?
I am the ghost of anime seasons past, and I refuse to let you drain any more life from me.
Oh good, backup's here. Instead of tanking what little credibility we still have with this...
How about we talk about literally anything else?
Why not literally everything else? It's the end of the season after all, and I don't know about you guys, but I have once again watched a medically inadvisable amount of anime over the past three months.
I'd like to think I hit the nutritionally accepted limit myself.
Compared to the usual, it was a bit of a dry season for me, but the lows were few and the highs were very high. What a wild ride Promised Neverland was!
Me now that the show's over:
Neverland was definitely my highlight of the season. It's been a while since there was a show I would absolutely make sure I could watch the moment it came out, but every Thursday without fail I was there to watch my unknowably powerful son.
Phil is the key to everything.
The adaptation took an already-strong comic and added just enough of its own flair to make an edge-of-your-seat watch every single week, even knowing how things go ahead of time. And as many times as it broke my heart over the season, I could not once look away. It's incredible that this first season was so strong when the real good material is still to come.
Funny enough, Promised Neverland is one of the shows I'm like two months behind on, but only because I marathoned the manga and figured I'd do the same once the anime finished. So instead, I've been entertaining myself by guessing what part the anime was at each week by reading everyone's tweets and making this face.
I originally planned to do that, but I found the adaptation choices and the conversation around the show to be engaging enough to keep up. Also those Phil screencaps weren't gonna get themselves.
I mean, I caved and binged the manga too, but every twist and awful tragedy that hit these kids hurt just as much the second time. And yeah, Phil is precious, can never have too much Phil.
I was initially worried about getting bored, since I've read this first arc through like five times already. But the adaptive team did a really good job of reworking the material and adding touches that helped hone Neverland's strengths in a new medium. I could scream for ages about the trick the show pulled with its music that didn't become apparent until the very last episode.
I'm glad it got a careful adaptation. Season 2 is going to be such a wild sea change, so I can't wait to see how both the staff and audience adapt.
Speaking of which, KAGUYA-SAMA S2 WHEN?
And here I thought I was the only one watching GeGeGe no Kitarō!
This was supposed to be a goofy disaster teen romance show, not Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I mean, it's accurate to the feeling you get when you suddenly remember embarrassing shit you did in the past.
Kaguya was a wonderful surprise in a season that I expected to have few simple joys going in. Though season two needs to remove Ishigami in favor of even more Chika.
Don't even get me started on how bad they blueballed us in that show though. Romcoms gonna romcom, and the manga runs for a long time before that relationship makes any strides, but god if you could hear how loudly I screamed at the finale.
It's Nozaki-kun's "I love fireworks" all over again, but Miyuki has no reason to be embarrassed. This is an A+ romantic one-liner, and my boy stepped up for once in his nervous wreck of a life.
What is being in love if not an endless stream of awful, cringe-worthy lines?
He should absolutely be embarrassed because A+ one liners are still inferior to being honest. Though I guess the Nozaki scene proved that it's more about timing than any words you choose.
Kaguya-sama was not on my radar at all prior to the start of the season, but it ended up being one of my favorites. What a thoroughly delightful show about dumb teens who would sooner twist themselves into non-Euclidean knots than actually confess their feelings. Not that I would find that relatable or anything, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...
Kaguya-sama's strength has always been the relatable emotions at the heart of its absurdity, and that season finale manages to deliver a sweet semi-climax. Kaguya lies to Miyuki about her feelings all the time, but she does the same to herself, and it was nice to see her be honest about how much the people in her life mean to her.
Though lord knows why she wants to spend time with Yu "Reply Guy" Ishigami.
He even has an anime icon on Twitter, that's how you know he's terrible.
I guess when you have a character as perfect as Chika, you have to balance out your cast somehow.
Do you? Can't we just have nice things?
Ishigami earns his keep in two ways: dunking on Chika and getting dunked on himself
Please do not bully the Chika.
Sorry, can't hear you.
Chika went to town on an entire garlic-soaked bowl of ramen. I would DIE protecting her.
For real tho, I need more Kaguya-sama in my life, if for nothing else than giving us the second most romantic foot chase of the season.
I'm glad you recognized it as the second.
Ah yes, runny boiz. There is virtually no heterosexual explanation for this.
I am woefully behind on them boys what run, but as I understand it, that show's all about making the journey, not how fast you do it.
The key word is endurance!
It's very much about the destination as much as the journey. As wonderful as it is to see the whole cast grow into the best versions of themselves, Kakeru and Haiji finally seeing each other as literal beings of light in motion is one of the most beautiful images of the season.
And Run with the Wind had a lot of beautiful images.
The last few episodes are the culmination of the running boys' journey to self-realization, as each of them reflect on how far they've come. Each character gets a few minutes of focus, working through the complicated feelings they've been working through over time. The fourth-years look toward an uncertain future of employment, the twins fret over their identities, and Kakeru comes to an ambiguous conclusion of being in love with the concept of running? Or Haiji? Is there a meaningful distinction between the two? It's such a well-executed sports show that I wish more folks were watching.
I feel guilty about falling behind, but I promise to finish the running boys' journey someday soon.
Running isn't the most interesting pastime, but the thing about sports stories is they have the ability to make any sport interesting. I love baseball stories! But actually watching a whole anime's worth of baseball games would be a slog. Run with the Wind is a character drama first and foremost, and I wouldn't even call the romantic ending ambiguous. I think running and Haiji are one and the same for Kakeru as romantic inspirations.
Speaking of other very good boys who run:
Ahahaaaaaa, speaking of things I need to catch up on...
Me too, oops.
I'm right with you guys on that guilt train. I figured I would use Mob Psycho 100 to wash the taste of what looks like a not-so-great continuation of One Punch Man out of my mouth next month.
We're all terrible!
None of you are free of sin.
Steve is officially the best of us.
Hey, the Body Improvement Club taught me it's about putting in the effort, not about the immediate results. I'll get there at my own pace.
Yeah, but didn't you finish watching Domestic Girlfriend instead?
I've already spent thousands of words this season talking about how good
Mob Psycho 100 has been. It's something really special, and I can't believe it's already over again. These final episodes get wild, so you guys should get on it.
Also someone gave Reigen a gun, so be afraid.

