Tuesday, January 1, 2019

10 Exciting TV & Anime Releases in 2019

Happy New Year, Folks!

Typically I would try to make my 1st post of the year have something to do with my goals and resolutions for the coming year, or at least the coming month, but I've decided to instead jump-start a new series of posts that I'm calling Listers Gotta List. This series won't be scheduled for a certain day each week, and will instead pop up whenever the opportunity arises. For my first series of list-style posts, I'm going to be focusing on some new releases due in 2019 that I'm anticipating the most. It's been far too long since I've had the chance to gush about some of my favourite fandoms, and I can't remember the last time I was able to discuss upcoming fandoms that I'm sure I'll be on the band wagon for.

This first post will be focusing on TV shows and anime that will be gracing us this year. I'd like to note here that I am also including pre-existing shows that are releasing a new season this year, not just TV or anime premiers. This list was really fun to make, and I'm actually surprised just how many animes made it onto the list! Suppose I have A Geeky Gal and her 30 Days of Anime challenge to thank for that  Without further ado, let's get into the list!


#1: All-New Fruits Basket Anime!!!!!!!!
Can you tell just how excited I am for this?! 😍

I was first alerted to the fact that the original company behind the first Fruits Basket anime, Funimation, was doing a new anime series more closely based on the manga series by one of my BFF's Melissa, who posted an article about it onto my FB page. A couple months later, she sent me a link to this video on Twitter, and I basically screamed with delight - yep, out loud and everything, my boyfriend gave me quite the strange look 😅

Fruits Basket was one of the first manga series that I ever became invested in. A friend of mine from grade school had first told me about it, and on my first day of high school when I didn't feel like venturing into the cafeteria for lunch I decided to check out the library, and right across from the entrance was the manga section! I picked up the first volume of Fruits Basket, finished it over lunch, and then proceeded to check out volumes 2-4 from the library (I was only allowed to take out 3 books at a time), and that evening after school I ended up watching the majority of the English dub anime on YouTube.

The creation of this new anime series is basically all I could ever want in life. Sure, I always treasured the original anime series, but it was only 13 episodes long and basically only covered volumes 1-6 of the manga, with a few episodes taken from chapters in the 7th and 8th volumes. There was so much more happening in the manga, and I continued to hope that one day we might get a second season or some form of continuation of the story on the silver screen. Of course, with the way they changed details about Akito in the original anime, it would have been impossible to follow the manga series exactly.

But they'll be re-doing the entire anime from scratch, with an even better quality of animation than what was available when the original was produced, and it is a dream come true for me. I sincerely hope that once the English dub gets made that they'll try and cast as many of the original voice actors as possible (Tohro Honda's voice is just so perfect in my mind), or at least find voice actors that come as close to the original as possible.

#2: Game of Thrones Final Season!
Yes yes yes, it's finally happening!!! The fans have waited a long time for the conclusion to our favourite high-fantasy HBO series, and the 8th and final season will be airing sometime in April 2019 if I'm not mistaken. I couldn't resist using this image of the remaining Stark children smiling together and looking like a happy family - since it will probably be the only example of smiling or happiness we'll see from them once the show starts 😂 (Minor spoilers below, for those who haven't seen the 7th season of GoT, or who haven't watched any of the show at all and don't want even the tiniest spoilers)

Of course I love the action and adventure and excitement that every Game of Thrones episode has to offer, but if I had to pick 1 single thing that I am the most excited about, it would have to be the hopes of seeing a happy, smile-filled reunion when John returns to Winterfel and sees Arya and Bran alive and well. Arya and John were very close before John left for The Wall, and I really hope that we'll get to see some of that in the final season, even if it's only for a brief moment. I know that one of my favourite moments last season was when Sansa made it to The Wall and John ran right over to hug his half-sister 💓 I really love the family feels in this show! And yes, believe it or not, I am more excited about potentially getting that reunion scene than I am to see what the future holds for John and Dani, which I'm sure will surprise all of you.
#3: Domestic Girlfriend Anime!
I only came across this anime for the first time when I was researching this post, but it immediately stuck with me as something that I'm sure I'm going to like. The overall premise isn't cliche, and it's also not too ridiculous and reliant on fan service (Love Hina would be a prime example of both those things). Something that I like in anime, as well as manga, is that when sex is a part of the story line and it's done in a way that treads the fine line between not showing anything at all and being a straight-up example of hentai. Like the scene from the trailer (the link has English subs, turn on CC) where the girl is putting her bra back on, after obviously having had sex with the male protagonist; some animes that want to avoid any depiction of sex wouldn't even have so much as that short scene.

