2018 provided one of the most jam-packed anime years in recent memory with a wide variety of properties appealing to a wide variety of audiences. But after such a stacked year, fans are wondering if 2019 could do the same.
A cursory glance at what 2019 has to offer anime fans provides a huge amount of hope as many big series are returning for new episodes, and many new series are getting their time to shine in the anime spotlight.
With big returns like Mob Psycho 100, Fruits Basket, and My Hero Academia, and with new series like The Promised Neverland and Dr. Stone, among the many offerings, 2019 is looking like a fantastic year for anime.
Read on to find out some of the most anticipated anime series of 2019, and let us know you are looking forward to in the comments! We couldn't include everything in this list, as there are a ton of potential favorites on the way, so let us know or talk to me on Twitter @Valdezology!
Premiere Date: January 7
Mob Psycho 100, the second of series creator ONE's big series getting an anime adaptation, made a huge impact when it initially premiered in 2016. But now that the English dub of the first season is currently running on Toonami, fans are ready to see what the next season of the series holds.
The series seems to be going in a much more intense direction than in the first season, and fans can't wait to see Mob explode at 100% once more. The second season has been licensed by both Crunchyroll and Funimation, with Crunchyroll airing both the Japanese and English dub of the season as it airs in Japan. They describe the season as such:
"Shigeo 'Mob' Kageyama is an ordinary 8th grader who just wants to live a normal life. Although he can disappear in the crowd in a flash, he was actually the most powerful psychic. The lives of those around Mob and his numerous feelings that softly piles up for the eventual explosion. The mysterious group 'Claw' stands before him once again. In the midst of his youthful days, where will his roaring heart take him!?"
Premiere Date: January 9
2019 isn't all just big returning series as there are several new adaptations that fans have wanted to see for a long time. One such series is Aneko Yusagi's The Rising of the Shield Hero, which is premiering a new adaptation produced by Kinema Citrus.
Putting a twist on the Isekai genre, when Naofumi is summoned into a new world along with three others, instead of becoming a legendary hero as you would see in other series, he instead is accused of despicable things. Eventually becoming a cynical person through these events, this series sees him fighting just to survive in this new world and become a hero purely out of spite.
Crunchyroll will be streaming the anime in both Japanese and English dub as it airs in Japan. They describes the series as such:
"Iwatani Naofumi, a run-of-the-mill otaku, finds a book in the library that summons him to another world. He is tasked with joining the sword, spear, and bow as one of the Four Cardinal Heroes and fighting the Waves of Catastrophe as the Shield Hero. Excited by the prospect of a grand adventure, Naofumi sets off with his party. However, merely a few days later, he is betrayed and loses all his money, dignity, and respect. Unable to trust anyone anymore, he employs a slave named Raphtalia and takes on the Waves and the world. But will he really find a way to overturn this desperate situation?"
Premiere Date: January 11
Shueisha's newer Shonen Jump properties are coming out in full anime force in 2019, and the first of these major efforts is Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu's The Promised Neverland.
One of the most anticipated premieres of the Winter 2019 anime season, this series hides a major twist that fans have been cautious not to spoil before the series' big premiere. Though the series is full of cute kids, there's a hidden darkness that you'll want to find out the root cause of before it's spoiled for you.
Licensed by Aniplex of America, The Promised Neverland will be streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, and HIDIVE as it airs in Japan. Mamoru Kanobe will be directing The Promised Neverland anime for CloverWorks, and Toshiya Ohno will be handling the series composition, Kazuaki Shimada will be the character designer for the series, and Takahiro Obata will compose the music.
The series is described as such, "Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. Good food, clean clothes and the perfect environment to learn—what more could an orphan ask for? One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing."
Release Date: February 9 (Japan), TBA 2019 (United States)
Releasing in Japan in February, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection takes place two years after the "Zero Requiem" end of the original series and will serve as a finale for the series overall. Directed by Goro Taniguchi for Sunrise, many of the series' staff have returned for the new sequel film.
Given the "Resurrection" in the title, fans are wondering if Lelouch somehow managed to survive after the end of the original series. Funimation has confirmed that the film will screen in the United States sometime this year after it premieres in Japan, so it won't be long before fans in the United States find out the answer to that.
The original run of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion ended back in 2008, and Sunrise celebrated the big tenth anniversary not only with a trilogy of compilation films (which Funimation will release in 2019), but with this new sequel project as well. After such a big celebration, fans can't wait to see how this series will come to an end all over again.
Release Window: April
One of the biggest releases of 2018 is about to continue that trend in 2019 as Attack on Titan's third season continues on with its second half this April. The first half of the third season was well-received among fans for its shift away from the Titan action to human vs. human fights as Attack on Titan's world underwent a major political shift.
