AWC: Staff Picks 2019 Challenge (& A​O​T​Y)

150 Staff Picks Challenge: 2019 90 20 The badge will be revealed after the new year Due to the busyness of the festive period we needed to give ourselves just a little more time to finish it. Thanks for your patience 90 90 Complete every Staff Pick and the AOTY to earn the badge You can use any number of anime you have already completed You can use any number of anime for other challenges You can watch in any order the Staff Picks are in no particular order You cannot use speed watching to complete this challenge You must include the start and end dates for each anime which can be added in the AniList List Editor Please provide an estimate and make a note in your post if you do not recall the exact date you completed an anime. Your profile must be set to public so we can verify your anime list and activity Time Limit Completed challenges must be submitted by December 24th 2020 23:59 UTC Post a reply in this thread when you start the challenge with the code we have provided below You can keep track of your progress through editing your submission here or update it when you are finished Please use the code template we have provided for your challenge submission. You can edit it however you want as long as it includes the same information You can find the challenge code here: Staff Picks 2019 Challenge Code Fill out the portions in red text only to keep code formatting When you have fulfilled all of the requirements for a challenge please post a link to your final submission in the Challenge Submissions Thread Completed challenges must be submitted by December 24th 2020 23:59 UTC Formatting for challenge submissions must include the following information: 01 Start: DD/MM/YY Finish: DD/MM/YY Link with Anime Title Only submissions via the AniList forum will be accepted. This means submissions via Discord spreadsheets or other documents will not be reviewed. AWC Staff Picks 2019 01 Kondor says: I managed to rewatch this anime earlier this year. When I originally watched Spice and Wolf back in 2014 I had seen some anime previously but hadnt really got it yet. That was back in my day of Why would I want to watch subbed anime when I could listen to it in English? And while Spice and Wolf didnt change my mind on the sub front that would come later it is the first anime where I think I understood what the medium was. There were different characters and a different kind of story and I found myself caring about what would happen and wanting to see more. So much so that I would later go on to buying and reading every light novel in the series which is now sitting front and center on a shelf. Spice and Wolf was my first anime obsession and for that reason it is my pick for this challenge this year. 02 akaDry says: Is one life really worth more than another? Such are the thoughts pondering in Doktor Tenmas head as he is asked to make a difficult choice. Once the die has been cast there is no turning back no regrets for the choice made. He finds himself completely wrapped in what happened. If youre a fan of Psychological Thrillers then this is a must watch. Although it might be considered long its definitely worth it and you wont regret picking this up. 03 SirFink says: I only really have one word to describe this anime: CUTE. I was feeling a bit down earlier this year and this anime is the perfect reminder that pure saccharine loveydovey romance still exists out there. Yamada and Kase learning and growing as they figure out their love for each other is a wonderful coming of age story about the worries and experiences of being in love wrapped up in an adorable little OVA. I also highly recommend the manga as well as its somehow even cuter than the OVA. And if you hate it well its only an hour long so watch it for me then come yell at me later kay? 04 cybergami says: Shinsekai Yori? Ah.. what to say about Shinsekai Yori? Well first of all I am aware that a lot of people dislike this a lot while a lot of people also revere it completely yes that would be my case. I guess thats the kind of show this is: a hit or a miss. Honestly I dont think its a bad thing the fact that it isnt universally good. If something splits opinions that hard then at the very least its something impactful. And as some of you know impactful media are my cup of darkly brewed tea. I think I was supposed to promote the show in this lines? Oh damn... Well I dont think I can tell you whats good in it but I can tell you what I liked. As you know the plot is set in a dystopian society and as a viewer I was able to feel the horror the anger the frustration despair and even the alienation of living in such a society. Thats not exactly pleasant but it is certainly the kind of feeling great authors like George Orwell tried to imbue their works in. The other thing that struck me deeply were the psychedelic visuals present in the most plotheavy scenes. Im a fan of those of course but this time it worked so well with