I suppose one of the reasons I lost interest in anime to a degree is that I enjoy [most of] the romantic plots portrayed in anime series, but it bothered me that they were often waaay too chaste. It's not like I wanted full-on sex or make-out scenes or anything, it just bothered me when you were watching a romantic anime and nothing ever happened between the couple apart from that first kiss. & you might not ever see anything happen between the couple after that 1 kiss, besides hand holding or possibly a loving embrace. I'm sure this is reflective of Japanese culture to some extent, but as a Western viewer it's always struck me how so little romance is visually portrayed in romantic animes. I have noticed that as time goes on, teams that create and produce these series are growing bolder - and not just in series that are categorised as being more "sexy" than the cutesy romantic animes out there - which is also probably reflective of ever-changing culture and social norms.

#4: Grand Hotel - ABC!
Great transition from talking about anime series with no sex and very little romance to a live-action series that is heavy on the sex and romance 😜 This show is one I also learned about recently, and what first had me intrigued was a written description that this show would be comparable to a contemporary version of Upstairs, Downstairs, which is an older British series that I absolutely love, and is what probably partially inspired Downton Abbey (except Abbey has way more drama!). Right from the get-go of the initial trailer, you learn pretty quickly that this show is all about the sex and the drama, but it does appear that the characters are quite unique and are not your typical stock characters from traditional drama series.

Grand Hotel is based off the Spanish TV series Gran Hotel, which was more of a historical drama/mystery series, having taken place in Spain between the years of 1906 and 1907. I'm not personally familiar with any of the cast members, but I did quite enjoy taking in the eye candy of Bryan Craig playing Javi Mendoza, as well as Lincoln Younes as Danny, one of the hotel's staff members. While I might not be familiar with the cast, I am aware of who the executive producer is; Eva Longoria, from Desperate Housewives fame. I actually thought briefly while watching the trailer that Santiago's second wife Gigi was played by Longoria, when in reality Gigi Mendoza is played by Roselyn Sanchez.

#5: One Punch Man Season 2!
I've probably been excited for season 2 of One Punch Man to air in Japan since I finished watching the first season XD This anime holds a special place in my heart because my boyfriend has always loved the manga series, and we started watching the episodes from season 1 together during the first year of our relationship. I remember being skeptical about this series, because I'm not typically drawn towards the action genre of anime, but this series is most definitely the exception, because it's just so damn hilarious!

Because I watched the final episode of the first season while it was still airing in Japan, and we watched it on a web site that had provided English subs, I have yet to see the English dubbed version on Netflix, but I'm thinking that I'll be checking out the English dub soon to get myself pumped for season 2 - if I remember correctly, I think it will start airing sometime this month!

#6: A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 3!
I completely forgot about this until I checked Netflix today, but season 3 of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is actually on Netflix right now!!! I remember eagerly watching the last season, bingeing it the day that it came out. I didn't read all of the books when I was a kid, but I got up to the beginning of the 6th novel. I would have to ask my friend Morgan just how close the show is to the novels, because she adored the novels and probably still does and would most certainly have an opinion on the TV show, good or bad. Through my own experience I do know that the first season and the episodes from the books I'd read from season 2 were very similar to how I remembered the novels. Sure, a couple of episodes in season 2 were told in a different order than the one in which the books were released, but that never bothered me. I do find that I have a very hard time re-watching this show after my initial binge session, probably because this show is targeted for a slightly younger audience, but that doesn't take away my enjoyment from the first viewing and my memories of the show that follow.