But the second half of the third season is going to kick up the intensity an even bigger notch as not only will the Titan fighting make a huge comeback, but the first major battle to retake Wall Maria is going to shift the series in ways many fans aren't expecting to see.
Attack on Titan was originally created by Hajime Isayama, and is set in a world where the last remnants of humanity live within a walled city in order to escape the danger of the Titans, a race of giants monsters that eats humans. The lead character, Eren Yeager, ends up joining the military with his two childhood friends Mikasa and Armin after the Titans break through the wall and attack his hometown. Now Eren, Mikasa, and Armin must survive in a world where they not only have the Titans to fear, but the very humans they are trying to save.
If you want to catch up with the series before the second half of Season 3 in April, you can currently find the series streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Saturday nights on Adult Swim's Toonami block.
Release Window: April
2018 saw many favorite anime series returning after a long time away, and 2019 will be continuing the same trend with its own major anime returns as well. One such series leading the pack for Josei fans is Yuki Suetsugo's Chihayafuru.
After ending its original 50 episode run in 2013, the series is returning for a third season produced by Madhouse with director Morio Asaka returning to helm the new season. The voice cast's main trio will be returning to lend their voices to the new season with Asami Seto as Chihaya Ayase, Mamoru Miyano as Taichi Mashima, and Yoshimasa Hosoya as Arata Wataya once more.
Though not much else has been seen from the series' return as of this writing, fans are definitely clamoring for more. Originally created by Yuki Suetsugo for Kodansha's Be Love magazine in 2007, Chihayafuru is officially described as such:
"Chihaya Ayase is a beautiful and headstrong young woman with a passion for karuta, a card game inspired by classical Japanese poetry. As a child, Chihaya was introduced to the game by a quiet, gifted transfer student named Arata, and she was instantly drawn to it. Now in high school and reunited with her childhood friend Taichi, Chihaya dreams of finding Arata and the three resuming their love of karuta, only to discover that Arata has quit the game due to personal reasons. Determined not to let Arata's passion go to waste, Chihaya and Taichi form the Mizusawa High School Karuta Club, where they learn that in karuta - as in life - working toward your dreams is the key to winning, even when what you want seems just out of reach."
Release Window: April
As mentioned with The Promised Neverland, many of Shonen Jump's current manga sensations are making their anime debuts this year as well. One dark horse that fans should keep an eye on is Koyoharu Gotoge's Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
With an adaptation produced by ufotable and directed by Haruo Sotozaki, this series is one fans of the manga have been waiting for as the series has a distinct art style that fans want to see in motion. It quickly became one of Shonen Jump's biggest series since its debut in 2016, and now many more fans will be able to see just why.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is officially described as such, "Since ancient times, rumors have abounded of man-eating demons lurking in the woods. Because of this, the local townsfolk never venture outside at night. Legend has it that a demon slayer also roams the night, hunting down these bloodthirsty demons. For young Tanjiro, these rumors will soon to become his harsh reality. Ever since the death of his father, Tanjiro has taken it upon himself to support his family. Although their lives may be hardened by tragedy, they've found happiness.
But that ephemeral warmth is shattered one day when Tanjiro finds his family slaughtered and the lone survivor, his sister Nezuko, turned into a demon. To his surprise, however, Nezuko still shows signs of human emotion and thought… Thus begins Tanjiro's request to fight demons and turn his sister human again."
Release Window: April
Much like Mob Psycho 100, ONE's other famous series One-Punch Man is returning after a long wait for a second season. Given how well the first season was received when it originally debuted in 2015, so fans have been anxiously waiting to see what comes next from the series.
Though it's a bit different this time around as the second season will instead by produced by J.C. Staff, and while the voice cast of the series is confirmed to return, but many of the other elements behind the second season's production will be different from the first season.
Nevertheless, One-Punch Man is definitely going to be one fans won't want to miss. Viz Media has also licensed the season for an English release, and they describe One-Punch Man Season 2 as such, "Saitama is a hero who only became a hero for fun. After three years of “special training,” he’s become so strong that he’s practically invincible. In fact, he’s too strong—even his mightiest opponents are taken out with a single punch. Now, the great seer Madame Shibabawa’s prediction about the Earth being doomed seems to be coming true as the frequency of monster incidents escalates. Alongside Genos, his faithful disciple, Saitama begins his official hero duties as a member of the Hero Association, while Garou, a man utterly fascinated by monsters, makes his appearance."
Release Window: July
Another big recent Shonen Jump manga is Dr. Stone, which has quickly captured the imaginations of fans over its short tenure so far due to its great central hook.
