If you live in the right part of world, winter is the best time to stay indoors and not feeling guilty about it. Freezing cold and snow outside are safety hazards for you, so staying in bed and watching anime is the best approach to fill the free time. This setting together with always packed winter season is match made in heaven. I picked decent amount of shows, despite having lot of work and some other side projects, which took time of my schedule - you can check my mini-series about Shogi rules here on AniTAY if you’re interested. But for now - I hereby welcome you to my Winter Seasonal Roundup for 2019. As per usual - shows are divided into three groups; great and good; average; bad and dropped shows. Each opinion in this article is mine and you might disagree. If you do, please do so in polite manner down in the comment section below and respect my opinion, so I can be respectful of yours. Now without further ado, let’s dive in...

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (Boogiepop Never Laughs)

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Episodes: 18 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Psychological
Score: 8 / 10

What did I just watch? That was the initial thought every time I finished the episode of Boogiepop. Even after I finished watching the series, I still have no idea, what it was all about, but I sure did enjoy my time spent with this show. If there is somebody, who actually fully understood, what that is about, you can reach to me, just to explain almost everything what happened in that show. Everything was connected by some characters and I surely loved every episode, Imaginator or King of Distortion were great, but in the end, I find myself having hard time to recollect everything what happened and how it was tied together.

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Domestic na Kanojo

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Episodes: 12 / 25 min. per ep.
Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shounen
Score: 8 / 10

I have love-hate relationship with this show. I still feel weird out by the whole relationship with either younger or older sister. You can say all you want about them not being blood related, but it doesn’t make it better. If you remove this from the equation, what you are left is far relative of Kuzu no Honkai, which digs deep into characters relationship. You have your usual mix of tension, mishaps and wrong decision creeping on everybody around the corner. It was great while it lasted, but it will soon fade away and I’ll be left just with vague memory.

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen (Kaguya-sama: Love is War)

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Episodes: 12 / 25 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Psychological, Romance, School, Seinen
Score: 8 / 10

I’ve already seen my fair share of comedy school romance shows and I was hesitant to add another to the list of average shows, but the voices in our AniTAY chat praising the manga to high heavens convinced me to try it out. Not only the sketches and characters were funny, but it’s probably the only one anime, I can remember from top of my head, where I was not annoyed by narrator and welcomed him. His snarky comments were spot on and served as the cherry on top of already great cake.

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Kakegurui xx (Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler 2nd Season)

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Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Game, Mystery, Psychological, Drama, School, Shounen
Score: 7 / 10

I already mentioned it in the past roundups - it’s hard to write about sequels, if you want to get attention of somebody, who didn’t watch the previous seasons without spoiling them. Kakegurui is one of the prime examples, where I cannot go to details, but if you give the first season a chance and you’ll enjoy it, then I can promise, the second season deliver the same thrill as the first one. I won’t deny that everybody in this show is probably the case for mental health check-up, but it’s still fun to watch. Now I just have to wait for the next season, which I hope we’ll get.

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Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)

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Episodes: 24 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Fantasy, Shounen
Score: 8 / 10

I’m isekai trash and I know it about myself. I’ll probably end up trying even the most stupid ones, hell - I even suffered through whole Seven Senses of the Re’Union, so there was no reason to skip something as stupid as being reincarnated as slime. I went in with the expectations of it being another ecchi harem show, despite the tags were missing from the series description. What a pleasant surprise, when I found heart-warming show, full of likeable characters and great world building? What of that the main character was overpowered, when he used it mainly to bring peace to the land making friends? The finale showed promise for the second season, but the recap episode can be without any regret skipped - if it didn’t have shogi talks in background - shameless plug here of my series of articles on AniTAY, where I speak about shogi!

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Yakusoku no Neverland (The Promised Neverland)

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Episodes: 12 / 22 min. per ep.
Genres: Sci-Fi, Mystery, Horror, Psychological, Thriller, Shounen
Score: 9 / 10

I don’t want to spoil anything for you about this great show, so I’ll keep this entry short. If you haven’t seen Yakusoku no Neverland yet, go watch it! It’s great!