#7: Good Omens - Amazon Prime!
For many years now I've been curious about the books of Terry Pratchett - I was never a massive fan of the fantasy genre, although friends of mine in high school were and they couldn't say enough good things about his work. I do remember that the first novel that really tempted me was The Long Earth, co-written by Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I hadn't heard of Baxter before seeing that book, but the overall premise of the novel really caught my interest. Unfortunately, when I first noticed it the book was only in hard cover, and I was just too broke to pick it up. Now that book is the beginning of a series, and maybe some day I will finally pick up a copy, but that will have to wait until the eon-long period of me being broke finally comes to an end 😝

I hadn't ever looked at a copy of the novel that this series is based off of, which was co-written by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, another amazing author of our time. I regret to say that I haven't yet read a complete work of his either (don't @ me XP), but I've still admired him for many years. The only reason I never got to read Sandman from the first year it came out is because I couldn't afford to buy my own copy. This Amazon Prime series stars two amazing actors, David Tennant from Doctor Who fame (also loved him as Killgrave in Jessica Jones), and Michael Sheen, who I adored in the Showtime series Masters of Sex (which I reeeeeally need to catch up on, I only ever got up to the end of the 3rd season). I really love Michael Sheen as an actor, and his character in Good Omens made me chuckle throughout the entire trailer
#8: Real Girl Season 2!
Okay, so I haven't even watched season 1 of this anime yet - this was another show I discovered while researching this post - but from the overall premise it looks like a series that I would really enjoy. One of my favourite anime series that I discovered and binged while doing the 30 Days of Anime challenge was Recovery of an MMO Addict, which seems like it would be a very similar, gender-bent version of Real Girl, with less of a focus on the protagonist's fandoms and more on his relationship with said girl.

One reason that this series has made it to my list of shows I'm excited for in 2019, I think that once I get around to watching the first reason of Real Girl, I'll be left wanting more, and I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that there will be more to come sometime this year.

#9: Drunk History Season 6!
Again, never seen this show before XDD I'd heard of the YouTube series, but I never actually knew this was a full-fledged TV series on Comedy Central. When I first read about it online, I thought it would be the first season airing this year, because I'd never heard of this show before, but turns out that this has been on TV for 5 years now! I suppose I've been living under a rock since 2013 😂 I'm hoping that I've been living without cable for quite some time now will be enough of an excuse for my TV show ignorance? XD Plus I live in Canada, and the Canadian equivalent of Comedy Central, simply called the Comedy Channel, doesn't necessarily have the exact same line-up of shows as its American counterpart.

#10: The Umbrella Academy - Netflix!
With all the different Marvel shows that Netflix has decided to cancel, I might end up having a super hero-shaped hole in my life - that's where this series comes in! Based off the Dark Horse comic book series of the same name, this series includes quite the colourful cast of characters. Also I'm aware that there has been a little controversy surrounding the casting of this show, but I haven't looked up any of the specifics. Ellen Page will have a starring role in this series, who is just all-around awesomeness in the shape of a woman. That alone would be enough to have me writing down the release date of this show in my Happy Planner, but then I watched the trailer and learned that Robert Sheehan was in it 😍 Robert Sheehan is probably most well-known from the BBC's version of Misfits, but he was also in the movie version of City of Bones. When I first saw him with the dark hair and the crazy smile, I originally thought to myself, "He looks like a younger version of Colin O'Donoghue" XD

Also, I couldn't help but chuckle when I first saw the kids in the trailer wearing what I'm calling the Robin masks (guess you could also call them Riddler masks, but Robin was the first one that popped into my head) with the white eyes and the thick black outline XD Have no idea if that's supposed to be a reference to Batman or not; I'm pretty sure it's just a coincidence.

Looks like there is a lot to look forward to in 2019! - on TV at least 😜 What new shows or upcoming seasons are you looking forward to this year? What existing TV shows do you think you'll spend a lot of time re-watching in 2019? Let me know in the comments below!

I'll be writing another post about upcoming 2019 releases next Tuesday (something other than TV shows), so look forward to that! I'll keep you guys posted!

2 comments:

  1. I'm so excited for Game of Thrones! I've heard such great things about Fruits Basket, I need to check it out.

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    Replies
    1. YES, you absolutely do! I think Funimation took their full eps of Fruits Basket off YT before announcing the revamp, but if it's not on CrunchyRoll I would recommend KissAnime (so long as you have AdBlockPlus or a similar program running on your browser, you can never be too careful on the internet!), I'm sure they would have it there.
      And yes, the wait for GoT is nearly over! I should try and set aside time to re-watch some of the old seasons before the premiere...

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