A Magical 2019 Pt. II: The Spellbook Awards (3rd Day of Anime 2019)

By popular demand…or maybe just Derek’s…the Awards are back (and harder to nominate for than ever, considering the AniList end-of-season forum posts have essentially died off due to lack of people keeping them alive).

There are less joke awards than 2017’s, but regardless, have fun with them…

…oh, and if you didn’t figure it out from the 2017 iteration, here be spoilers! (I probably should’ve warned you the first time, to be honest…)

Note: If not specified, only anime finished in 2019 are applicable.

The “You Tried” Award

Sentou Yousei Shoujo Tasukete! Mave-chan and Cop Craft

There ar a few select anime which I would say “they have nice concepts on paper but their unfortunate execution made them suck”. Scared Rider Xechs, which charted in 2017 is one of them, so here’s more.

Specifically, the good ideas are the fact Mave-chan, Super Sylph and co. come from different anime and Rei is tasked with saving their world. It really suggests, especially in the world where simulcasts reign supreme, that being forgotten is the worst crime for an anime…much like how I’ll end up forgetting this with time, too.

The “I’m Clearly Missing Something Here” Award

Rurouni Kenshin: Seisou-hen (Reflection)

This OVA duology was a victim of circumstance, so if you thought it was kinda weird that I watched the prequel and sequel without finishing the middle part (which is about 100 episodes, mind you), you would have been correct. The fact these OVAs were about Kenshin and Kaoru’s days growing old only added insult to injury.

The reason why I rated Tsuioku-hen (aka Trust and Betrayal) much higher than this, by the way, is because of the rewatch value – you can use it as a prequel or sequel without needing any big infodumps. Seisou-hen, of course, requires the infodumps to evoke a strong emotional response.

Most Disappointing Region Lockout (incl. Paywall Lockouts)

Vinland Saga

Seeing this top people’s lists makes me kind of sour, but I think One Punch Man 2 makes me more sour than that.

Best OST Track

Fuyu no Hanashi (Given) and Tanjiro Kamado no Uta (Demon Slayer)

See below for more specific impressions of the moments they appeared.

Hugest Waste of a Great OP

Rakuen Toshi by Masayoshi Ooishi (Cop Craft)

This jazzy OP fits what the show should have been, but not what we actually got. Especially not that one time where Tilarna got bodyswapped with a cat…urgh. That’s not even the ugliest scene I saw this year, as you’ll see below…

I also heard Revisions is pretty weird, but that also has an awesome OP, Wagamama de Gomakasanaide (Don’t Selfishly Deceive Me). I can’t confirm my own opinions on the anime because of the paywall, though.

Track I Expect to See Get More Coverage in 2020

Da La Doubt by Nanase Matsuoka x Kirisame Undertaker (Zenonzard Episode 0)

I really want this track to show up in the actual show, so…let me have this one, at least. It’ll be interesting to see what Other Side by Miyavi (ID: Invaded‘s ED) will sound like, too.

Most Disturbing Scene

Nozomi gets tortured by Abigail, Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka/Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka

I commend you if you watched the entire show and managed to watch that scene without at least having a visceral reaction to it.

Most Eye-rolling Scene

The 4 Cardinal Heroes fight the Pope, Rising of the Shield Hero

This is the one time I regretted hanging on to Shield Hero while watching it. I tried to get rid of it, but I probably should’ve made good on it before this entire “talking while the enemy charges his weapon” scene showed up.

Number of Husbandos Obtained

19 (13 up from 2017)

Now that the husbando list has been around for about a year, I have a concrete number, but it also includes husbandos I learnt about through interacting with Mudae’s husbando battle functions (e.g. Chris Koron of Idolmaster Side M).

Number of Anime Dropped

17 (down 6 from 2017)

Notably, this includes two of the worst drops ever, with 5 minutes 12 seconds’ survival time (which means it’s slightly worse than Hand Shakers!) for King of Prism – Shiny 7 Stars and Gunjou no Magmel, which is the only anime to have an unknown survival time (due to being watched as it aired in Japan, although the best indication of the survival time is that I dropped it around the time of the OP).

Most Dramatic Anime

Stars Align/Hoshiai no Sora

This anime is so dramatic that it’s rather overwhelming to take in when you watch multiple episodes in one sitting.

Biggest Surprise

Shinchou Yuusha

Going back to the seasonal preview posts reveals Given took out a lower-middle spot (9 of 12 newcomers – “newcomer” being anything that’s not a sequel, but counts Shin Chuuka Ichiban since that hasn’t shown on the seasonal charts in years) when it first showed up. Shinchou Yuusha was at spot 13 of 16 newcomers, so it wins.

Best Use of CGI

No Guns Life

No Guns Life looks a little weird, but it’s certainly distinctive and memorable, plus I can definitely see why whoever made such a decision made it. The ED in particular looks pretty cool.

Best Anime Moments

I can’t really shave it down past a top 4, so here’s a top 5.

5. Atsushi and Akutagawa defeat Goncharov (BSD s3)

This battle ends with “Fyodor is elsewhere, now get your butts to him!”, so that’s why this gets the lowest position. That said, this battle is an awesome one, albeit a rather drawn-out one.

4. Tanjiro and Nezuko defeat Rui (Demon Slayer)

With some last-minute help from Nezuko, Tanjiro manages to use the Breath of Fire (not to be confused with Breath of Flame) to kick Rui mostly down for the count. The reason why this ranks fairly low on a list of the most awesome moments of the year is because Astral was hyping it up and so I was expecting a lot. (I did get what I wanted, though.)

3. Yu(ta) reveals himself to be questioning his gender identity and Maki reveals his mother’s friend is also LGBTIQ+ (Stars Align/Hoshiai no Sora)

Specifically, while it’s not clear if Yu is a trans hopeful or just non-binary is up to debate, but Maki’s mother’s friend (whose name escapes me as I type this, but I’m fairly sure it’s “Sho”) is definitely trans. Although I’ve mentioned Stars Align is an overwhelming show (for better or for worse), having these two issues back-to-back but naturally woven into each other reveals volumes about both boys.

2. Mafuyu sings his lyrics (Given)

Episode 9 and its aftereffects were really a rollercoaster, from Mafuyu finally getting over his trauma to the dramatic kiss to Ritsuka’s “it’s mutual” brain-party. It’s been hyped up all season, so it’s more than satisfying to see it all pay off.

  1. Seiya defeats Chaos Machina (Shinchou Yuusha)

Sure, Chaos Machina is the weaest of the 4 Demon Kings, but this moment trumps all others because of the fact it acts much like One Punch Man‘s fight against Marugori and Fukegao (the Attack on Titan reject and his scientist brother) – it’s memorable, you learn that the stakes are much higher than what you expected them to be, it’s a riot to watch and you learn all the ins and outs of the hero in the process.

You’ll notice Astra and Mob Psycho, two of my top-rated anime overall, didn’t have any big moments. That’s because they were rather consistent in delivering stuff that was above and beyond, but for Mob Psycho the moments I’d want to put in this list (Reigen’s mini-arc and Mob vs. Toichiro) don’t compare to these and with the exceptions of Luca’s reveal as intersex (which is already ousted by no. 3 in the final list) and the fact the Astra could be fixed with Polina’s ship (which I managed to predict), Astra was so consistent in being shocking that the twists ended up being unremarkable in the context of the show.

The Year in a Sentence

Too many spoilers to dodge, not enough time. (No, seriously, I got spoilered on Sarazanmai and Astra before big reveals and actively sought out Iruma-kun spoilers. This doesn’t include having seen the corresponding source material beforehand.)

So, do you have any anime you’d like to give these awards?

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