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Date A Live III

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Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Sci-Fi, Harem, Comedy, Romance, Mecha, School
Score: 6 / 10

It took only almost five years and different studio to make this sequel. When I loaded the first episode, I didn’t remember more than half of the cast. I obviously remembered Kurumi - the best girl (don’t fight me, you have no chance to win!), Touka and Kotori, had vague idea who Origami is, but in the end - it didn’t matter. What mattered is that the premise of the show remained same. We got Natsumi, new spirit for Shido to date and get the ball rolling again. It was fun, easy to digest watch over the season, so - let’s just wait another five years for the next season, or is it possible to be sooner with all the promotion of this franchise? Yes, I look at you Crunchyroll and your DanMemo game and DanMachi x Date A Live crossover event!

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Fukigen na Mononokean Tsuzuki (The Morose Mononokean II)

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Episodes: 13 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Demons, Supernatural
Score: 5 / 10

I watched the first season of this show as it aired in summer 2016. It brought something new and opened my eyes to the whole new world of youkai. I looked forward to watching this sequel, but in the end was left somewhat disappointed. It still followed the same idea of exorcising different youkai every episode, but it had something more and darker lurking in the back. It was Ashiya’s and his father’s past which should bring the show on different level, but in the end, it was not explored enough and left a lot of loose ends. It might be opening for the next season, but it felt like we were left without some sense of closure and that pisses me off.

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Sword Art Online: Alicization

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Episodes: 24 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Game, Adventure, Romance, Fantasy
Score: 5 / 10

After Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online entertaining spin-off brought some wind to SAO sails, Alicization just got rid of it again. It’s the same struggle power fantasy show as the first or second season, with Kirito again as protagonist. If you don’t think about the infamous rape episode, not much happened in the show. There is also the plot armour Administrator character had, which allowed her to stay naked for the last few episodes, which was a little bit distracting and unnecessary. If you are fan of this series, there is chance you already saw Alicization, but otherwise there is no real reason to force yourself into watching just for the sake of completion.

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Toaru Majutsu no Index III (A Certain Magical Index III)

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Episodes: 26 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Superpower, Magic
Score: 5 / 10

Eight years is a long time, really long time if you are talking about continuation of any series. I had vague memory of me really liking the Index II so when they announced the third season, I was thrilled, despite remembering literally nothing. It was meant to be confusing at first, but as I remember stuff, it should be cleared and cleared, but the opposite was the truth. As we progressed more and more into the season, I was more confused and was asking myself, why am I even bothering to watch this show, when I have no clue what’s happening, who these people are, sometimes I even had the feeling like the creators themselves didn’t know what they are doing. I guess I stayed for the fights and action scenes, which remained one of the few highlights of this show, but please - don’t ask me what it whole was about, I have zero clue.

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Dimension High School

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Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: School
Score: 3 / 10

I’ve never been big fan of live action anime adaptation, but Dimension High School take it few steps further. This show is basically live action show isekai into really poor CGI anime. Group of four students with their teacher are transferred into anime world while being tutored. The culprit is talking and levitating rock. In the anime class, they are greeted by huge sphinx coming from wall and giving them puzzle to solve. If you cannot solve it, somebody from the group will be eaten and they lose something they value the most. This energy allows sphinx to raise the dimension of their world from 2D up and be closer to 3D, which would result in destroying our world. From certain perspective this show reminds me of Nazotokine, but that was at least fully animated and only 7 minutes per episode. You are also robbed off the fun trying to solve the problems and puzzles by yourself as all of them are very Japanese dependent and without any knowledge of the language, you simply have no idea, what’s going on and even the reasons seem fishy sometimes. You really should not bother with the show. Not only it’s not good, but I also don’t want to support the idea of mixing anime with live action adaptation, maybe it’s just not my cup of tea, but we are better to stay with only fully animated shows, thank you very much.

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