the story that I felt myself watching it in some sort of trance inebriated with the unfolding of events that were taking place assimilating the feelings of the main characters as if they were my own. Last but not least this is one anime that made me feel genuinely uncomfortable: most of the times I was terrified of what was going to happen next thanks to that ominous storytelling but sometimes also disgusted envious angry or sad. So at the end of the day what do I have to say about Shinsekai Yori? Well it is one hell of a trip thats for sure. 05 skirider7 says: Saki at its core is an anime about mahjong. I know that might not sound super interesting to normal people but Saki has much more going for it than first meets the eye. I went into Saki knowing literally nothing about the rules of Japanese Riichi Mahjong but that was not an impediment to enjoying the show in the slightest. If anything not knowing the rules of the game theyre playing almost helped make it more enjoyable as it fits the crazy atmosphere the show has. Despite coming off as closer to a battle shounen than a tabeltop game anime most of the time it still manages to get the viewer super invested in each of the players featured. You get invested in the lives and struggles of each of the teams vying for the win and end up wishing there was a way for all of the teams to advance instead of only cheering for the main protagonists. I really loved this show so I encourage you to come and let the cursed blood of the tacolover run through your veins as you give this show a shot. 06 crackst says: Ive watched FLCL for the first time in 2018 and 100s of completed anime and a rewatch in 2019 later I can still confidently say that this is the most beautiful show Ive ever watched. Combined with one of the best soundtracks out there by the pillows who are an amazing band check them out a ton of creativity amazing characters and a crazy story this is everything animated shows should strive to be and as one of the most enjoyable experiences in anime it ranks on the very top of my favourites. 07 qeziz says: Even though I know next to nothing about baseball I really enjoyed this anime. Being also an anime with the Psychological genre One Outs deviates from the usual Sports emphasis on work hard and dont give up and instead focuses on mind games strategies and the importance of knowing your opponent. And the greatest asset of this anime is the mastermind behind all those mind games Toua Tokuchi. He is a smart charismatic and somewhat mysterious character who always keeps his cool. You just cant help but love him Tokuchi this anime. 08 Madoka42 says: Im living single/alone with no plan on having kids and Usagi Drop really challenges that. Seeing how Rin impacts Daikichis life is just an extremely wholesome experience even more so since Daikichis place in life isnt so far away from mine. You could say that it opens with a kinda bleak look at humanity because nobody in Rins extended family wants to have anything to do with her but when Daikichi decides to take her in it swiftly focuses on the newly formed family unit. I would say seeing Rin and Daikichi open themselves up to this newly formed family is an epitome of Slice of Life. 09 MyNameIsZach says: This is the most comfy show Ive ever seen. It also actually motivated me to buy the gear to go coldweather camping myself which Im still really looking forward to doing 10 Moha says: Kuuchuu Buranko is one of the most conceptually and artistically exploring works of anime. Being released in 2009 it still holds its relevance to this day especially in the context of Japans society and the stigma around mental health. Kuuchuu Buranko presents us not only some basics of psychology but dives deeper to present how close to every single one of us the topic of mental problems is and tries to show its impact on our surrounding society. From a weird stranger in the background to a widely known icon anyone can be touched by such life changer. And it is in our hands to not only try and acknowledge it but also to be a part of the change towards the disruption of the beforementioned stigma. 11 Electrochemist says: I bet youre surprised that this is not FMA:B however I figured that most people either have probably already seen it plan to watch it in the near future or dont plan to at all... with that in mind I figured Id go for my second favourite Arakawa original story which is Silver Spoon // Gin no Saji. Try not to be put off by the fact that it is a farming/agriculture anime as it is hilariously funny wonderfully heartwarming and refreshingly unique and educational. I love this anime so much it means a great deal to me as do its characters. As loved as it is by a large portion of people that have seen it I still think its an underwatched gem that deserves more recognition. 