Produced by TMS Entertainment, the series stars Yusuke Kobayashi as Senku Ishigami (Subaru in Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-), Makoto Furukawa as Taiju Oki (Saitama in One-Punch Man), Kana Ichinose as Yuzuriha Ogawa, and Yuichi Nakamura as Tsukasa Shishio. Along with a packed voice cast for the series, it comes from a great source as the original manga combines the efforts of Eyeshield 21 writer Riichiro Inagaki and Sun-Ken Rock series creator Boichi.
Like The Promised Neverland, and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Dr. Stone will most likely be a dark horse contender for a major anime favorite when all is said and done. The series follows two boys (initially) as they try and save a world that's been completely petrified in stone. Viz Media has licensed the manga for an English language release, and they described Dr. Stone as such:
"One fateful day, all of humanity was petrified by a blinding flash of light. After several millennia, high schooler Taiju awakens and finds himself lost in a world of statues. However, he’s not alone! His science-loving friend Senku’s been up and running for a few months and he's got a grand plan in mind—to kickstart civilization with the power of science!"
Release Date: July 12 (Japan)
Pokemon's recent run of films, beginning with the 20th Anniversary film Pokemon: I Choose You!, have been re-exploring many of the anime franchise's early moments and re-imagining them with a unique spin.
This seems to continue in a much larger way than expected with the 22nd film, Pokemon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION that seems to tease a fully CG rendered version of the first film's battle between Mewtwo and Mew. The title suggests that the film may be rebooting the first Pokemon film, Mewtwo Strikes Back, but hopefully more will be revealed as the film gets closer to its full release.
Many of the details for this film are still being kept under wraps as of this writing, but fans can't wait to see Mewtwo run amok in the film franchise again, CG or not.
Release Date: August 9 (Japan)
One Piece is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of its anime with a huge new film project, and while not a lot is known about One Piece: Stampede as of this writing, it's already shaping up to be the biggest film in the franchise yet.
The title is mysterious enough to warrant many fan theories, and it's implied that the Straw Hats are going to be facing off against their largest threat yet. When the film was first announced, the official Twitter account for the film further teased just how big things were shaping up to be too:
"One Piece: Stampede is the title! Stampede is a wording meaning rushing or running away. As a film made to honor the anime’s 20th anniversary, it will heat up the Summer of 2019. What is meant by the straw hat dancing in the sky!? And the huge monster made of rubble behind! Please wait for more news!”
Regardless, much like many of the films in the One Piece franchise, fans are eagerly awaiting to see just what kind of wild new adventures the Straw Hats will be getting into for the 20th Anniversary.
Release Window: October
One of the biggest confirmed returns for the 2019 anime year is My Hero Academia's fourth season. The third season was the biggest and most well-received season of the series to date, so the hype for Season 4 is through the roof.
The third season of the series ended on a major cliffhanger with the introduction with the Big 3 (the top students of U.A. High School), new Pro-Heroes like Nighteye, and new villains like Overhaul, and each of these new elements coalesce in big ways over the next arc of the series. The coming Internship arc of the series is undoubtedly the one with the biggest action set pieces, somehow outdoing All Might vs. All For One, and now fans will have a major series to close out the year with.
My Hero Academia was created by Kohei Horikoshi and has been running in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump since July 2014. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, who lives in a world where everyone has super powers, even though he was born without them. Dreaming to become a superhero anyway, he's eventually scouted by the world's best hero All Might and enrolls in a school for professional heroes. The fourth season will see the world expand further beyond the school now that Midoriya has his Hero License, and he'll find that the villains have all grown in substantial ways as well.
Release Window: 2019
One of the biggest surprise announcements last year was when Funimation announced that the popular Fruits Basket series was returning with a brand new rebooted anime take on the series.
Natsuki Takaya's Fruits Basket originally received a 26 episode adaptation from Studio Deen in 2001, but fans remember it as a series that didn't follow the manga closely and instead told many original tales. With this rebooted take, however, the anime will adapt the original manga much more closely. It will even be boosted with an all-new staff and cast. Directed by Yoshihide Ibata for TMS Entertainment, the series will feature Taku Kishimoto as series writer, and Masaru Shindo as character designer.
The reboot will feature executive supervision from series creator Natsuki Takaya (who has given her approval for the new series), and has been licensed by Funimation for a release sometime this year. Originally created by Natsuki Takaya for Hakusensha's Han to Yume magazine in 1998, Fruits Basket follows a sweet, young, orphaned girl named Tohru Honda who ends up living with a few members of the mysterious Sohma clan when shenanigans ensue. Things get out of control when Tohru learns the family has been cursed to transform into zodiac animals whenever they are hugged by someone of the opposite sex. Sworn to secrecy, Tohru decides to help break the cyclical curse, and the girl falls in love with a special someone along the way.