Be very afraid.
My excuse for falling behind is mostly video game-related.
I understand, but unfortunately this isn't the place to talk about my favorite anime of the season, Sekiro.
Nah, my game's a bit more old-school.
Netflix Guile, please free Carol & Tuesday from Netflix jail with a SONIC BOOM.
As they're so wont to do, Netflix dumped three extra episodes of Hi Score Girl in my lap, and who am I to deny such a gift? Kaguya-sama and Run with the Wind have their fireworks confessions and mystical jogging hallucinations, but the most ridiculously romantic thing in anime this season is definitely Haruo making Ono her own game in RPG maker.
Oh damn, that actually does sound cool.
That is the nerdiest goddamn thing ever and it's also absolutely adorable.
Don't worry Micchy, there's something in HSG for you too: Heybot! voice!
Delete this immediately.
Oh, that means we had double
Heybot!-voice this season!
I hate this.
In retrospect, maybe the reason I fell behind on good shows is because I was too busy watching stuff like Magical Girl Spec Ops and How Clumsy you are, Miss Ueno.
I guess you know what that means...
No, you guys don't understand. I hate this because there were actually three  Heybot! voices this season.
Okay, maybe I won't watch more GeGeGe no Kitarō...
That's right, Kitaro had a sexy Heybot! vampire. I was keeping this a secret, but it's too late for all of us now.
What a cursed anime season. Great for Shiori Izawa, though!
Now I feel guilty for poisoning everyone against Shiori Izawa's perfectly decent voice.
She's great! She'll just always be Heybot! to us now...
Well, I'm sure with such a busy season behind her, we won't have to worry abo—oh wait no she's in
Kimetsu no Yaiba next.
GET HYPE—wait, what? Is nothing sacred? :(
I'm really looking forward to that one! I certainly hope it doesn't turn out Kimetsu no Yabai.
I am legit excited to see ufotable throw all their pomp and circumstance behind Koyoharu Gotouge's story. Plus it's a Shonen Jump thing. I'm contractually obligated to be excited for it.
I'll just be banging my fists on the table until the world can finally meet my pig son.
There's already so much to look forward to next season! Can y'all believe we're getting a new Kunihiko Ikuhara show already?
I can't wait to see what those kappas shove up their butts.
I haven't even tried to prepare, because I know I'll never be ready for the next Ikuhara thing.
FRUITS BASKET THOUGH...and if you're contractually obligated to be excited for Jump things, Nick, I hope you can say the same for We Never Learn.
Oh I'm excited for We Never Learn alright. Y'all best prepare to marathon that thing with me once The Best Girl In All Of Harem Animanga arrives.
Thanks, I already hate it. At least there's no necktie stapled to her clothing, so maybe it won't be as bad as Nisekoi.
But I think the show I'm looking forward to most next season is the show I'm going to put on by protesting outside of Netflix Headquarters, demanding that they release Carole & Tuesday. Give us those doughnuts
you monsters.

It'll feel all the better when it finally drops [checks watch] at least six months from now. We can be patient!
Can we just switch it with Baki? They've already delayed that one once, so maybe they'd be willing to do a switcheroo.
As for me, I'm most looking forward to whatever yet-unknown piece of garbage anime will charm what remains of my heart for the next three months. There's always one. Sometimes more.
Good, so you'll be on the King of Prism train with me. Everything Happens So Much in that anime.
Thankfully, my experience with Miss Ueno this season provided me with the perfect gif for purifying cursed cartoons.
Okay, what I'm looking forward to most next season is never having to hear about this piss-girl show again.
I'd like to say I'm anticipating Mix, but nobody's picked it up for streaming yet. Mitsuru Adachi deserves better. T___T
You could always watch Cross Game again?
I hope Mix gets picked up for streaming and then we find out the Heybot! voice is in it.
The best garbage never gets completely thrown away! And in memoriam, I'd like to commemorate the Garbage King of Winter 2019, Domestic Girlfriend. If you thought Kaguya-sama had the most awkward courtship of the season, GUESS AGAIN.
Pray to the god of trash so you can continue the thrilling story of a schmuck dating both his sisters.
Okay, I'm putting my foot down. Starting next season we've got some new rules:
- No trash
- No piss fetishes
- Absolutely No Heybot!
These laws seem discriminatory to me, I veto this decision.
Topple the Nicktatorship!
Yeah, what are we supposed to talk about instead?
The only thing we ever need to talk about:
This Week in Phil: he's still very good and we love him lots.
I'm so glad everyone recognizes him as the secret MVP now. Not just of The Promised Neverland, but all anime ever going forward.
Very well, I approve of this change. See you guys next time for This Week in Phil!

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