12 Reldio says: Zambot 3 is the very first mecha anime to subvert expectations and explore the consequences of giant robot fights destroying cities. A very unique work by Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino two years before that franchise I found it to be a thoroughly interesting watch. Likeable characters with very real arcs a fun titular mecha and a plot that could get very serious and dark. I hope everyone enjoys something a little different to what they usually watch 13 TrapperHell says: This wasnt an easy choice. The first time I started watching this I had put it onhold about three episodes in. The execution is slow and the plot is pretty shallow too. However what really resonated with me and led me to watch it anew was the beauty in the music and the general theme. As a story it is pretty straightforward and at times farfetched and impractical however the elegance in it is in the character development. There is depth to all the main characters and each character acts with clear motives. There are unrational decisions being made by the characters but they are not out of character. In the end this isnt really a story about epic gunfights and warfare but a heartfelt story about the frailty of life and the need of affection and recognition. 14 HalfBlindShinobi says: This was an anime that I hadnt even remotely heard of until it came down to one monthly challenge requirement in the April monthly. Noein was one of those anime that after watching a couple episodes I should have gone to sleep. But nope one more episode one more episode. The series features a ton of twists and turns that makes you keep on watching. Its these kinds of series that should get the recognition that they deserve and I have to give my thanks to Electrochemist for tempting me to watch this. Really it was a lot of fun. 15 xRyper says: Death Parade is an anime that revolves around the idea of what happens once we die as it takes place on an afterlife bar where the characters stake their lives by playing games. The premise sounds very interesting and with great potential but does the show manage to live up to the expectations? It does mostly done in an episodic format Death Parade depicts the crude reality of being dead without a chance to go back with your loved ones. In my opinion MADHOUSE did a pretty good job with this anime considering the message that it tries to convey. Its certainly not a perfect anime as it has many flaws but nonetheless its really worth a watch. Personally I love everything about it from the different stories to the characters and their development the soundtrack and most importantly the message. Memento Mori. 16 Raycenerr says: I watched Serial Experiments Lain in August and its exactly the kind of anime I love: mindblowing scenario mysterious people... SEL is one of those confusing anime you watch once in a while. Its about a 14 yo girl named Lain whos discovering the Wired an internetlike technology. SEL is like a rollercoaster without breaks on it first half is a slow ascension and youd better be ready for the second half because this show isnt going to wait for you. 17 Quiet says: Slams hands on desk HIGH SCHOOL FLEET HIGH SCHOOL FLEET But honestly High School Fleet has a such an infectious atmosphere about it that I cant help but feel ecstatic thinking about it. Its tough to pinpoint what exactly creates this atmosphere. Is it the heart put into it? The banter between the wide ensemble of characters? The intense battle scenes? The lighthearted moments? All I know is despite the occasional plot holes it is a fun watch. 18 Nymh says: Ill open this by saying I love this anime I rewatch it 1 or 2 times a year and I recommend it to everyone. This anime holds a special place in my heart the story of a particular but regular family. It carries the feeling of nostalgia of growing together and growing apart all the way to the end through the action and the drama. Despite the supernatural fantasy story Kyousougiga is able to keep it down to earth and never losing the feeling of family. Kyousougiga is widely creative with a story atmosphere and charm like no other it may seem bizarre at first but looking back on it you may find a piece of yourself inside of it. If you are currently separated from your family I highly recommend this anime. 19 annahoj says: Ever since first watching it back in 2016 I have found myself rewatching it every once in a while. It has a certain charm to it that always makes me want to return to it. Theres a lot of prejudice surrounding the sports genre so I hope by watching this Ill make at least a few people change their opinion about it. Haikyuu is a very characterdriven story theyre all unique and have their own qualities that make them so lovable. The interactions between the characters help to lighten up the mood of the intense matches with some great comedy. The smooth animation not so usual art style and Yuuki Hayashis music really bring this story together into one blob of amazingness 20 Shinoa says: I watched Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms back in January with a friend and Im really glad that I did. What I really liked about it was the storytelling the animation and the world building so basically everything. It was just so compelling to watch it Saying more would actually spoil the movie and I want people to get into it without knowing what the movie is about. I recommend watching it with full attention and in the dark so that you really get invested into it. I picked Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms because it is very impressive. It really surprises me how much of an impact a movie can have on someone. After finishing the movie I didnt know what to do. It was so emotional that I couldnt watch anything new anytime soon. I just hope that other people can feel the same way and enjoy the movie like I did. 21 Resire says: Its an Isekai that doesnt just have the protagonist blunt force all their problems. Having to fail and learn makes the protagonist more relatable than other cheat protagonists in most other Isekai out there. 22 Kongroo says: Suisei no Gargantia is a show full of vibrant energy and character dynamics that really make the environment and the world itself feel alive. Thoughtprovoking at times and truly optimistic its more of a slowpaced and kinda different mecha show to the norm of the genre more sliceoflifey if i may add. Definitely one of the more interesting aspects apart from the worldbuilding was how the creators handled the language and cultural barriers when two civilizations cross paths. I found the show really interesting both plotwise and in the way it was executed so in an effort to not spoil anything else i wont say more. Go watch it blind if you can as I did dont even read the synopsis or search for a trailer: Suisei no Gargantia is an enjoyable show that i think may be totally worth your time. 23 breathesunshine says: Dont give up just because something is hard or you find out that there are others a whole lot better than you are. Work hard and dont let what others say get you down because if you are passionate enough about something the worst you can do is stop and give up. Thats what I can say a big message I got from watching Diamond no Ace. Eijun Sawamura is an ideal main character for me. While hes loud and rash hes also passionate and not one to give up. He does have moments where he falters but not for long. As I watched the first season I felt like I was a part of his journey in becoming Ace of his team. The way tension gets built in this anime is something I really enjoyed. The pacing is really well done as I didnt feel anything was rushed and I like that it isnt a simple story that can be told in a few episodes. The reward at the end of this series is going to be well worth the wait and the hardships you go through with Eijun and the rest of the cast. Ive watched a lot of sports anime and they can be ridiculous and full of crazy abilities this anime is very straightforward and I actually learned more about baseball watching this. So again dont feel intimidated and take your time to enjoy an anime that has a lot to show and teach. 24 Plusho says: Around a year ago the AWC Challenge Team and I decided to include the requirement Try Something New: Watch an anime with your least watched genre in the January 2019 Challenge. I knew at the time that the Music genre was easily my least watched with only a few completed and none that really stuck with me. So I asked Kondor for a recommendation and he pointed me to the Hibike Euphonium series. After completing the first season I was hooked. I loved the characters and each of their stories and there was a particular unexpected element that really made it resonate with me. I filled my February Challenge with the rest of the franchise including the beautiful Liz and the Blue Bird movie. For me this show represents the goal of AWC perfectly: to encourage ourselves to step out of our comfort zone every now and then introduce ourselves to new experiences particularly anime that otherwise may have passed us by and to find new favourites in the process. It also has special significance in 2019 too as the anime community continues to reflect upon memories of KyoAni and the amazingly talented staff of Studio 1. Im glad to have discovered Hibike Euphonium and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did 25 Congratulations to Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba for slaying countless demons to win the AWC Discords Anime of the Year It was a close fight with only 1.2 between the top 3. Tanjirou and Nezuko were able to beat out Attack on Titan 3 Part 2 by only 0.6 You can view the full results of the Discord poll here All AWC Challenges Challenge Code AWC Discord AWC Profile About AWC FAQ Post Submission Thread Recruitment Thread Challenge Discussion Suggestions If you are having a difficult time finding an anime to watch feel free to ask us on Discord ask in our Challenge Discussion Thread or ask a fellow AniList member.
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